Sauna Before or After Massage: Best Order for Optimal Benefits

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Are you wondering if you should go to the sauna before or after your massage?

Many people who care about staying healthy have talked about this, too.

In this blog post, we will clarify which one you should do first to get the most health benefits.

We’ll look at why saunas and massages are good for you, how doing them in a certain order can affect you, and finally, give you a straight answer to this popular question.

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Understanding the Benefits of a Sauna

Saunas are popular worldwide for their array of health benefits.

By exposing your body to high heat, saunas help induce sweating, which can aid detoxification, enhance skin health, and promote relaxation.

One study found that sauna has tremendous cardiovascular benefits including:

  • Men who attended a sauna session four or more times per week reduced their cardiovascular mortality rate by 50% and their risk of hypertension by 45% compared to those who attended one session per week
  • A single session of sauna bathing increased the expression of heat shock proteins by 50% and AMP-activated protein kinase by 33% in human skeletal muscle.
  • Two weeks of daily sauna sessions reduced systolic blood pressure by 10 mm Hg and systemic vascular resistance in patients with heart failure.

They can also improve cardiovascular health and provide relief from muscle and joint pain.

Related: Joe Rogan Sauna: Type, Routine, and Benefits

The Role of Massage in Health and Wellness

Massage therapy is a practice that dates back thousands of years. It helps relieve stress, reduce muscle tension, and improve blood circulation.

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Additionally, massages are known for promoting relaxation, enhancing mood, and even boosting immunity by stimulating lymph flow.

Sauna Before Massage: What Does the Science Say?

Taking a sauna before your massage has several advantages.

The heat from the sauna can help to relax your muscles, making them more receptive to the therapeutic touch of a massage.

This could potentially enhance the effects of the massage and make it more beneficial.

A pre-massage sauna session can also stimulate sweating, helping to cleanse the skin and open the pores.

This may enhance the absorption of massage oils or lotions, thereby enhancing their benefits.

Related: Why Don’t I Sweat in the Sauna?

Massage Before Sauna: The Pros

On the other hand, having your massage before hitting the sauna also has its merits.

A massage first can help loosen up your muscles and stimulate blood flow.

Then, following up with a sauna session can further promote relaxation and enhance detoxification.

Taking a sauna post-massage might also aid in flushing out any toxins or metabolic waste products released during the massage, promoting a deeper sense of wellness.

Related: What To Do After A Sauna to Optimize Health Benefits

The Verdict: Sauna Before or After Massage?

While both sequences have their benefits, most wellness experts suggest taking a sauna before a massage.

The sauna‘s heat can relax your muscles, making them more supple and responsive to the massage.

It can also open your pores, improving the absorption of massage oils for maximum benefit.

However, keep in mind that this largely depends on your personal preference and what makes you feel the best.


Whether you decide to have a sauna before or after your massage, remember that both activities offer significant health benefits.

It’s about choosing the sequence that makes you feel the most relaxed and rejuvenated.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How long should I wait between sauna and massage?

Typically, you should wait for about 15-30 minutes between sauna and massage. This gives your body time to cool down and your heart rate to return to normal.

Can I go straight from sauna to massage?

While it’s possible to go straight from sauna to massage, it’s recommended to give your body a brief rest period to cool down and stabilize.

Is it safe to use a sauna if I have health issues?

While saunas have numerous health benefits, if you have any pre-existing health conditions, especially cardiovascular or respiratory issues, it’s recommended to consult with a healthcare provider before using a sauna.

Can a massage help with muscle recovery after a workout?

Yes, a massage can help to reduce muscle tension, promote relaxation, and improve blood circulation, all of which can aid in muscle recovery post-workout.

Is it OK to go to sauna after massage?

Yes, it’s perfectly fine to use a sauna after a massage. In fact, it can help to enhance relaxation and further promote the detoxification process initiated by the massage.

Should you do lymphatic drainage massage before or after sauna?

Ideally, you should have a lymphatic drainage massage before going into the sauna. The massage can stimulate lymph flow, and the subsequent heat from the sauna can help to further promote lymphatic circulation and detoxification.

What should you not do before a sauna?

Before a sauna, avoid eating large meals, consuming alcohol, or doing intense workouts. It’s also important to make sure you’re well-hydrated.

Can you shower after sauna before massage?

Yes, you can and should shower after a sauna session and before a massage. Showering helps to rinse off sweat and prepare your skin for the massage, improving the absorption of massage oils.

Medical Advice Disclaimer


The information, including but not limited to text, graphics, images, and other material contained on this website, are for informational purposes only.

No material on this site is intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.

Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment before undertaking a new health care regimen, and never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.

About the Author

Drew Wilkins is a fitness and nutrition expert with a Master's in Biokinesiology (emphasis in Sports Science) from the University of Southern California and over a decade of experience as a personal trainer, nutrition consultant, and wellness coach. An avid surfer and soccer player, he brings a unique perspective to his research, advocating for a balanced approach to health that includes physical fitness, nutrition, and mental well-being.

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