If you’re like most people, you probably enjoy a massage for its relaxing, healing, and calming benefits. In the long run, regular massages can help improve posture, blood flow, and even your mental health. So why do we often feel pain after a massage? The body’s ultimate goal is to protect itself from pain, which we know as muscle guarding. This occurs when the muscles are hyper-reactive, and helps prevent muscle sprains and injuries. However, it’s less useful when it comes to easing the muscles after an intense massage.
So, what should you do if you find yourself feeling tight or sore after a massage? Read on to find out.
6 Ways to Remedy Post-Massage Soreness
Just like exercise, massages can target areas of the body that may cause some discomfort as they’re worked on. While this is generally a positive thing, as it helps relieve tension, it can cause your muscles to feel sore for a day or two. Here are some things you can do to help with soreness after a massage:
- Do some gentle stretches. If you tend to go for a firm or deep-tissue massage, you may experience delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS). Stretching can release the tension from DOMS, improving flexibility and circulation. It’s also a nice way to tune into your body so that you know which areas need attention next time.
- Rest for 24 hours. Massage helps relieve tension in sore and tense muscles, so give your body some time after your massage before you jump back into your next workout if you often find yourself sore and achy.
- Try heat therapy. Heat therapy is a common technique for those who get regular massages and experience discomfort afterward. Take a hot shower, add Epsom salts to your bath, or use a heating pad on any painful areas. The heat will soothe your aching muscles and maintain a nice, relaxed atmosphere after your massage.
- Try cold therapy. If you’re not a fan of heat therapy, you can go in the opposite direction and try cold therapy. Use an ice pack or a small container of ice to target specific problem areas, or if you’re feeling brave, take an ice bath!
- Stay hydrated! During your massage, the rubbing motion pumps fluids from the muscle tissues into the circulatory system and to the kidneys. This often means that people feel the urge to urinate following a massage. For this reason, it’s important to replenish all that water.
- Try a topical treatment, like a muscle rub, ibuprofen gel, or CBD oil to help with inflammation and sore muscles. Massage it gently into the area to help maintain the good your massage did for you.
These 6 tips will help you to avoid stiffness and soreness after a massage, and ensure all the good your massage did for you lasts. At A Valley of Vitality Wellness Studio, we offer a wide range of treatments from prenatal massage and lymphatic drainage to Thai massage and reflexology. If you’re in the Prescott, Arizona area, we’d love to help you maintain a high sense of wellbeing. To schedule an appointment or view our full range of treatment options, click here.