Deep tissue massage is a type of massage therapy that involves slow and firm pressure, targeting deep layers of muscle tissues. It can effectively relieve chronic pain, inflammation, muscle spasms, and sore muscles.
But would you know what to do after a deep tissue massage? To make the most of this relaxing and healing experience, there are a number of things you should do and avoid.
Below are the eight tips and tricks on what to do after a deep tissue massage:
1. Drink plenty of water after the massage
One of the most important things to do after a deep tissue massage is to drink plenty of water. Many people feel a little dehydrated after a massage, and it’s important to drink plenty of water, even if you don’t feel thirsty.
After a deep tissue massage, your muscles will release a lot of toxins, and drinking many glasses of water will help your body flush out those toxins.
Drinking water also helps minimize the risk of side-effects such as fatigue, nausea and soreness. In addition, keeping your muscles well hydrated will help you avoid the muscle pains and aches that could occur after your massage.
2. Eat nutritious meals after the massage
It’s perfectly normal to feel hungry after a deep tissue massage. Getting a massage is very similar to doing some exercises, and your body is going to need some fuel. However, you should avoid heavy meals, as well as vegetables, since digesting these will require a lot of energy.
Eat light meals, snacks, and plenty of fruits. They will help you replenish your energy reserves, but they will also allow your improved blood flow to carry the nutrients your muscles will need to repair themselves and to function properly.
3. Avoid drinking alcohol and coffee
Alcohol and coffee are diuretics, which means they can dehydrate your body. So while it’s recommended to drink after your massage, you should avoid alcohol and coffee for at least 24 hours.
A massage relaxes your body, and it helps you get rid of toxins. Alcohol is a sedative that slows down your nervous system, while caffeine makes your system work faster. Drinking beer, wine or coffee right after a deep tissue massage could rob you of some of the health benefits of your treatment.
4. Schedule a follow-up massage appointment
You should probably schedule a follow-up appointment with your registered massage therapist right after your deep tissue massage. Depending on your condition, more than one massage session might be necessary.
You should feel relieved after your first massage, but getting another one after a few weeks will keep improving your condition.
So as you can see, relaxing and taking good care of your body will help you make the most of your massage, but regular appointments will be necessary to truly relieve your pain and strengthen your muscles.
5. Take a warm bath after the massage
After your massage, you should do things that allow your body to keep relaxing for some time. Taking a warm bath is a good example, as it will improve your feelings of relaxation, and will help you enjoy a good night of sleep.
Adding some Epsom salts to the water of your bath will provide your skin and muscles with magnesium, which will improve your circulation and relieve some aches that might have been caused by the work of your massage therapist on your deep tissues.
6. Relax and make sure you get enough sleep
Going to work or going out shopping is not recommended after a deep tissue massage. Ideally, you should stay home and relax to give your body some time to recover. Watch a movie, read a book, or do some relaxing activities that make you feel good.
You also need to make sure you will get enough sleep after your massage. You body will use this time to recover from the pressure applied on your deep tissues by your massage therapist, and to strengthen your muscles.
7. Avoid running or exercising
You probably guessed it by now, but running and exercising is not recommended right after a deep tissue massage. Your massage therapist surely got rid of some knots in your muscles, and exercising right away could bring these knots back.
To make the most of your deep tissue massage, wait at least a full day before going back to strenuous exercises.
If you are someone who simply can’t stay in place, do some stretching instead of going out jogging.
8. Do some gentle stretching
Doing some gentle stretching after your deep tissue massage will help your body recover and flush out toxins faster. It will also help prevent muscle pain that could be caused by the massage itself.
Consider doing some knee hold stretches, forward fold stretches, cat and cow stretches, and some similar poses that will help your muscles recover.
It’s alright to stretch your muscles, but don’t overdo it so you don’t end up tiring them. To maximize the chances of improving their condition, you need to let them rest for some time.