In the past I talked to you about some stretches that may be beneficial to you in relieving some of your aches and pains, in between massage appointments. Obviously I am a big proponent of self-care, I like to practice what I preach, and I like to share some of my insights with you.
With that being said, my favorite form of self-care is receiving massages. I am not saying that because I am a Massage Therapist, but because I, too, get regular massages. I have made a point to get a massage at least once a month for over 5 years now for my own health benefits. When I can, I squeeze in a second massage during the month. If I could, I would go much more often, as I love massages, but since that is often difficult to do, I have learned a few helpful tips to help prolong the effects of my massage sessions.
1. Hydrate. Hydrate. Hydrate! You all hear me say it after every session as I hand you a bottle of water to drink. Drink it. When you get home, drink more water. Your muscles need it. The massage dehydrates you and, just like after any good workout, you need to rehydrate your muscles to keep them from tightening back up. This will also help reduce any sore and achy muscles you may feel the days following the massage.
2. Do not do anything that is physically excessive or heavy the rest of the day. You may feel like a new person when you get off the table, but do not go run 5 miles, lift heavy weights at the gym, or do several hours of laborious yard or house work. You are more likely to injure yourself when your body is in this relaxed and loose muscled state. Give yourself the rest of the day to embrace the effects of your massage.
3. Rest. This goes along with #2. Take it easy the rest of the day, but do not flop down on the couch and not move for hours. Your muscles still need movement to keep them fluid. Doing some light stretches and walking around will do wonders for you muscles and body. Simply relax and enjoy the free movement of your happy body.
4. Acknowledge the fact you just did something wonderful for yourself. This may sound funny, but it works. Recognize that you took the time to take care of yourself. Appreciate that you took the time. Embrace this fact and enjoy how you are currently feeling after each session. Carry that to bed with you at the end of the day. You will wake up feeling more revitalized.
I hope that you find these little tips helpful in prolonging the effects of your massage sessions. As always, I am here for your massaging needs and want to help you feel and function at your best.
Courtney Truax, LMT is a graduate of East West College of the Healing Arts in Portland, Oregon. She is licensed through the Oregon Board of Massage Therapy and a member of the American Massage Therapy Association. She has her own studio massage practice in the heart of downtown Lake Oswego, Oregon.