MELT Massage is a massage and bodywork office in North Raleigh, NC.
Self-care is important so that you can keep your progress between massage appointments. The problem is that for many people, self-care isn’t high on the priority list. And that can be because of not understanding or believe the huge benefits self-care can offer. Or just not knowing what to do. Self-care between massage appointments involves simple practices and activities done consistently. The benefits of self-care may be subtle, but the effect accumulate like drips in a bucket. After a while, the self-care tips between massage appointments bucket starts to over flow with positive effects and healthy benefits.
4 Options for Self-Care Between Massage Appointments
Stretching is the King (or Queen) of self-care tips between massage appointments. Nearly every massage therapist will tell you about the importance of daily stretches for muscle health and pain management. Chiropractors, Yoga Educators, Acupuncturists, Physical Therapists, and other health care practitioners will also tout the need for stretching. And there is a reason for that; it works!
Consistent gentle stretching helps to maintain open, loose, and pliable muscle tissue. Open, pliable muscles have better blood and lymph circulation. And better circulation means better delivery of cellular nutrition and removal of metabolic waste. Stretching also helps to move the lymphatic system which is important since it doesn’t have it’s own pump like your cardiovascular system. If you need more reason to adopt a stretching routine check out 6 Reasons to Stretch Your Body
Mental stress and stress from daily activities slowly accumulate in the body. Gentle stretches helps to discharge muscle stress and tensions. Less tension in the body means a calmer mind and helps produce deeper sleep, which leads to the next self-care tip between massage appointments.
Get Enough Sleep
Quality sleep is essential for keeping your body in optimum health. It’s essential for mental health too. During sleep, the body refolds proteins in your brain and produces Human Growth Hormone which is important for your body’s tissue repair. Because of this and other reasons, sleep is crucial for discharging stress and tension. Studies have shown that a sleep deprived person takes up to 20% longer to do normal activities as well as being less cognitively fit to do them. Point blank: not getting enough sleep makes you less intelligent and slow.
Everyone seems to recommend 7-9 hours of sleep each night which sounds great. But the amount of sleep someone needs varies from individual to individual. With that in mind, sleep until your body is rested. The best way to find out your personal sleep needs is to go without an alarm clock for a while. The body will wake you up naturally when its rested. And lets debunk the idea that we are too busy to get enough sleep. People make time for the things that are important to them. And sleep should be urgently important. You can easily get to bed earlier by cutting off the TV an hour or two earlier, or spending less time on the Internet.
And “catching up on sleep” doesn’t work. So don’t think you can make up for staying up all night during the week by sleeping in on the weekends. So close the blackout curtains, turn on the humidifier and white noise machine, and get some shut-eye.
Exercise in the Morning
Exercise in general is a powerful and important self-care tip between massage appointments. It helps keep your muscles strong and flexible, its good for cardiovascular health, and it strengthens immunity. Exercise also destroys stress, anxiety, and feeling down. It also increases metabolic process in the body which helps with weight control, achieving recommended blood cholesterol, and promoting general health.
What happens during exercise physiology is complex. But in a nutshell your body produces a whole host of happy brain chemicals called endorphins. Endorphins have been shown to reduce the perception of pain sensation by the nervous system as well as giving participants positive sensations in the body. So (smart) exercise reduces what hurts in the body and magnifies what feels good in the body.
Why do I have to do it in the morning?
Morning exercise has a few benefits over afternoon or evening exercise. First of all, your workout is out of the way for the day and so you don’t have to stress about going to the gym after work. More importantly, exercise discharges built up stress in the body. So when stressful situations come up throughout the day, you’ve already taken a sort of “stress elixir” to help ward it off, thus keeping you more calm. It also gives twice as much energy as a cup of coffee. So you have more energy to use throughout your day, fewer things to stress about, and a nervous system ready to deal with stressors.
Exercise is a great self-care tip between massage appointments because it keeps you calmer, less stressed out, in less pain and discomfort, and all while enhancing good feelings in the body.
Find Stress Relieving Activities that Work for You
Stretching, getting good rest, and exercising are all excellent self-care tips between massage appointments that relieve stress, but they aren’t the only ones. People find stress relief in all sorts of different activities from dedicated meditation practice, to playing an instrument or listening to music, to knitting, or just hanging out with friends. And the list could go on forever.
You don’t have to do something because you read somewhere on the Internet about how great it is for stress relief or because your co-worker is doing it. The point is to find some activity that you look forward to doing and when you are doing that thing, it brings you some joy.
Need some Bodywork? MELT Massage provides superior massage therapy services in North Raleigh and the surrounding Triangle of NC. Get out of pain and start feeling better!