You just came for a massage, which is exciting because you and I are now a team. Once you leave my clinic, I have passed the baton to you. How much or how little you participate post-treatment will dictate the success of our treatment. Since I strive for your success, I’m going to share a few tips to keep those muscles loose apres massage, while avoiding delayed muscle soreness.
1) Believe in the process
This may be one of the most difficult steps. Chances are if nagging pain has kept you awake every night for years, it will be hard to imagine a life without it. The nervous system is hardwired to carried out patterns. I can help break the physical patterns, but only you can break the mental pattern by having faith in your body’s ability to heal. The most successful patients are the ones who believe in the process. Sometimes, things have to untangle and become worse before they get better.
2) Keep circulation flowing
According to Chinese Medicine, pain is often (but not always) caused by stagnancy of blood and Qi. This can be due to poor posture, overuse, a previous injury, or a sedentary lifestyle. The techniques I use during treatments target areas of stagnancy to help regain free flow of circulation. Self-care methods that will help maintain circulation are: baths with essential oils and/or epsom salts, a brisk walk, Qi Gong, stretching, and my favourite – dry skin brushing. Dry skin brushing helps the lymphatic system clean up any debris released during our massage, inevitably speeding up healing times and strengthening the immune system.
3) Tennis balls and foam rollers
A few days after your massage, using a tennis ball or a foam roller to keep muscles loose will prove to be beneficial. A foam roller is perfect for larger muscle groups such as the IT band and quadriceps. On the contrary, the tennis ball excels in areas which require a more pinpointed type of pressure – for example, the forearms, pectoralis muscles, rotator cuff group, and in between the shoulder blades. The key to success when using these objects, is to move very slowly. I often watch people rolling with the foam roller at a speed that would be injurious if a massage therapist performed that move with their elbow. Hence, a snail like pace is imperative. Feel the muscle melt before slowly moving it along the band of tissues. Should any radiating sensations occur, hold it in position until it dissipates. In this way you can perform a mini trigger point release treatment on yourself in the comfort of your own home.
4) Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate!
A massage can be a lot for the body to process. Staying hydrated will keep tissues plump and healthy, while assisting your lymphatic system in eliminating any waste products that were released during your treatment.
To recap, self-care is everything. I only spend an hour with you a week, so let’s make it count. I value your time and money and strive to help you see results. Follow the above tips and reap the benefits of pain relief. I look forward to our next treatment, and as always, contact me if you have any questions. Have fun playing outside in this glorious sunshine!
Yours in pain busting,