Posted by: Mae | October 1, 2008

Sore after your massage?

You had a great massage yesterday and slept like a baby last night. So why did you wake up feeling achy and maybe a bit groggy? The short answer–no one really knows for sure. But a professional massage can be like a workout for your muscles. Muscles are stretched, fibers are realigned, and, especially with focused work, scar tissue is broken down. While all of these actions contribute to healthy muscles and increased range of motion, some breaking down of tissue occurs, so that more functional tissue can take its place. In this respect, massage is much like a good workout.

So what can you do to maximize the feel-good aspects of massage, while minimizing the wincing? First, try to schedule your massage so that you can relax for the rest of the evening. Take a warm bath with epsom salts to soothe and replenish muscle tissues. Do some gentle stretching or take a leisurely walk. And while the debate rages on about the need to drink water after massage “to flush toxins”, it certainly can’t hurt to drink an extra glass or two.

Above all, communicate with your therapist. If you are sore for more than two days after your massage, you may be getting work that is too deep or intense. Let your massage therapist know if you feel they are working you too strenuously. Also let them know if you experience excessive soreness after a session. They will be sure to tone it down next time, and may have other great suggestions that will have you feeling better in no time.

A bit of soreness is common, especially if you are new to massage, or receive massage infrequently. But remember “no pain, no gain” is usually not true. Don’t suffer unecessarily. Talk to your therapist, and follow their suggestions for home care.

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