Let It Linger
10 ways to make that post-massage feeling last
Aahhh. That hit the spot.
Like an ice cream cone on a hot day or a steaming cup of cocoa
on a cold one, the
benefits of massage can satisfy both physical and emotional
needs. But how frustrating it can be to feel your tension return
the moment you step outside the treatment room.
So, when you invest in your next massage, take steps to make
that post-massage feeling last as long as possible.
1. Schedule smartly. While getting a massage can be
a great way to spend a lunch hour, sometimes the beneficial effects
of a midday massage are instantly erased by a hectic workday. "I
realize sometimes you just have to fit one in when you can," says
Laura Allen, a massage therapist and author of A Massage
Therapist's Guide to Business andPlain and Simple
Guide to Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork Examinations. "But
I try to schedule my massage at the end of the day so I can go home
Allen suggests making your appointment for after work or on your
day off-when a noontime appointment is perfect. "That way, you
don't have to fall right back into your busy life," she says.
2. Pump down the volume. When you get into your car
after a massage, avoid loud rock music and opt for relaxing tunes,
Allen suggests. Skip the news, too. Stories about the economy can
raise your blood pressure - which you just spent an hour bringing
3. Watch your diet. "When you've just had a
massage, don't go and eat a heavy meal," Allen says. "Have
something light like veggie sticks." Heavy meals can make you feel
bloated and sluggish, rather than reenergized.
4. Stay hydrated. Some studies question the
benefits of drinking water after a massage, Allen acknowledges. But
most massage therapists still encourage hydration to help flush
waste and prevent next-day soreness. And at least for those first
few hours after a massage, avoid caffeine and alcohol, which are
5. Dress the part. Want to feel relaxed after your
massage? Bring comfortable clothing to change into. "People coming
from work might be in suits and heels," Allen says. "If you're
coming straight from work, bring along some sweat pants to change
into after your massage, so that comfortable feeling lasts a little
6. Invest in regular massage. Overextending
yourself financially won't leave you feeling relaxed no matter how
experienced your massage therapist is. With a Massage Envy
membership, your monthly massage
and spa services are affordable and accounted for. "It's easy
to waste money on frivolous things," Allen says. "Cut down on that
spending, and budget for a professional massage."
7. Avoid strenuous activity. Immediately after your
massage, take it easy. Forgo hiking and running in favor of yoga or
light stretching, Allen says.
8. Extend your "me" time. Schedule other
just-for-you appointments on the same day, Allen suggests. Schedule
your Massage Envy massage and facial back to back to relax a bit
9. Avoid stress. As much as possible, avoid
stressful situations before and after your massage. "If you know it
stresses you out to talk to your mother on the phone, don't talk to
her right before or after you get a massage," Allen says.
10. Keep it going. Want to keep that post-massage
feeling? "Go home, dim the lights, put on some nice music, rest and
relax," Allen says. "And treat yourself to a nice bubble bath."
- By Stephanie Conner
- Photos by Jeff Newton