The following are some of the more common home-care suggestions for our clients that may compliment your massage therapy treatment
Some of the most obvious necessities in life are often over looked and water consumption is definitely one of them. Each person requires 2.5 litres of water on average daily. More water is required when working in hot and humid conditions or when exercising indoors or outdoors. Many people are dehydrated and thus their body will not function to its optimal level because of it. Consider the amount of coffee, tea, and alcohol that is consumed by the average person and it’s not really surprising that many of us are dehydrated. All of these have a diuretic property, which means that for every cup of coffee, tea, or alcoholic beverage you have, you need to consume two cups of water to offset the diuretic effect. Drinking water helps to flush out toxins released from the muscles and properly re-hydrates your muscles therefore reducing muscle aches and pains after a massage. It is a good idea to increase water consumption post massage treatment to help the body take full advantage of healing itself.
It is important to stretch, especially after a deep tissue massage. Your muscle fibers need to realign and can be flushed of the toxins released from the muscle. Stretching can help to do this realignment and improve proper muscle recovery therefore reducing post massage muscle pain.
Hydrotherapy may be used to treat a variety of issues. It may be used in the acute, subacute or chronic phase of an injury. Though every injury is unique and opinions on treatment vary there are a few rules general rules; we do not want to increase inflammation where there is already a significant amount and we do not want to use cold hydrotherapy for extended periods. Always have an injury assessed by a trained health care professional to best understand the nature of the damaged tissues and proper treatment.
Heat: used in the chronic phase of injury to promote blood flow which aids in the healing process by bringing nutrients to the tissues. Heat can be used for 15 – 20 minutes at a time, several times a day if needed.
Cold: used in the acute phase of injury to reduce pain, over-swelling and reduce the firing of the sympathetic nervous system. It is recommended that you use it for no longer than 20 minutes at a time, but again, some may say otherwise, (such as 30 minutes max). Always make sure there is a barrier between your skin and the ice or cold pack. Excessive use of ice is not beneficial to the damaged tissues, especially those that have a poor blood supply, (example: ligaments) as it decreases circulation in that area.
Contrast (warm/cold) therapy: the cold reduces inflammation and pain while the warm helps maintain or promote circulation in the injured area. Cold is used for 1 minute, then switch to heat for 2 minutes. Some may say longer, but the general time ratio is 1:2 (cold:heat). This can be done for 20 to 30 minutes at a time.
Epsom Salt Bath
For an eighty (80) litre tub (average tub size is 20 gallons) use 4 cups (1 cup = 250 ml, so 4 cups = 1 kg) of Epsom’s salts. Make the tub water as hot as you can tolerate, without scalding yourself, and adjust according to the temperature set on your hot water heater. Drink 1 glass of water before the bath, one glass during the bath, and one glass after the bath to prevent dehydration. Soak for 20 minutes, immersing the treated areas of your body in the water. Drain the water and rise slowly. Rinse with a cool stream of water in the shower afterward. Allow for 30 minutes of rest.