Making Massage Work for You: Self Care

Whether you seek massage therapy for injury rehabilitation or stress-induced muscle tension, there is common ground within treatment. We are working with you to restore your sense of balance or normalcy within your body. Working with bodies and figuring them out is part of what we love to do!After our time spent in treatment is done, what is your role when you get back home?

While I’m treating a client, my mind is always working. As you’re relaxing on the table, I’m constantly taking note of what I’m feeling, the feedback from you about the sensations that you’re feeling, and what I can recommend as the next step in helping you. This next step usually involves something that I will send you home with, like a stretch to target areas that need more attention, breathing exercises, or advice on how to administer hot and cold compresses. This is your home care and most manual therapists will send you away with it!

We are creatures of habit, there is no denying it. I often see that if our self-care isn’t worked into our weekly routine, it can easily be forgotten. I’ve put together some tips to aide you in your approach and mindset toward caring for yourself at home. Some tips are for inside the treatment space, but most are to encourage you to maintain your home care between treatments. In the long run, practicing self-care at home can greatly improve how your muscles respond in the treatment space.

Basic body-care after any massage appointment:

  • Drink a lot of water
    • Even if the whole treatment is spent working in one focused area; with an increase in blood circulation natural chemicals that are held in those tense muscles can be released.
  • Take a hot bath with or without Epsom salts
    • Epsom salts are high in magnesium which can be helpful in ‘drawing out’ excess calcium from muscles, reducing stiffness. However, if you don’t have any salts on hand you can still have a hot bath or shower to boost circulation and relaxation.
  • Create time for yourself
    • After a manual treatment, no matter the type, it is important to create some space for yourself after your treatment – even if it is just to take a few deep and meaningful breaths.
    • Look up at the prairie sky

Some tips for keeping up on homecare:

  • Approach homecare with a sense of curiosity.
    • See it as a chance to get to know yourself and what is happening in your body.
  • Stretches that you are given are the base to branch from. Everyone feels different in their own bodies and every stretch will look a different way when each person does them.
    Play around with a stretch and change positioning if needed. If you feel confident enough in how comfortable the stretch feels to you, see where you can move from that position to deepen the stretch.
  • Don’t hesitate to ask questions in a massage treatment.
    • If you’ve ever wondered about stretching a certain area that wasn’t worked on or you have questions about the stretches that you were shown, just ask!

Chances are we would love to talk more about how the body moves.
-Melanie Schultz