Drink an Extra quart of water within 24 hours of your massage to help your body to detoxify. One benefit of the massage is that toxins in your body are dislodged and ready to leave your body -- which they can do if you drink enough water after the massage. Ideally, you will also drink lots of water a few hours before your massage.
Exhilaration Detox Bath: Take a 20 minute hot bath to which you have added 1 cup each of baking soda and epsom salts. Magnesium in the Epsom salts is a natural stress reliever. Hot water draws toxins out of the body to the skin’s surface, and while the water cools it pulls toxins from the skin, according to Naturopath Dr. Hazel Parcells. Baking soda is said to help eliminate the chlorine in the water, as well as soften the water, and help the body to absorb the magnesium. Another benefit is relief from joint and muscle pain, especially after a deep-tissue massage. Some clients who previously experienced mild “hurts so good” pain after massage have reported no pain at all when they have taken the detox bath the evening after the massage. Note: If you are diabetic, pregnant, have high blood pressure or any other medical condition for which you are uncertain of possible contraindications, please check with your doctor before using this detox bath combination.
What can you do help relieve muscle pain and tightness in-between massages or if you experience tenderness after your massage?
Drink one ounce of water for every two pounds of body weight every day to reduce stress and pain.
Use an ice pack for 10-20 minutes on any areas that are sore or which you fear may be sore. Or, freeze a couple of 12 oz. water bottles and put each in a sock before using them so you have a little bit of cushion. Wait a half-hour or so if you want to ice again. If alternating heat and cold (which is ideal), use ice first and last. Ice reduces swelling and inflamation, so if you are only going to use one or the other, usually ice will help you more than heat.
Apply Pressure: Use a frozen water bottle in a sock, frozen golf balls, a tennis ball, rubber ball, Bonger, or hacky-sack for a few minutes on sore or knotted muscles to help the muscles to relax and to thin out the facia which has bound the muscles like shrink-wrap. The pressure creates an environment that allows the muscle to start to relax. Bongers are rubber balls with handles and flexible metal strips between the ball and the handle:
Double fix: Use ice and pressure at the same time by freezing a plastic water bottle (remove cap and drink a little water to allow for expansion, then freeze with lid off and when frozen, replace the cap tightly). Cover the frozen water bottle with a sock or two and lean against it or lay on it to put pressure on sore muscles. Or, try frozen golf balls at the base of the skull (not on the spine) or on smaller muscles that the frozen water bottle can't reach.
Watch for habits that exacerbate your pain, then change your pattern. examples: Purse too heavy: Try off-loading the contents of your purse that you don't use daily into a basket or back-pack that you leave in the car (hidden so a burglar wouldn't be tempted). Leaning head forward when driving: Practice driving with your head against the head-rest to prevent leaning forward. (Your head weighs 10-12 punds, which is the weight of a woman's bowling ball). Analyze your posture in your vehicle and adjust the seat to be sure you are preventing pain and tension as much as possible. Note: Laptops are very prone to causing neck, back and shoulder pain. If you use a laptop often, consider getting a separate keyboard and elevating the laptop so your eyes land in the top 20% of the screen, Prevent pain in the workplace by reviewing OSHA computer work station ergonomics: http://osha.gov/SLTC/etools/computerworkstations/index.html
Use aromatherapy to assist in your healing and comfort. Pam has extensive training in aromatherapy and has an expansive supply of essential oils. You can purchase them in smaller, economical trial sizes at Lamkin Cottage or online, or your local health food store.
Stretches & Trigger Points:
Neck Stretches: Repeat each of these three times as often as needed to strengthen neck and release tension; movements should be large and fully extended, but not uncomfortable: Nod Yes up and down lifting chin up high and down low. Nod No looking as far to the left and right as is comfortable. Extend neck forward and back imitating a turtle. Lace fingers of both hands behind your head and push head back while pushing palms forward. Remember: DO NOT CRACK YOUR NECK - it weakens the muscles and you'll feel worse over time.
Trigger Points for Shoulder Blades: Find the indentations below the collar bone and push in until tender but not painful for 30 - 60 seconds. Find similar indentations at your chest just about directly below your jawline. Push in until tender but not painful. Hold for about 30 seconds or until the pain goes away. Find the soft spaces between the ribs just below the collar bone, push index fingers down and towards the breast bone. Hold until you feel a change for the better or about 30 seconds. Do this twice more in the soft spaces below the next two ribs.(Remember to push in during the exhalation for more comfort)
Shoulder Blade Crunches: When your shoulder blades ache, crunch your shoulders in as though you're trying to make them touch each other. This will make your upper back hump out. Do this about 10 times. (The muscles that contract when you crunch in are opposite those near your shoulder blades, and since opposite muscles can't both contract at the same time, this causes your shoulder blades to relax).
How can you save money and get more massages?
Tell your friends and family about the benefits you noticed from having a massage. When you refer a friend to me for a massage of one hour or more, you receive a gift certificate for a half hour massage after they receive their first massage!
Join the Massage Club so you save a little money by committing to consistent massage self-care.
Use Thrifty Tips on this site and put the savings in a massage bank so you can "save up" faster for your next massage.