Whether you’ve had a massage therapy for stress, some nasty tight spots that needed attention, or to aid in recovery from an injury, use these tips to maximize the benefits of your therapeutic massage treatment:
1. Stay hydrated with water (not coffee!) to equal about half your body weight in ounces. Drinking additional water (not soda!) will help in flushing your system of waste products which were removed from tissue during your massage, and ended up in your circulatory system. Drinking water (not alcohol!) helps move these completely out of the body, helping to prevent soreness, stiffness and symptom recurrence.
2. If your massage treatment is performed to aid in healing a recent injury, try cold therapy as needed for pain. Ice is ideal for acute injuries (injuries that happened within the last 3-4 days). Cold therapy reduces swelling and inflammation, and decreases the body’s pain response. Use ice or cold compresses for 10-15 minutes at a time only. Longer will result in the opposite effect as the body goes into frostbite-prevention mode.
3. Heat can be used on older injuries and for chronic muscle stiffness. A nice warm bath, especially with Epsom salts, is very effective. The salt pulls toxins out through the pores and the heat helps re-calibrate changes in tissue. A warm shower works just as well to increase circulation and ease aches and pains.
Also, take it easy and rest. Some types of massage are like a workout, with your muscles having been stretched, lengthened, and worked. Enjoy the wonderful feeling of relaxation that you’ve gained from this time. To learn more about massage therapy at Scott Family Health, please visit our website or contact us for an appointment today!
Chellee Littlejohn, LMT, graduated from Texas State University with a Bachelors in Psychology, and from Denver Integrative Massage School with an emphasis on Thai massage and therapeutic techniques. She is also a yoga instructor. Chellee brings a unifying and complementary approach to the care of her patients. In her spare time, she enjoys practicing yoga, painting, and the outdoors. She loves the mountains, wildlife, fresh air, and the river is one of her very favorite ways to enjoy nature.