Physiotherapeutic massage can be an incredible and worthwhile experience for anyone whose life is affected by muscular pain. If you find that your back hurts, your shoulders ache, your hamstrings are tight or your muscles tend to seize up toward the end of the day, a physio massage might be just what you need — but unless you qualify to have them prescribed by the health service, they can be a bit of an investment. If you'd like to make sure you're getting the most for your money, read on to learn what you can do to enhance the benefits of your physio massage.
Try some stretching exercises before and after your massage.
Like massage, stretching helps to keep your muscles free and limber, and if it's done properly, it can even help to build strength in your muscles and ultimately improve your mobility. Simple stretching exercises performed regularly can prepare your body for a massage session and extend the benefits afterwards, but it's important to ensure you're doing so safely and in the right way. Ask your doctor, personal trainer or massage therapist for advice on how to stretch for the best effect.
Make sure you're dressed appropriately to travel to and from your appointments.
You might be surprised by how much your clothes can affect your muscles. Going from a warm massage parlour into frigid air can cause your muscles to stiffen, so if it's a cold day, make sure you're dressed as warmly as you can. Wear your most sensible shoes; high heels or ill-fitting footwear can throw your whole body out of alignment in just a few steps. Avoid carrying heavy bags, and if you must bring a bag with you, make sure the weight is distributed (backpack or crossbody) rather than all on one shoulder.
Remember that you might need more than one session to really see the full benefit.
Physio massage can be an incredible experience that gives amazing results, but it certainly isn't magic! If you want to get the most out of it, you're likely to need a course that lasts for a few weeks, rather than assuming a single appointment can repair damage that might have built up over years. Speak with your masseuse and your doctor about this to help you figure out how many sessions you're likely to need, and be prepared to go back for occasional 'top-up' appointments once the initial course is complete.