I often get asked by my patients what is and isn’t okay to do before and after getting a remedial massage.
Here are some tips on what to do and what not to do before and after a massage.
Drink lots of water
Getting a massage can be a dehydrating business. Fluids are released from the tissues during the massage, into the bloodstream and then to the kidneys to be excreted so it is important to adequately replenish the lost fluids. The National guidelines recommend that women consume 2 litres of water a day and men 2.6 litres.
In addition to massage possibly causing some dehydration it may also cause metabolic waste to be released from your tissues into the bloodstream. Drinking water may assist in helping the kidneys flush this waste out faster.
Take your magnesium
After a remedial massage, the body can be quite sore for up to a few days. I tell my patients to take magnesium leading up to and following a massage as it has amazing anti-inflammatory, pain relieving properties which can help to keep the post-massage soreness to a minimum. It is also great at stopping twitching, cramping and adhesions or “knots” within the muscle fibres.
Massage promotes and increases circulation it can also increase other body functions such as digestion (which is why you can sometimes hear your stomach grumbling through a massage). Have a small snack on hand for when you leave your massage. Also, note that it may be a good idea to avoid eating a big meal before a massage as you may feel uncomfortable with such a full stomach on the massage table!
Don’t go for a heavy workout
It is always best to wait for 24hrs after a massage before going and doing an intense workout session. After a deep tissue massage your tissues are inflamed and tender, exercise will only add to this inflammation. Let your muscles recover before getting back to your exercise regime to avoid strain or injury. Make sure you get your workout in before your massage but PLEASE shower after it.
Stay away from the alcohol
Massage moves a lot of blood around the body and is great for circulation. Drinking any alcohol before or after a massage is not recommended as the effects of the alcohol will be much stronger. Alcohol also dehydrates the body which is counterproductive to rehydrating after a massage.
Don’t come in sick
What should be common knowledge is often not. A lot of people still come in for a treatment when they are sick. This is never a good idea. Colds, flu’s, fevers, infections and stomach bugs are all contraindications for massage. Not only do you risk infecting the practitioner (We really don’t want your germs) but in most cases, the symptoms of your sickness will increase in severity after a massage and your body temperature will rise. Please stay at home until you are well and truly over your illness.