You’ve just had a wonderful massage, and you go home feeling both relaxed and rejuvenated. But the next morning, you wake up with twinges of muscle soreness, maybe some fatigue, and you just don’t feel yourself. What happened? Chances are it’s the massage, and it’s perfectly OK.
Sometimes a “truth” is not what it seems. Take lactic acid. For years, many massage therapists have been taught that lactic acid can and should be flushed from the muscles of athletes after intense activity. This truism has been passed on to clients who have also accepted it as fact. Both therapist and client thus have established and perpetuated a mutual belief system that purging of lactic acid is not only necessary, but also efficiently accomplished with the assistance of massage. Some beliefs die hard.
For soreness, aches and pains associated with exercise, some people use muscle rubs (often medicinal-smelling), aspirin or other over-the-counter (OTC) pain relievers, while others just tough it out. These remedies can be quite costly, as well as having unpleasant side effects. Fortunately, these are not the only options. Herbs and their volatile aromatic oils — essential oils — can be useful in relieving the aches and pains of inflammation. These remedies are simple to make, effective, without side effects when properly used, and in the long run are much less costly than OTC remedies.