A great question was asked by Robin: “Do you have a tips for staying relaxed between massage sessions? I am, of course, very busy and find myself slouching over a laptop long hours at work.” Work (and life) can be stressful and while it’s really too bad that we can’t get a massage every day, we can find ways to reduce our stress and the stress on our bodies as we go through our days.
Self care and stress relief between sessions doesn’t have to be a big project, and can (and should!) be enjoyable. Sure, there are big things you can do, but there are also a lot of small things that can have big impact on keeping you in good space. Here are some ideas – pick one or two (or more, if you’re feeling ambitious, but don’t overwhelm yourself, that would be counterproductive!)
Most immediately, to beat that on the job stress: Take frequent breaks. Drink a glass of water, walk around, stretch. Breathe. Set a timer on your phone to remind you to get up every so often. It may feel like you are interrupting your work but you will actually be more productive if you get some blood flowing.
At home, I love the heat packs that you can put in the microwave. I have ordered some to have available for sale, both neck and back wraps so please let me know if you are interested in purchasing one. I also use and recommend topical analgesics, my personal favorites to use are Biofreeze and White Flower. I will also have these available for sale shortly.
You can perform self massage on your upper back with tennis balls by placing the tennis ball between your back and a wall, and moving around. When you find a knot, maintain a static hold there for 30-45 seconds. You can also purchase a foam roller (sporting goods) to use at home. Eventually I will have a section on my website with a collection of videos to demonstrate how to use the foam roller for various areas of the body but until then, you can find videos on youtube to help you out.
If you have a little more time on your hands, take a warm bath with Epsom salts. You can buy Epsom salts at any drugstore. Use two to four cups per bath, and stay in for a minimum of 12 minutes. This allows your body to absorb the magnesium in the salts, which is essential for many bodily processes, most importantly in our case, muscle relaxation.
And overall, try to make sure you stay hydrated and well fed. Exercise. Sleep well and enough. Make time for hobbies or pastimes that relieve stress for you. I love music, and will crank it up in the car as I drive and sing (don’t ride with me, your ears will regret it!) Maybe you like to draw, cook, dance, meditate, read, ride bikes… whatever it is, make sure you include it in your life! If it has been so long since you took down time that you have no idea what you like to do — think back to childhood, and what you liked to do then, and try some things! Coloring with crayons, anyone?
All these ideas can go a long way towards making sure you stay in the best condition between sessions.
Thanks for the great question Robin and thanks everyone for reading. I hope you found something in here that was useful. Let’s hear from you in the comments if there’s something you find helpful for staying relaxed between massage sessions, whether mentioned here or if I missed it.