by: Audra Genduso
Picture this: You arrive at Blue Lotus with pain, injuries, perhaps feeling stressed from a long week at work. After the massage you are feeling lighter, free of pain, relaxed, perhaps even energized. If you could find the secret to making that feeling last longer, would you try it? Well, I’ll let you in on the answer, and it’s really no mystery. The secret is self-care. We often focus on the massage as the method that will heal, but in reality self-care between sessions is just as important. Hydration, Epsom salt baths, and rest are important for maintaining the results of myofascial work. This gives your nervous system an opportunity to integrate new information from the session.
Why hydration? As a Massage Therapist, I always recommend that my clients drink plenty of water after a session. But why is this so important?
Hydration helps the circulatory system work more effectively. This, in turn, benefits the lymphatic system, which is essential in the body’s ability to fight, manage and eliminate infection.
Water assists in the body’s waste elimination processes (urination, defecation, perspiration and respiration). Toxins in the body – including those in your muscles and lymphatic system, are eliminated via these processes.
How does an Epsom Salt bath help muscles? Epsom “salt” is not actually salt but a mineral compound of magnesium and sulfate. It works by absorption through the skin. Magnesium has many health benefits, some of which are easing muscle and nerve tension and reducing inflammation. Sulfate helps with detoxifying and absorption of nutrients.
Why should I rest if I’m feeling energized? After a massage the nervous system is integrating and retaining new information. Rest is important so that the lymph system can function to eliminate toxins. It’s important to give your muscles a break after adhesions have been broken up through deep myofascial work and to allow toxins to be eliminated.
Audra Genduso is a Licensed Massage Therapist at Blue Lotus. Specializing in deep tissue, she has been practicing massage for 10 years.