Exercising too soon after a massage may do more harm than good. Give your body 24-48 hours before heading outdoors for a run or going to the gym.
If you participate in sports and/or are into tough workouts at the gym a deep tissue massage may be just the thing for you. They are often enjoyed after a tough exercise session to get rid of the kinks, loosen the knots and stretch out overworked muscles. But those same muscles will need time to recover from your relaxing rubdown.
Types of Massages Available
There are different techniques and little add-ons like aromatherapy oils that enhance your massage session. Among the different styles of massages are Swedish, hot stone, trigger point and deep tissue.
Swedish massages are pretty standard in most places where you get rubdowns. In fact, according to Elements Massage, they are said to be the most commonly requested ones of all. They involve long relaxing strokes, kneading, small circular motions and rocking movements. Their area of focus is the superficial layers. The light touch of this massage can have a calming effect.
Hot stone massages relax the body when stones that have been heated are placed on your back allowing the warmth to radiate through your muscles. The heat helps to release the tight muscles making it easier for the therapist to work on releasing tension throughout your body. The stones may be distributed all over your back or are sometimes placed in a line along the spinal column.
Trigger point massages are focused on particular areas of the body. The pressure is usually applied to the muscle where the knot has formed with the intention of releasing the spasm. The recipient may be asked to do deep breathing as they are treated.
Deep tissue massage is a therapeutic massage that focuses on reaching deeper in the muscles and working on the connective tissues. The therapist engages in slow and deliberate strokes that are meant to treat tight and painful muscles, strains and injuries. In addition to using their hands to loosen you up, they may also use their elbows and forearms.
Should you Exercise After a Massage?
For most massages, the advice is always to have one prior to working out. If you choose to do one after, it is a good idea to wait before hitting the gym. Massages involve applied pressure to the muscles so it is like a mild form of working out.
In the case of deep tissue massage, you may already feel a little sore and you may compound that and run the risk injuring muscles. According to MassageTherapy.com, a generally accepted practice is to wait at least 24 hours. For most intense massage like a deep tissue massage 48 hours might be best. This advice also applies when speaking of yoga after massage.
- National Institutes of Health:Durability of Effect of Massage Therapy on Blood Pressure
- National Institutes of Health: Effect of massage on blood flow and muscle fatigue following isometric lumbar exercise.
- National Institutes of Health:Effects of Massage on Delayed-Onset Muscle Soreness, Swelling, and Recovery of Muscle Function
- National Institutes of Health: Effectiveness of Therapeutic Massage for Generalized Anxiety Disorder: A Randomized Controlled Trial
- Elements Massage: Swedish VS Deep Tissue Massage: Which Do You Need?
- Massage Therapy: How Long Should I Wait to Exercise After a Massage or Bodywork Session?