BY IAN CHOW, CERTIFIED MASSAGE THERAPIST
This will be my own Top 10 of the Dos and Don’ts after you are done with a massage session. Also don’t forget to read about my “Top 10 of dos and don’ts before getting a massage.” Or click here to read about other massage related topics that I write about.
No.1 Rest for a while
Don’t get up and change into your clothes immediately. You may risk a dizzy spell. From your current position (most of the time on supine), the therapist will usually ask you to sit up and add a bit of time to do simple techniques on your shoulder, neck and head coupled with a few stretches. This is also to give some time for your blood circulation to regulate back to normal. If your therapist doesn’t, just slowly get up from the massage table or mattress, sit down, take a few deep breath then only proceed to do the next thing.
No. 2 Bath
There are two school of thoughts. To bath or not to bath. I will leave it for you to decide. But for me, I choose not to especially taking a hot bath. Massage session will lower your blood pressure and hot bath in return increases it. The conflict of these two actions could potentially give you immediate headache with the rush of blood to your head. Plus, bathing will wash away the healing quality of the oil or lotion that your therapist used.
No.3 No sexual service
A treatment is a treatment. It is a professional service. Massages may trigger certain sensation in your body but any form of sexual service should not be initiated by the client or therapist in the session. Period. Plus, it is illegal in Malaysia.
No.4 Don’t Exercise
You certainly do feel refresh after a massage. But that doesn’t mean you should be exerting yourself with heavy duty activity or a workout. That will certainly be counter productive to the healing work that your therapist has done on you. You need to give some time for your muscle to settle down and consider it as a time-out for your heart and other muscles for that day or the next 24 hours. Sure, you should continue with light activity to promote blood circulation and not just stay still but it should not be vigorous.
No.5 Drink water
You should drink a lot of water (plain water will suffice) to flush out the toxin or waste that could have been released from your muscle onto your body during the massage. The fluid will help to clear it from your system. Certain therapist may also recommend you to drink ginger tea to get rid of the “wind” (buang angin).
But on the other hand, alcohol, caffeinated and high sugar content drink can be dehydrating to your body so you may want to avoid these after a session.
No.6 Follow the tips and advice
Some therapists may also offer you some tips and advice on simple daily stretches that you can do, diet to avoid or to take, certain habit to take note of or certain posture that you should avoid to further enhance the work that they have done on you. Do try to follow this. Plus, if it is for your own well-being, why not.
No.7 Be aware of changes in body (physical, mental, emotion)
Massage once again can trigger numerous sensation to your physical, mental and/or emotion well-being. You may experience some sore muscles, injury that you never noticed before, maybe the surface of sudden warm and fuzzy feeling, an urge of wanting to express certain emotions or an outburst even. Keep a check on all this. Talk to your therapist if needed.
On another hand, acknowledge all the positive changes and be sure to also communicate to your therapist on the next session so they can continue to use similar technique on you to once again enhance these components. And your therapist need to be aware on how your body is reacting to certain treatment so changes can be made accordingly to suit your need.
Your body may need this slight energy boost after a massage. Consider it as a fuel to your system so you don’t feel “light headed”. Moreover, you may feel hungry after a massage especially when you are not recommended to eat a heavy meal before a massage.
No.9 Book your next appointment
If you like, enjoy or feel the session is beneficial to you, book your therapist for the next appointment right away or during their follow up. Massage is not only a treat for birthday or any annual occasions. It is a way to maintain your physical and mental well-being and the frequency will depend on what dysfunction your body may have, your lifestyle / habits and your mental health conditions.
No.10 Thank you and tip
If you can afford it, after a good session, there is no harm in tipping your therapist as an encouragement and a boost of confidence to them. And don’t forget, a “thank you” will go a long way in maintaining a healthy relationship with your therapist or anyone for that matter of fact.