4 things that that will make the effects of your massage last longer
1. Drink water after your massage
Short Answer: We rarely drink as much water as we should, and after a massage it is even more important. Water helps hydrate and heal the muscles and tissues that were manipulated during the massage, and helps any fluids that were stirred up by the massage get where they need to go.
More details: Many Therapists will say "Drink water to flush out toxins that were released from the muscles during the massage". While some toxins are released when muscles are manipulated, it is rarely enough to cause any major issues beyond some soreness. Drinking water ensures that the muscles and surrounding tissues are well hydrated so the "good stuff" gets in and the "bad stuff" goes away and the muscles stay soft and not stiff.
2. Stretch and move
Short answer: While it may be tempting to get a massage then go home, curl up under a blanket, and take a nap, staying moving a little bit after the massage, or doing any stretches that your therapist recommends can help muscles stay loose and soft for a longer time.
More details: Massage loosens muscles, but they don't always stay that way. The muscles learn every time they move, and if they spend lots of time tight and stiff, they are going to think that they are supposed to be tight and stiff all the time. Moving and regularly doing any stretches or movements that your therapist recommends can help the muscles stay soft and stretched so they don't re-tighten up as quickly. Often a therapist will give stretches to do in between sessions to help continue the work they have already started so that the next appointment can go more smoothly and either focus on other things or not have to start over from scratch.
3. Get a good night’s sleep
Short answer: After a massage, you might be able to fall asleep more easily and sleep more deeply. Sleep is when the body heals so all the good that comes from the massage really gets into the body and does it’s job while you sleep, so give yourself the rest.
More details: Sleep heals, so to get the most out of something that heals you like massage, a good sleep can help make everything work better. Sleep also helps to re-balance hormones and calm emotional centers of the brain so that the body and mind can rest and reset, allowing the "good feeling" that comes after a massage to last longer and return more easily.
4. Don’t wait too long until your next one
Short answer: The hardest thing to do is to keep massage as a regular thing. Often, we still think of massage as an “occasional treat” but if massage is made to be part of a regular routine, the effects of the massage won’t wear off as quickly and the good benefits will last longer.
More details: The best intentions are always the hardest to stick to. we want to eat better, but then the holidays show up. We want to exercise more, but then a trip or work deadline sucks up all our time and messes up our routine. Building good habits is difficult, but so worth it in the long run. One way you can make sure that too much time doesn't elapse between appointments is to schedule another one before you leave the first one. Even if it is a few months away, at least you are making the effort when you think about it to make the appointment and make it a priority so it doesn't get lost and forgotten until you are already hurting again.