You’ve just had a wonderful treatment; you get up from the massage couch a little groggy, feeling more mobile, tension all melted away. That warm post treatment after glow, blissful smile on your face. You’re feeling good; you’ve needed this for quite some time. So how can you keep this feeling going? What can you do to maximise the benefits of this glorious treatment you’ve just had?
Most complementary therapists will give you some form of aftercare advice. I am going to share my top 5 tips with you so that you can help your body post treatment and also make you aware of possible reactions you could have after a treatment. The aftercare advice is the same whether you’ve had massage, reflexology or reiki.
When you undergo a treatment such as massage, reflexology or reiki you may experience some symptoms as the body is trying to balance itself. For 24 -48 hours following a treatment you may experience the following:
• Increased urination, bowel movements or thirst
• Feeling energised
• Heightened emotions (high or low)
• Sounder sleep
• Feeling sleepy, fatigued or deeply relaxed
• Temporary worsening of symptoms as conditions may flare up before they begin to heal
• Cold/Flu like symptoms
These symptoms are normal during the healing process and can be a sign that the treatment is taking effect as the body is trying to balance itself. Each of us is different and not everyone experiences these symptoms following treatment. If you have any concerns following treatment then do not hesitate to contact your therapist.
Top 5 tips post treatment
You will probably have been told to drink lots of water after having a massage or other complementary therapy. Some therapists will tell you that massage moves “toxins” and you should drink plenty of water to help flush these “toxins” out the body. To be honest the body will get rid of any “toxins” or to be more accurate metabolic waste by itself via the kidneys and liver. (I feel another blog coming on).
I advise my clients to drink water post treatment and to stay hydrated all the time as hydrated muscles are happy muscles. Dehydration means muscles and tissues are not able to work at their best. The more hydrated you are the better your body will feel.
2) Stay away from caffeine and alcohol
Following on from the above tip, it’s a good idea to keep off the coffee post treatment. Try cutting down on the cups of tea or coffee if you can’t refrain altogether. Alcohol should also be avoided as all of these are diuretics which have a dehydrating effect on the body.
Your therapist may recommend regular treatments. This is not purely a sales pitch to get you booked in. A long standing back problem is not going to get better in one session. An issue that has been niggling away at you for weeks, months or even years will not be “fixed” in a one hour treatment. Yes, you may feel great after a fantastic session but for longer lasting effects regular treatments are recommended. Even if you have no particular problems a relaxing massage or therapeutic reflexology session once every 4-6 weeks can keep you feeling good and in balance.
4) Listen to your body
The way you feel after a treatment will be influenced by factors such as what type of treatment you have had, how you feeling beforehand etc. Immediately after a treatment you may feel very sleepy and tired. If you can you should rest and take it easy. For some the opposite will happen and you feel more energised post treatment. Many treatments can help you have a deeper sleep so it’s a good idea to get to bed at a reasonable hour the day you have a treatment to get the most benefit.
5) Look after your wellbeing
You’ve made the first step towards looking after yourself by getting a treatment. Keep up the good work by doing other things that can improve your wellbeing. Support your body and mind with a healthy diet. Small changes like reducing sugar intake can make a big difference. Instead of drastically trying to change your diet in one go, take small steps each week to try and have healthy balanced meals. Regular exercise can make you feel better mentally as well as physically. Find an activity you enjoy. Joining the gym is not going to work for everyone. Simple things like walking more can be beneficial too. Getting an adequate amount of sleep each night is essential for our wellbeing. Take steps to ensure you get enough sleep to really look after yourself.
There you have it, my five top tips to get the most benefit from your complementary therapy treatment. Next time you have a massage or other therapy remember these tips and the beneficial effects will last longer.