Regular therapeutic massage sessions offer significant benefits beyond the instant relaxation we enjoy. People who experience high levels of stress are likely to get sick more than others. Mix stress with lack of sleep and poor diet, and our body’s ability to naturally defend itself against bacteria and infection is seriously reduced.
Stress management is a key factor for anyone striving to reach a balanced lifestyle. Massage therapy has been proven to be one of the most effective ways for achieving stress relief. Research studies show massage therapy in fact boosts the body’s immune system, which can become compromised from prolonged periods of stress.
Jitka Frajbisova, LMT
The other day, a friend of mine told me about a recent visit to an acupuncturist. He felt that the experience was completely life changing: the excruciating back pain he had been experiencing, somehow vanished for a full three days. He became a true believer and was in the midst of seriously considering making an investment in regular treatments every week to effectively ‘heal and treat’ his back (acupuncture usually isn’t a one time treatment…it can often take several treatments to really make a permanent or long-term difference).
When I asked him what the treatment was like, he described the experience: the look and dimensions of the needles, the inability to itch or move, the sensations from the treatment, etc. He also conveyed the acupuncturist’s ‘post-op’ dos and don’ts, which surprisingly included no sex. More specifically, no sex for 3 days. Ouch. This was painful in a new and disturbing way. Was ‘no sex’ for three days every week really worth treating his back pain? Hmm, he wasn’t so sure, and neither was his girlfriend.
Whether or not you buy into the idea of strictly refraining from sex for three whole days after acupuncture, there are some guidelines worth following after alternative medicine (and Spa) treatments, be it acupuncture, or something more conventional, such as massage.:
- Rehydrate: During spa treatments, you often lose some water, release toxins and drain lymph nodes. In order to ‘flush’ away those toxins and replace lost water, drink a lot of fluids, namely H2O, for 24 hours post-treatment.
- Avoid Rigorous Activity: After a spa treatment, you are oven very relaxed. In order to adjust out of your deep relaxation and to avoid tensing up, stay relaxed and avoid overly strenuous, rigorous or exciting activities (this may be where the ‘no-sex’ rule fits in). That said, you probably can partake after 12 – 24 hours.
- Avoid Alcohol: As mentioned above, many treatments will release toxins into your system and cause you to lose some water. Avoid drinking alcohol for 24 hours to avoid further dehydration and intensified toxicity in your system.
- Eat Lightly: Eat a light meal or snack after your treatment to replenish. That said, avoid eating too much, as it may cause you to feel nauseous or sick.
- Resist the Shower: Although it might sound a little unhygienic, showering or washing your face immediately after a treatment isn’t recommended. In the case of acupuncture, waiting to shower 24 hours will help eliminate possible infection (remember, you just had needles stuck into your skin). If you had any other treatments that used essential oils, creams and/or botanicals, this will allow your skin to benefit and soak up the minerals and anti-oxidants longer.
No matter what, it is best to check with your therapist to know what is the best post treatment protocol for your specific treatment.
Have you ever heard of any other wacky ‘dos or don’ts’ for after your favorite spa treatment?
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