Self care has become a popular topic of discussion in recent years, and for good reason. It is an important part of everyone’s wellbeing, but were you aware of the benefits it can have for post-massage recovery? Soreness, stiffness, and results not lasting are some complaints heard from clients a few days post-massage. Most massage therapists would agree that proper care after treatment boosts muscle recovery and affects how long the results will last. Proper hydration and stretching are just a couple of the important things to do after a massage. Below are a few more post-massage self care tips you may not be aware of. 


The most common self care tip after a massage is to drink plenty of water. It is so common and repeated because this is the most important thing a client can do post-massage. It is recommended to drink at least half your body weight in ounces within the next 24 hrs of a massage. This will help prevent soreness that may occur after a deep tissue massage and helps flush out toxins that are released from muscles. If you are ever feeling sore post-massage, you are most likely dehydrated, and even a small amount of hydration can shift soreness levels.

Avoid alcohol and caffeine

Hydrating is one of the most important self care tips post-massage, and so it is important to avoid anything that could inhibit hydration levels during recovery. Massage dehydrates the muscle tissue due to the action encouraging soft tissues to expel water. Drinking too much caffeine or alcohol post-massage dehydrates you even further and can make soreness and stiffness worse.

Avoid strenuous activity or exercise

Usually, exercise is an excellent way to practice self care. After a massage, you’ll actually want to avoid heading to the gym for 12-24 hrs despite how good you may feel. This will actually revert muscles to a tense state and halt any post-massage benefits. Keeping the muscles in a relaxed state helps them recover and heal. It would be best to schedule a massage after a workout instead.

Don’t stay too still

Although relaxation is important for self-care after a massage, too much can have the opposite effect. Immediately going home and going to your desk or phone may not be the best idea. Try to perform any prescribed stretches the few hours post-massage, or go for a gentle walk to keep things moving without causing the muscles to work hard. It is a common misconception that staying still prevents body pain. However, movement actually prevents soreness, releases synovial fluid in the joints, and keeps blood circulating. 

Use heat or cold therapy

Using heat or cold, depending on the state of your muscle tissue, is a great self care option to utilize. For stiffened muscles, heat therapy is the best option. A sauna session, hot shower, or a heating pad post-massage are ways to use heat therapy. For swelling and inflammation, cold therapy is best. An ice pack is the easiest way to do cold therapy. Your massage therapist will recommend which form of therapy is best if necessary.

Keep a regular massage appointment

Booking a massage ahead of time based on the massage therapist’s recommendation is an essential self care practice as well. Making time for yourself and keeping a regular schedule will help prevent pain in the first place. Knowing the appointment is there will set your mind at ease. 

Self care post-massage is important to ensure results are lasting, and so the client feels their best after a session. Listening to your massage therapist and taking note of any recommendations they may have is the best way to know exactly what to do post-massage. Hydration, stretching, and being lightly active are some of the ways you can boost muscle recovery. And of course, keeping a regular massage appointment will set the mind at ease and ensure you will receive the care you need.

If you’re overdue for a massage, book an appointment with me HERE. And if have any questions about massage or self care tips, please email me at [email protected].


Is it normal to feel tired after a massage?

Yes, many people feel tired after their massage. Some even fall asleep during a massage. Your body transitions to a relaxed state and is working to recover muscles and flush out toxins. This is one of the reasons self care is so important post-massage.

How many days after a massage do you feel better?

Most people generally feel better about 1-3 days after a massage. This can depend on the reasons for your massage, although it is the hope to gradually feel better with multiple massage sessions if you are experiencing chronic pain. Massage is not always an immediate solution, continued self care and massage are essential to yielding and maintaining positive results.