A lot of people think of massage as a treat, but here at Prana Endura our average customer recognizes that the treatment that they receive here is an essential part of their healthcare. Did you know that there are ways to maximize the impact of your massage? Here’s a few tips to ensure that you’re getting the full benefit of your bodywork session.
Before your appointment:
- Hydrate – Most people have heard that they should drink water after their appointment, but it’s equally important to make sure that you drink plenty of water ahead of your appointment as well. Dehydrated tissue is sticky tissue. Without the space and fluid necessary to allow muscular and connective tissue to glide it is less likely that you will experience a meaningful release.
- Exercise – You don’t need to run a marathon or lift a new PR before your massage, but if you have the opportunity to take a short walk or a gentle full-body stretch can warm up your tissue and increase your circulation.
- Take a hot shower – This tip is two-fold. Warming up the tissue with hot water is a great way to get the tissue ready to receive bodywork. Feeling clean and fresh is also a great way to ensure that you are able to relax once you get on the table.
During your appointment
- Have a goal – During the intake process have an idea what you’d like to experience. You don’t need to have a detailed knowledge of anatomy, but letting your therapist know “I’ve been walking a lot and my calves are very sore” or “I feel a lot of discomfort between my shoulder blades while sitting at my desk” is a great way to ensure that you leave your session feeling satisfied.
- Offer feedback – Here at Prana Endura our therapists are pretty good at reading body language, but we’re only human. If the pressure is more intense than you’d like and you feel yourself tensing up then please, please, please speak up! If your body tightens to guard against the work that we’re doing you aren’t going to receive a very effective massage.
- Stay awake – Unless your goal is solely to relax it is important to be conscious of the feedback you’re receiving from your body. Falling asleep makes it less likely that you will integrate the work received, especially if your goals involve big shifts like eliminating a leg length disparity. If you’re looking for big work it’s important to get your head in the game.
After your appointment
- Keep hydrating – Making sure that your remain hydrated will allow your tissue to continue shifting even after you’re off the table. It can also help mitigate any soreness from the work you received.
- Apply heat and magnesium – You can kill two birds with one stone by taking an epsom salt soak after your session. Your skin will absorb the magnesium from the bath and the heat will help keep your tissue relaxed. If you’re not a bath taker (or don’t have a tub) you can also take a magnesium supplement and take a hot shower!
- Give yourself 24 hours to recover – Even when bodywork is passive your muscles have been activated, stretched, and shifted. You may be a little sore the next day and it may take 24 hours for your mind/body connection to catch up to where you are now. Skip the strenuous gym session and take the time to let your body integrate post-massage!