How To Maintain The Benefits of Your Massage

We all understand massage feels great - for the most part (chronically stubborn muscles can take some extra coercing, with trigger point therapy), but I digress.  Massage is awesome, but how many times have you gone in for bodywork, felt great afterwards for a few days, then your issues creeps right back in?  I've had this happen too many times to count, and do you want to know why?  Because, as much as I am ashamed to admit it, I am NOT the best at maintaining my self-care routine.  BUT, when I am, the benefits from a massage can last for weeks!  Even months!

So what kind of things do I do to stretch out the benefits of massage?

  1.  Hydrate!
    For the love of all things holy, drink enough water, people.  Please.  Not only will your muscles thank you, but maintaining proper hydration is key to proper digestion, supporting the body's natural ability to detoxify and heal itself, clearing up brain fog or chronic tension headaches, among a slew of other amazing things.
     
  2. Stretch.
    Before you get out of bed EVERY DAY, pull your knees to your chest and give them a great big hug.  Stretch out one leg at a time, rolling your ankles one direction, then the other, and do the same thing with your arms.  Step out of bed and feel the floor supporting you,  Push down into the ground from your hips and streeeetch your arms up over head, really trying to touch the ceiling (side note: be cautious of any low hanging ceiling fans.  That smack on the hand will wake you up real fast.  Gently and SLOWLY (without throwing your hips out to one side) stretch your arms - still overhead - to one side, then the other.  This opens up your side body, and I swear, that is where most issues creep in from.

    Now go out into the world, and be amazing. 

    Whether you do yoga or just spend some time stretching while you're watching t.v., pretty please, do your part in taking care of your body.  STRETCH!
     
  3. JUST Notice Your Posture
    Do you sit with your chin dangerous close to touching your desk?  Do your lower back, glutes, and hips kill you when you try to stand up after sitting for a while?  Are you shoulders so rounded that it seems like they're trying to meet somewhere in the front?

    Adjusting your posture isn't as simple as "sit up straight" or "pull your shoulders back".  So please don't TRY to force your poor muscles into a position they haven't been in in over a decade.

    Our bodies are incredibly connected organisms that know exactly what they're supposed to be doing, if we listen!  Yeah, it might help to sit up straight and pull your shoulders back, HOWEVER, if you've been sitting like Quasimodo for the last 5 - 20 years, chances are you've got some muscles that are not going to take very kindly to you forcefully pulling against them with OTHER muscles that have become too weak to do their job properly.

    So NOTICE what your body feels like as your sit, stand, move in your habitual ways, and go back to #1 & #2 up there ^.