Self-Care Between Massage Sessions
Practice these self-care tips regularly to get the most out of your massage.
Stretch. If you are getting massage for pain and discomfort, stretching is essential for you. Frequency is more important than length of a stretching session. Try setting a reminder on your computer or phone to stretch for 2 minutes every hour or 5 minutes every two hours. Stretch whatever feels tight or uncomfortable to a “feel-good” position. Exhale as you stretch. Inhale as you return to a starting position. Ask your therapist about stretches for specific areas to include in your self-care.
Exercise regularly. Even very moderate exercise can help relieve muscle tension and improve your circulation; two benefits you may also notice after massage. Walking, gardening, golfing and tai chi are great ways to get your heart pumping and your muscles moving. People who get regular exercise typically feel better and are more optimistic.
Take time to relax. Change your schedule to include more down time, even if it’s only 15 minutes for deep breathing or a walk after work or during your lunch hour. Self-Care Tip: Enjoy some time in nature or a nice pot of tea with friends.
Deep breathing. We breathe too shallow most of the time. Deep breathing helps deliver more oxygen to our muscles and other cells while working tight muscles and this helps the body relax more easily. The trick is to work deep breathing into your routine — doing it for one day a week will not make much of a difference. Self-Care Tip: Try doing 5 minutes of deep breathing daily and see how you feel afterward.
Massage therapists do not diagnose medical conditions nor is this information intended to replace medical counsel. It is always advised to consult your physician first when you are seeking pain relief as there are many conditions with similar symptoms and some of them are life threatening and require medical attention.
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