Neuromuscular treatments are rarely full-body; the work is concentrated on the primary and secondary areas of the body that are causing the pain you are experiencing, and limiting range of motion.
Neuromuscular massage therapy is a specialized form of manual massage in which digital pressure and friction are used to release areas of strain in a muscle. Strain areas are called tender or trigger points, and they tend to be the cause of ongoing muscular pain symptoms. Pressure used during the treatment is based on the client’s pain threshold – “no pain, no gain” is Not the motto. We ask the client to provide feedback on the sensitivity of trigger points and tissue; if the client’s pain reaches 8 on their 1-10 pain scale, the treatment is too intense. After 7 on the scale, the tissue starts to tighten up in response to the pain which is counterproductive, and inappropriate for achieving the client’s goals.
Massages increase your blood circulation and hydrates your muscle tissues. You know those “wow” moments you have during your massage? They’re signifying blood flowing to areas that have been nutrient deprived and blocked by constricted muscles or trigger points. These “stress spots” are potent and toxic to your body, and require the assistance of water to be flushed out. Water is the drano our bodies need to flush out lactic acid and metabolic waste that causes knots and pain. When a muscle is dehydrated it searches for a water source, and if it can’t easily get it will cling to another muscle tissue instead.
Massage therapy has a big effect on the body’s circulation and stimulates digestion. If you’re feeling a little light headed post-massage, this might be the result of not eating. Following a massage your body needs to refuel. For this reason, consider taking a snack to your next appointment, such as a banana and some raw almonds. Ensure you keep meals light.
Having just had a massage therapist break up the adhesions on your muscles, it’s now up to you to stretch in order to reap the benefits. Stretching essentially works to realign your muscle fibers and improve muscle recovery. It also helps to train your nervous system, which is the main determinator when it comes to your body’s flexibility.
Having a bath will encourage rest, and is particularly nice when Epsom salts are added. Adding Epsom salts (magnesium sulphate) will help heal any aches and pains, open up your blood vessels, and increase circulation. A warm shower will suffice if you don’t have a bath. Just remember – the key word here is warm – not cold, and not scorching hot! A super hot bath will increase inflammation, which isn’t a good idea after a massage.
While it’s normal to feel a little sore following a massage (think the day after a good gym workout), it’s not normal to feel pain several days after your massage. If your pain is intense and long-lasting, this is a sign your massage therapist may have gone too hard. Make note of any sore areas and inform your therapist during your next visit. This is important so your treatments can be modified to best suit you.
As your body relaxes, it’s normal for it to release any emotional baggage it’s holding onto. While on one occasion you might feel elated, refreshed and energised, there may be other times when you feel the need to cry. This is okay. Embrace it. Allow it to happen. You’ll appreciate the emotional release afterwards!
And finally… go to the toilet. By urinating you are letting go of your toxins, so what are you waiting for? Get rid of them!
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