After your massage, you can extend that floaty, dreamy feeling using the protocol outlined below.

‡ Take a short walk after your massage to incorporate all the changes that have taken place in your body. Swing your arms, swing your hips and otherwise note the differences you may feel in your body. Enjoy the new flexibility you may feel, but do take care not to overstretch.

‡ Drink water: up to 2 glasses an hour for four hours after receiving the massage.

‡  Be gentle with your body in the first 24 to 48 hours post-massage. I like to tell people, "No headbanging," just in case a rock show is in their immediate future. Your body may feel unusually loose but wait for it to settle into this new state before doing yoga, as well. The muscles have just been stretched and opened and they can be injured by further deep stretching within 24hours.

‡ Get a good night's sleep to help integrate and heal the body after a massage.

‡ Use hydrotherapy, or hot and cold water to keep things moving. You might try taking a hot bath and bring along a bowl of ice cubes to melt onto sore spots in your neck, shoulders or forearms.. For the brave and hearty, a hot and cold shower is very effective: while in a very warm shower, turn the hot water off and focus the cold water on any sore areas for a few seconds (try to count to 10!) then quickly change the temperature back to warm. Repeat two or three times. 

**Avoid using a hot pad on any area for more than 10 minutes or you risk inflamming that area. Do NOT use heat on an inflammed injury.

‡ Use ice or ice packs on any muscles where you may experience discomfort post-massage to help reduce inflammation. Ice is good for a number of reasons: it numbs the area, slows the transmission of Substance P (the pain neurotransmitter), and reduces inflammation thus allowing for more mobility. Take care not to use ice on ligaments (the connective tissue within joints) as it is not helpful to reduce circulation in the joints. 

‡ Call your massage therapist if you experience pain after the massage. It is normal to be slightly sore in areas where a lot of work has been performed but it is not normal to be in pain post-massage. The therapist may be able to recommend specific stretches or techniques for you, or ask you to come in for a gratis follow up session or refer you on to another health practitioner, as may be indicated.