Homecare is a tailored guideline for clients to follow after having a massage treatment. The main reason
for homecare instructions, is to help the client recover from the treatment or injury they had treated. To help
reduce risks of re-injury, limit over-use or over-load and provide valuable support so that the effects of the
massage are beneficial and not stressful for your body. Depending on the type of treatment a patient has had
they may have a range of side effects like post massage soreness or fatigue. As a therapist it is our
responsibility to provide appropriate homecare to aid in the recover from the treatment. Just like working out at
the gym, our bodies go through a stage of inflammation and tissue healing. There are a few ways we can
impact that healing process and even speed it up.
- Fuel your Body– Now that we have shifted the body from the overworking sympathetic nervous system
( think Fight & Flight) to parasympathetic (Rest & Digest), your body is looking for nutrients to help
support itself in healing- So pack yourself a snack for right after your treatment, encase your blood
sugar is low and/or your feeling tired.
- Water Intake– During your massage your lymphatic and circulatory systems are engaged and you may
feel dehydrated or the urge to use the washroom right away. This is because your body wants to purge
by-products and excess fluids from your tissue to try and reduce the load on the system. Water also
helps rehydrate tissue that may have been restricted from tight muscles.
- Rest– Allows the clients body to recuperate and become accustomed to the changes in tension and
mobility. This includes a reduction is exercising for a short period after the treatment to avoid injury/re-
injury. (Go lighter for the next 12hours). Sleep is also a major component to rest. Making sure you don’t
have a lot on the go after a session, will allow you to enjoy the benefits of the massage for a longer
period of time.
- Application of Hydro/Thermotherapies– Warm or Hot – Epsom salt bath, hot compress, heating pad
or sauna- heat provides a relaxing effect and heals increase blood flow into an area. Cold or Cool- Pain
Reduction (Analgesic), decreases swelling, stimulates mood and wakefulness. Ice bath, cryotherapy,
ice pack, ice massage. Contrast Therapy- Consists of moving backing and forth from hot-cold-hot-cold,
usually for 30 sec- 1 min. This opens and closes the superficial blood vessels in the area, creating a
pumping action (Circulatory whip) that helps move excessive fluids away from swollen/inflamed tissue.
Contrast towels, immersion or hot/cold packs are some great ways to apply contrast.
- Self-stretching and/or Self-massage– These tools hep the client to engage with specific parts of their
bodies between treatments. May consist of stretches, foam rolling or ball acupressure, and
strength/conditioning exercises. Tailored to the client’s abilities to preform these tasks and will need to
be properly demonstrated to the therapist to make sure the client is preforming them correctly. This
method of engagement empowers the client to be able to maintain results and help relieve tension/pain