Making the Most of Your Deep Tissue Massage: What to Do Before and After

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On its own, deep tissue massage can provide a wide range of benefits — such as helping you relax, relieving your pain, or supporting your recovery from injury. But there are also things you can do yourself to maximize the benefits of the massage and improve your overall massage experience. In today’s busy world, you don’t want to spend time on a massage and then realize that you’re not getting everything you expected out of the treatment. That’s why it’s important to prepare for a deep tissue massage in advance and to have a plan for what you are going to do after it’s over. Read on for some simple tips that can help you get the most out of your time on the massage table.

How to Prepare for a Deep Tissue Massage

You can think of preparing for a deep tissue massage the way you think about preparing for your regular workout — you don’t need to put in too much time or energy, but if you do a few little things in advance, you’ll end up feeling better during the treatment, and your body will be in the best possible position to reap the benefits of the the therapy. As your appointment draws near, these are a few of the things you should try to remember to do:

  • Stay hydrated. Deep tissue massage releases toxins from your muscles. Making sure that you are hydrated when you go into the massage makes it easier for your body to flush out these toxins as quickly and efficiently as possible. Also, well-hydrated muscles are more pliable, which may make it easier for the therapist to break up the toughest knots without causing you too much discomfort. And remember that being “hydrated” doesn’t just mean downing a bottle of water in the parking lot before your massage starts. Ideally, you should be drinking regularly for at least 24 hours in advance of your massage.
  • Take a shower. For busy professionals who are rushing from the office to the clinic, this may not always be possible, but if you can, taking a shower can make the massage a more relaxing experience. The warm water will help loosen your muscles, which another way to reduce potential discomfort during a deep tissue massage. Also, a shower can help you relax if you feel self-conscious about potential body odor while you’re getting a massage.

 

  • Wear loose, comfortable clothes. Again, scheduling can sometimes make it hard to fit in time to change your clothes, but it can help improve your overall massage experience if you have the chance. For some people, wearing comfortable clothing can automatically trigger muscle relaxation — and you won’t have to deal with the additional stress of pulling off your tie or worrying about the buttons on your collared shirt as you get ready for the massage. Also, since you may end up feeling a little sore after the massage is over, loose clothes may be easier (and more comfortable!) for you to put on before you leave the clinic.

 

  • Make note of your goals for the massage. If you have a particular goal for the massage — such as tension relief in a particular area or healing support for a specific injury — remember to let your massage therapist know! That way, they can be sure to address your concerns. If you’re worried about forgetting to mention it when you arrive at the appointment, a good strategy is to write it down or make a note in your phone.

What To Do After a Massage

As it turns out, some of the best things to do after a massage are remarkably similar to the things you should do beforehand. After all, a massage is not an isolated experience — it’s part of your body’s ongoing interaction with the external environment. Here are some of the things you should do maximize the positive impacts:

 

  • Continue to drink water. Just like getting hydrated before your appointment, drinking water afterward can help flush out the toxins that were released by the massage. Maintaining your hydration levels after the massage can also reduce post-massage side effects like soreness and nausea.
  • Eat well. It’s usually best to avoid a heavy meal after a massage, but you also want to make sure that you are getting enough nutrients. Deep tissue massage stimulates blood flow to needy muscle tissue, so you want to make sure that the blood is carrying the nutrients you need. For a light, nutrient-rich meal replacement, you may want to consider a powder-based functional food.
  • Get a good night of sleep. While you’re sleeping, your muscles are able to recover from the stress of the massage and efficiently utilize the nutrients that are being provided by the increased blood flow.
  • Schedule a follow-up appointment. A single deep tissue massage can definitely make a difference in your life, but many patients notice more significant improvements with regular massage appointments.

 

 

Atlanta Chiropractic and Wellness offers a wide range of massage therapy options, including deep tissue massage. Contact us today to schedule an appointment!

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