Massages are wonderful. Among other things they increase immunity, improve circulation, and help reduce anxiety. But there are some things you can do before, during, and after a massage to make them even better and more effective. The most important thing is to make sure you are physically and mentally prepared, so you can relax and enjoy all the benefits of massage. Here’s some advice that many massage therapists offer to new clients.
- Exercise Before, Not After.
If you’re planning on exercising the day of your massage, make sure you hit the gym or ride the bike or lift those weights before your massage. And, especially if your exercise routine is intense, make sure you wait at least a day after your massage to give your muscles a chance to recover from a deeper, therapeutic massage.
- Take a Hot Shower.
Chances are you’ll want to take a shower before your massage to make sure you’re clean. But taking a long, hot shower has another benefit: it relaxes you and your muscles before you get on the table.
- Your Birthday Suit? Panties?
Many clients wonder if they should take ALL of their clothes off, or just strip down to undies. The answer is that you can strip down to whatever you’re comfortable with. That said, underwear can get sometimes get in the way. Keep in mind that regardless of how modest you are, professional massage therapists are trained to keep you covered with sheets when possible. The key is that for you to get the most out of your massage, you need to relax–so make your decision accordingly.
- H2O. Yes. Hydrate.
75% of Americans are chronically dehydrated. Don’t be one of them–and especially don’t be one of them when you get a massage. Drink water before and after your massage. Water is essential for healthy muscles and for flushing wastes from your system. There’s some dispute as to exactly how much water we should be drinking, but estimates are that women should drink about 9 cups a day, and men 13 cups a day, depending on weight, amount of exercise, and other environmental factors.
- Avoid the All-You-Can Eat Smorgasbord Before Your Massage.
Try to eat a light and easily digestible meal a few hours before your massage. You don’t want to be lying face down on the table with a very full belly. Trust us.