Can You Exercise After a Deep Tissue Massage?

Deep tissue massage focuses on putting strong pressure on muscle tissue in an effort to break down knots, or adhesions. This massage technique works the muscles along with the fascia, a webbing of connective tissue that surrounds your muscles. It can help release chronic tension, relieve the stress from intense physical activity, promote recovery from exercise and mobilize your joints. Although deep tissue massage is beneficial to athletes and avid exercisers, you should avoid strenuous exercise for 24 hours after getting one.

A woman is receiving a deep tissue massage. (Image: imarly/iStock/Getty Images)

Reasons for the 24-Hour Wait

Massage therapist Ray Bishop explains in "Body Sense" magazine that deep tissue massage may make your muscles more "gel-like." When in this state, your muscles and connective tissue are at a greater risk for injury. They can also fall right back into the patterns that put you on the massage table in the first place.

Light Exercise

While strenuous exercise, such as running, heavy weightlifting and power yoga, may be out, you can still get up and move. A light walk, gentle lap swim or easy stretching may help relieve any post-massage discomfort you experience. Bishop also recommends drinking plenty of water -- up to 2 liters -- and a hot Epsom salt bath to speed up massage recovery.

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