So you have just received that long overdue massage, you get up from the table feeling so wonderfully relaxed, those knots have been smoothed out, and it's almost as if you are walking on clouds. All you have on your mind is how great you feel and wonder how to keep that feeling of relaxation for as long as you can. Following a few simple self-care tips can help you extend that post-massage feeling; helping you to stay relaxed until your next session.
Take a Break
From reducing aches and pains to boosting circulation and relieving stress; massage impacts our physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual bodies. Because of this impact, it is essential to make sure you set aside time to take a break and slow down for a moment. That may mean taking some extra "me time" before running errands or returning to work. It might also be a good idea to take the rest of the day off. Having a break after your massage session can help you process emotions or help you clear the haze from being in such a deeply relaxed state.
After getting a massage you may feel parched. So to get the most out of your session and extend the feeling of well-being, it is vital to keep yourself hydrated after your session. Your entire body functions and feels its best when it is fully hydrated. Water, fruit infused water, and herbal teas are premium hydrating agents for your body. Try to avoid drinks high in caffeine and sugar. Instead drink herbal teas containing chamomile, lavender, or peppermint are beneficial in promoting relaxation and stress relief, thus complementing massage.
Once adequately hydrated, soaking in a warm bath will continue to nourish and soothe your body. If you can, add Dead Sea salt, which has many useful trace minerals which aid in combating stress, supporting the immune system, and easing stiffness. Epsom salt is equally beneficial, differing in its composition, it contains magnesium sulfite; a mineral used to help muscles relax. Often you can find a bath soak that includes a combination of these different soaking agents along with many other elements, such as herbs and essential oils, which help you continue the relaxation and rejuvenation process begun during your massage. Also, you will also continue to ease muscle tension and reduce any soreness you may have. A good soak lasting 15-20 minutes further complements massage.
After a massage you may feel so good that you want to go, see, and take over the world, but before you do you should reschedule your next appointment. Remember that during your massage you may experience an emotional release, as well as the release of stress, pain, and tension occurring in your life. After such an experience, why would you want to go another year before getting another massage? Instead set aside one day a month or per quarter; you decide what fits your lifestyle.
Regular massage can assist you in maintaining the blissful state of balance we try so hard to achieve. Receiving regular massage has a bevy of beneficial effects for your body, mind, and spirit, but remember it doesn't have to stop in that one massage session. Keep in mind that you can always enhance the effects of massage by keeping yourself hydrated, soaking in a bath, and giving yourself time to rest. By taking time out to practice these self-care techniques in-between receiving a massage you can extend the relaxation effect.
-Stephanie, LMT (Atlanta)