6 Ways to extend the effects of a spa massage

4 min read

6 Ways to extend the effects of a spa massage
There's nothing quite like the feeling of leaving a spa, relaxed and content after an amazing massage. What if you could make that feeling last even longer?
In our fast-paced, stressful modern world, self-care is more important than ever. And there’s no more indulgent way to practise self-care than with a trip to the spa. In this always-on world, we’re loving massages as a way to knead out the tension caused by everyday stressors.
But sometimes we can feel tight and achy again mere hours after our session—so, how do we extend the effects of our spa massages
Armathwaite Hall Spa, a luxury destination offering spa day experiences in the Lake District, shares top tips on how you can get the most out of your treatment.

Drink plenty of water

As they say, your body is a temple and water is the best way to keep it pristine. When your body is properly hydrated, your muscles are less likely to become stiff, making your muscles easier to work with.
"Your body is a temple and water is the best way to keep it pristine"
Therapy rooms are also likely to be warm, with sensory candles and humidifiers on the go during your session. Sweat is 99 per cent water, so you’ll become dehydrated if you’re warm. Keep drinking and stay hydrated to feel amazing before and after your massage.

Make oils essential

Your masseuse is likely to use specialist oils during your massage, and for good reason. Oils smell wonderful and soothe the skin—they are essential for a reason! Leaving them on can also prolong the pain relief of your massage.
Massage with oils
If you have sensitive skin, tell your massage therapist. They will have an intimate knowledge of which oils will work best—but never apply oil to broken skin, as this can worsen irritation.

Perfect your posture

Perfecting your posture is step one in regulating your body’s most crucial functions. It affects everything from digestion to energy levels, so maintaining good posture is important to maximise the effectiveness of your massage. 
Posture is something that many Brits struggle with. Seventy-three per cent say they are unhappy with their posture, and shockingly, back pain is the biggest contributor to UK disabilities.
"To improve your own posture and health, keep your shoulders back and your neck straight to reduce tension"
Additionally, massage therapy has the potential to improve physical and mental health. It’s estimated to reduce poor mental health by 10 per cent and save the UK £10.5 billion in sickness leave and healthcare costs.
To improve your own posture and health, keep your shoulders back and your neck straight to reduce tension, and remember to sit with both feet firmly on the floor. To go the extra mile, incorporate stretching exercises such as forearm planks or bridges into your workout. These will improve flexibility in the long run.

Remember to eat

Massages speed up your regulatory system as well as your digestion, meaning if you massage on an empty stomach, it can leave you feeling nauseous.
Fry up brunch
Don’t overcompensate either, as a large meal can make you feel bloated and uncomfortable when lying on your stomach. We recommend having a light meal a couple of hours before your treatment, as well as bringing a snack for after your massage has finished to refuel your body.

Listen to your body

When your body is comfortable and relaxed, your blood pressure will drop, which is amazing for reducing stressed feelings. Massages also lower cortisol, known more commonly as the stress hormone. After your massage, you should also have higher levels of serotonin and oxytocin, the hormones associated with happiness and love, respectively—massage has so many benefits! 
" An emotional release post-massage can boost your mental health"
This release of hormones can leave you with the desire to cry thanks to a sense of relief, which is completely natural. An emotional release post-massage can actually boost your mental health and is nothing to be concerned about.
That being said, if you feel the need to cry due to physical pain, alert your masseuse to uncomfortable or sensitive areas that are being put under too-harsh stress.

Have a rest day from the gym

These words terrify a seasoned gym pro, but there are serious benefits to giving yourself a much-needed rest.
After you’ve enjoyed your massage, wait 24–48 hours before hitting the weights. When you receive a professional massage, pressure is applied to the muscles to soothe and stretch them—similar to a low-intensity workout.
woman napping on sofa with dog
Jumping back into your regular gym routine won’t allow your muscles sufficient time to recover, risking further tension and spoiling the effects of your treatment.
If you are a gym-goer, consider a deep tissue massage. It’s a brilliant way of releasing tension in overworked muscles. Again, don’t gym straight after or you’ll risk putting your now knot-free muscles under extra stress.
Next time you find yourself enjoying a well-needed massage, be sure to use some of these expert tips. If followed, you should find the rewards of your treatment following you into the weeks and months ahead.
Armathwaite Hall was awarded the distinguished title of Best Luxury Spa in the 2019 Candis Spa Awards and was shortlisted for the Large Hotel of the Year Award in the prestigious 2019 Cumbria Tourism Awards.
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