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How to Maximize Your Massage

Getting a massage can be relaxing, but it can also take up precious time and be really expensive. You can rarely get away without paying at least $150, if not $200, for a high-quality massage—and that’s even before the tip. Here are some do’s and don’ts to ensure your massage is worth both your time and money.

Do’s and Don’ts for Maximizing Your Massage Experience

Do Schedule at Least 80 Minutes

I know, you are probably thinking WHEN do I have time to schedule a massage. I sometimes have to schedule mine months in advance, but just do it and treat it like a non-optional doctor’s appointment. The key is timing and the good news is that a lot of the spas accommodate us workaholic types, so you can go offer late night and weekend appointments.

Some places offer massages as short as 25 to 50 minutes, but you won’t really get the benefits by trying to be cheap or quick. Your body can’t really even relax until after an hour, so the recommendation is to get at least an 80 to 110-minute massage, even if you do it more infrequently.

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Don’t Schedule Anything Important for the Next Day

Getting a massage should be something you can do when you can take a shower afterward and head to bed early. Plan it for a Friday evening when you have no work obligations the next day and no social plans for that night. A massage during a busy workday or while you’re running errands will destroy the benefits because your body won’t be able to relax and restore.

Exercise is verboten, but some light stretching is OK and good for blood flow. kite_rin @ Adobe Stock

Don’t Exercise for at Least 24 to 48 Hours Afterwards

Massages put a lot of stress on your body, similar to strenuous exercise. After your massage, your body needs energy and space to restore and repair muscle tissue. Exercising too soon can negate the benefits. If you must do something, try a slow walk or light yoga, but avoid intense activities like weightlifting, running, or power yoga.

Again, this is why a massage at the beginning of the weekend is a great idea so you can just rest and take the weekend off when the gym is typically more busy anyway.

Jacek Chabraszewski @ Adobe Stock

Do Eat the Right Foods Afterwards

Most of the focus is on hydrating, which is important, but eating the right foods after a massage is crucial. Save your largest meal of the day for after the massage. Concentrate on superfoods like salmon, greens, avocado, cruciferous vegetables, and whole grains. For those with a sweet tooth, fruits are a great option. Especially pineapple, but eat the core, because that helps with inflammation and circulation (as any fruit high in vitamin C does, so that goes for oranges and berries as well!)

Opt for warm foods, which aid in detoxification and are gentler on your system. A great example is bone broth, which has highly evolved into fun flavors like broccoli and cheese, and thai tom yum from brands like Kettle & Fire. You can read my post about the Chinese medicine approach to eating warm foods for detoxification here

Avoid anything salty, processed, or packaged. It would not be an optimal night for Chinese so make sure whatever you do eat is heavy on the fresh, steamed, or lightly sauteed veggies, lean proteins, and low-fat dairy product (if you do eat dairy). Greek yogurt and kefir are also great options to flood your body with probiotics.

Viacheslav Yakobchuk @ Adobe Stock

Do Hydrate

Hydration is critical post-massage. Drink at least half of your body weight in ounces of water. Measure it out beforehand and have your water bottles ready to go. Spas often provide lemon or cucumber water, which is perfect for hydration. Stay hydrated immediately after the massage and throughout the night and the next day to help your body process the benefits.

Hydration is not just about water intake, it is also about hydrating your skin. Sometimes the massage oils are really hydrating for your skin, so taking a shower beforehand both relaxes you and takes that extra chore off of your plate, while allowing you to get your skin moisturized.

Do Aid the Debloat

A primary purpose of a massage is debloating and detoxification. During a massage, your cells release waste and toxins into your bloodstream, which your body then excretes. To efficiently remove these wastes, ask your massage specialist to massage your lower abdomen area, where you normally hold bloat. That will stimulate and relax the critical muscles.

Slim young woman lying on massage table under white towels while masseuse massaging her abdomen

Also, consider drinking senna root-based tea like Smooth Move or taking a colon supplement (consult your doctor first). I have tried and consistently gone back to Dr. Tobias’ colon cleanse, although you can peruse the reviews yourself! Let’s just say this is another good reason not to make big plans for the following day.

The TMI ends here, but this was necessary information to help you debloat and actively feel fitter after a massage.


By following these do’s and don’ts, you can ensure that your massage is not only relaxing but also a worthwhile investment in your health and well-being.

*Note that any massage or bodywork should not be perceived by me as a substitute for medical examination, diagnosis, or treatment and that you should consult a physician, chiropractor, or other qualified medical specialist for any mental or physical condition that that you are aware of. Before trying any supplement, you should also conduct with a physician or qualified medical specialist to ensure that you are aware of possible adverse side effects or contraindications.

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