In recent decades, society has come to develop a greater appreciation for massage therapy. Voluminous anecdotal evidence and new scientific findings have reinforced many prior beliefs about the benefits of massage, while identifying new ways that these ancient manual manipulation therapies can improve our lives. Unfortunately, some facts about massage are not as well-publicized as others. Take massage recovery, for example. Many people are unaware that there are things they should do to more rapidly recover after a massage.
Why is Recovery Even Necessary?
Anyone who has ever gotten a decent massage understands the most noticeable benefits. Massage can loosen tight muscles and tendons, restore mobility, relieve mental and emotional tension and stress, improve immune function, sharpen brain acuity, and so much more. It can even aid in the healing process by improving circulation, enabling essential nutrients to more efficiently get where they’re needed most. However, the immediate aftermath of a massage doesn’t always reflect those important benefits.
Often, massage clients may feel a bit sick the day after receiving a massage. That’s because massage releases something called free radicals, which can collect inside knotted muscle tissue over time. Those free radicals can be harmful to cellular tissue due to oxidative stress, which is a process that steals cells’ electrons, causing damage to those cells. In addition, massage can dehydrate muscles, leave you hungry, and cause minor stiffness or aching.
The good news is that you can eliminate these concerns with the right post-massage recovery plan!
Improve Your Recovery: Tips to Help
The first thing you should do after a massage is focus on getting hydrated. Massage releases toxins and waste, so replenishing your internal water supply is a critical part of flushing those unwanted substances from your body. Drink plenty of water, herbal tea, or other healthy liquids to counter those effects.
You should also stretch your muscles within the first fifteen minutes after a massage to reduce the potential for aches and pains and realign your muscles. After that, take care of any hunger by grabbing some sort of light snack. Nuts, healthy grains, or white rice can do the trick nicely, and will counter any imbalance in your blood sugar that may have been created during the massage.
For the next hour or so, you should focus on relaxing. Try to take a bath to allow the warm water to continue the process of improving your circulation. That’s an important step to help prevent any possible muscle pain or stiffness. Afterwards, just rest for a while. That will give you time to recover both physically and emotionally.
The bottom line is simple: massage has fantastic benefits, but it’s like any other therapy when it comes to aftercare. Much of your recovery success is dependent upon your actions once you leave the spa. By following these tips, you can better ensure a faster and fuller recovery that enables your body to enjoy massage’s benefits without any disruption to your daily lifestyle and routine.