medical massage by Craig Botha - Top Banner

Getting the best out of massage therapy

To really get the best out of massage, one needs to view massage in the same way as going to the gym, or taking vitamin supplements, i.e.. one massage on it's own is good, but it's not going to give you all the benefits of a regular massage.

As with going to the gym, the first 2 or 3 massages may even be a bit painful, if your body has not been conditioned for it, but thereafter, you will begin to experience and appreciate all the benefits of a regular massage.

Progressive cumulative effect: One needs to get a regular massage to realise the progressive and cumulative beneficial effects of regular massage. One can imagine that if you have taken years to build up strain and tension in your shoulder muscles, that it is not going to suddenly all disappear in one massage session. It takes a number of massages, regularly spaced, to reverse the damage that has been done over the years. If one leaves it too long between massages, it may just be that treatment has to start from step one again each time, and you never really experience the full benefit of what massage can really do for you.

Ideally one would like to get a massage once a week, and in the beginning this might be necessary to deal with years worth of spasm, and neglect.However, practically speaking, most people can't afford the time or money this takes, so once or twice a month is much more practical. One should certainly not leave it for more than a month between massages, or we would have to start at square one again. In the case of professional sports men and women, a massage twice a week is probably more appropriate.

Some things to remember:
Drink lots of liquids after a massage; as a massage will remove a lot of toxins from the body tissues, these toxins find their way into the blood stream. One needs to drink lots of fluids after a massage in order to flush them out. Beware if you don't, because you are likely to get a horrible head ache, particularly if you are a smoker.

Eat healthy, lots of fresh raw foods (fruit and veg.) and whole grains. These foods will also help detoxify the body, so you will not only be healthier, but you will also feel better, and you won't have any of the detox after effects a massage can cause.

Get a regular massage.

Get regular exercise.

Get plenty of sleep.

Get a regular massage.