4 Aftercare tips from James to get the most from your massage
You're all unique and James knows from experience that everyBODY can respond differently to his massage treatment. It's also hard to predict how your body will respond to the treatment you have just received but these 4 aftercare tips can improve your response and help you get the most out of your massage.
1. Drink water
Hydrating after massage is important and the chances are that most therapists you will have seen in the past have mentioned this to you. And probably for the wrong reason too! A lot of misinformed therapists will talk about water 'flushing the “bad guys”, metabolic waste, from our system'.
They'll say that during the massage, the release of metabolic waste products and acids occurs and instead of letting them get re-absorbed into the tissues and muscles, it’s good to get rid of them. This is completely false and there is no scientific evidence to prove that it does.
James recommends drinking water all the time, regardless of whether it's after a massage or not. Our bodies need to stay hydrated. James uses the after-care advice for massage as a good general reminder for clients to drink water as most people don't drink enough and some people don't drink any at all!
Did you know how much water you need to drink? For the answer check out James' Instagram post.
2. Avoid heavy physical activities for approx. 24h
A sports or remedial massage treatment can create be quite tough on your muscles and soft tissue. They need a moment to reset and you need to give your brain the time to work with your central nervous system to understand this new feeling.
If you don't receive regular massage treatment and haven't worked with James before then going to the gym or participating in heavy activities straight after massage might put your body at risk of injuries whilst your brain tries to adjust to these changes. You may also want to try and take a day off and relax with some simple mobility work. James recommends you move all the time though but for 24hrs after a massage treatment take it nice and easy!
3. Avoid muscle guarding & keep moving
Muscle guarding occurs when we try to protect a body area that is painful. For example, by keeping your back muscles braced or lifting your shoulder towards your ear. This bracing is a subconscious action to protect whatever is hurting. Deep tissue massage will help your body muscles reset but sometimes the brain will take a little longer to catch up. Make a conscious effort to not keep the sore area immobilised and guarded. Muscle guarding can slow recovery so make sure you keep moving! Follow James' advice that he'll give you during your massage appointment
Notice if you're holding tension in a body part? Breathe in and on the exhale - let it go!
Doing gentle stretches and mobility work after your massage helps your brain to reconnect with your body. A good massage outcome should leave you feeling better! Taller, lighter, more relaxed posture, and less tense.
4. Take a warm bath or shower to soothe any sore muscles
Sore muscles usually love the heat (unless it's an acute injury then avoid it!). It gives sore muscles an opportunity to relax further. If your muscles feel sore after your massage, a warm bath or shower can soothe you and leave you feeling even better.
It's important to note that if there is an acute injury where your muscles feel 'sore' then heat might not be the best option and cold therapy might be more appropriate. Ask James if you're confused or need further advice if you're not sure.
Need more help?
If you would like to discuss how you might feel after your massage or think you might need more specific advice contact James.