To get the most out of your massage sessions, practice these self-care tips regularly.

  1. 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 up a reminder sound such as a chime on your computer to remind you to stretch for 2 minutes every hour or 5 minutes every two hours.

    *Follow this simple routine. Exhale as you stretch whatever feels tight or uncomfortable to a feel-good position, and inhale as you return to a starting position.

    Learn good stretching technique from photos of over 100 stretches in The Stretching Handbook.

  2. Exercise regularly.

    Even very moderate exercise can help relieve pent-up muscle tension and improve your circulation, two benefits you may have also noticed after massage. Walking, gardening, golfing, and tai chi are all ways to get your heart pumping and your muscles moving, and can also help shift your attention from your worries to relaxation and the enjoyment of life.

  3. 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 at lunch. Get away from chores on the weekend for a morning or afternoon to enjoy some time in nature or a pot of tea with friends.

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