Should you use the sauna before or after a massage?

Sauna and massage both come with several health benefits but is it a good idea to combine them both in one day? Is it better to use the sauna first and then have a massage? Or, is it more beneficial to have a massage first followed by the sauna? This article will answer these questions so that you can get the most benefit out of your sauna and massage pampering.

Can I have a massage and sauna on the same day?

First of all, let’s clarify whether it’s a good idea to combine both treatments, a massage and a sauna, in one day.

Both treatments will help your body relax but they do that in different ways. The sauna will help your whole body relax due to its heat and massage will relax your body by decreasing stress hormones and loosening tight muscles through touch.

You can easily have a massage and sauna on the same day if you like. There is no right or wrong and there is no evidence to suggest that having a massage and sauna on the same day will be in any way harmful to your body. Quite the opposite actually. By combining them both together you will get even more health benefits.

Should you do a sauna before or after the massage?

If you’ve ever been to a spa you will know that they offer sessions consisting of multiple treatments, including a sauna, steam room and a massage. You normally decide what type of massage you want and whether you want a whole-body massage, head massage, back massage, etc.

Typically, your spa day begins with a steam room and sauna and ends with a massage. But is this the best order of treatments? What do massage therapists say?

Many massage therapists agree that using a sauna before the massage is better than the other way around. That’s because a sauna warms up and stretches muscles, preparing them for massage therapy. The sauna also softens muscle tissue and when muscles are softer and already warm this allows the massage therapist to give you a deeper and more effective massage with less pain to tense areas.

Remember that the sauna will dehydrate you if you forget to drink water before, during and after the session. It’s important to stay hydrated to feel good but also to gain the most benefit out of both sauna and massage together.

What about the infrared sauna? Is it better to have a massage before or after?

The infrared sauna is different from traditional saunas as it heats the body from within by using special infrared heaters. There is no hot air or steam in the infrared sauna as the body simply absorbs the infrared light and is warmed directly. The muscle tissue still gets warm and softens in this type of sauna and like this, it gets ready for the massage therapy. So, the advice for the infrared sauna is the same: it is better to have a massage afterwards rather than before.

Steam sauna: before or after a massage?

A steam sauna is not much different from a dry sauna when it comes to getting your muscles ready for a massage. The steam sauna will also warm up and relax your muscles, relieving any tension and preparing your body for the massage afterwards. So, definitely have a steam sauna first and then the massage.