Swedish massage techniques involve rubbing the muscles in long, gliding strokes that follow the direction of the blood as it is returning to the heart. As a result, it is not only one of the best types of massage for relaxing the entire body, but it also helps increase oxygen levels in the blood and improves one’s circulation and flexibility.

But as effective as Swedish massage can be, there are certain things you should avoid doing before your session if you want to enjoy the maximum benefits. Here are seven things you should avoid before getting a Swedish massage.

#1: Caffeinated Beverages

The main purpose of getting a Swedish massage for most people is to reach a higher level of relaxation. As a result, this type of massage is very popular among people who live stressful lives or work at demanding jobs. But it is also a common massage among athletes and those looking to improve their health, especially their circulation.

Since relaxation is the goal, one of the worst things you can do before attending your session is to drink beverages containing caffeine because caffeine is a natural stimulant. Caffeine will keep your body tense to the point that it will be fighting against your therapist. Instead of coffee, tea, soda, or energy drinks, stick to good old fashioned water on the day of your session if you want to have the most relaxing massage possible.

#2: Sunburn

Swedish massage involves working through the skin to have an effect on the muscles below. Should you stay out in the sun for two long and develop a suntan that covers a large portion of your back and shoulders, then the inflammation and irritation caused by the sunburn will make it practically impossible for you to receive an effective massage. If you have a bad sunburn, then you should reschedule your session for a later date.

#3: Large Meals

When you get a Swedish massage, your session will start with you laying on your stomach. As the therapist manipulates your muscles, pressure will be applied to your back and this will likewise apply pressure to your stomach and/or bladder. The last thing you want to do is eat a large meal before your session because you may feel bloated and uncomfortable or be forced to interrupt your massage to use the bathroom. If you must eat before your session, stick with a lighter meal.

#4: Body Lotions or Oils

Showering before you leave home or work for your massage session is always recommended and appreciated, but one thing you should avoid doing is applying any body lotions or oils after showering. Your massage therapist will use massage lotion or oil during the Swedish massage to help their hands glide along your skin. If you already have lotion or oil on your body prior to your massage, there’s always the risk that the two substances may not mix well.

#5: Rigorous Exercise

A lot of athletes may believe that getting a massage right after participating in rigorous exercise, like running a marathon or engaging in extreme sports, is the right thing to do to help relax their muscles. This is actually a bad idea. The reason is because your muscles are already going to be sore, so further manipulation will only make them feel worse. Instead, allow your body to rest for a couple of days after engaging in rigorous exercise, so your body will be more accepting of the massage.

#6: Topical Medications or Patches

If you are prescribed a topical medication by your physician, it is best not to apply it until after your Swedish massage session as the medication will be spread over your body instead of staying on the area it is intended to treat. Likewise, if you use performance tapes or patches, then you will be better served by leaving them off because your therapist will most likely avoid those areas during your massage, and in many cases, those are the areas that need the massage the most.

#7: Certain Medications

This one is different because it is not one to avoid if you are getting a massage. If you are in the type of pain that requires you to take pain medications or muscle relaxers, then instead of stopping your medication before your massage, you should take the medications as prescribed and reschedule your massage. This also applies to certain other medications, such as mood stabilizers and blood thinners. If you are concerned about how your medications may interact with your massage experience, simply contact your therapist’s office to discuss it with them before attending your scheduled session.

Schedule a Swedish Massage Session Today

If you want to enjoy true whole body relaxation, then Swedish massage is the type of massage that you will want to schedule. Just avoid the above seven things before your session and you’ll have the most rewarding experience.

After your session is over, your body may feel very calm, relaxed, and emotionally balanced. You may also feel tired as this can be a physiologic response to your body trying to rid itself of the toxins that were released after being trapped in your muscles. Drinking plenty of clear fluids after your Swedish massage will help your body get rid of those toxins.

To learn more about the Swedish massage treatments available at Birmingham Massage Couple or to schedule an appointment with one of our therapists, just give us a call today at 205-529-1516 or 205-381-1645, or book your Swedish massage session online.