Make it Last! Squeeze the Most Out of Your Massage

By: StacyAtZeel

Stretching is just one way you can maximize the effect of your massage!Stretching is just one way you can maximize the effect of your massage!Not long ago, we spoke with valued Zeel Expert Rogelio Medina - founder of the Organization of Massage Therapy Professionals (OMTP) - about the importance of choosing a qualified bodyworker. (You can read the blog in its entirety here.)

Even the best massage sessions can be jeopardized by making less than ideal decisions after it's over. Planning on heading straight back to the office? Bad idea. Is there a chance you'll be sitting in traffic? Even worse idea. Did you schedule your toughest workout of the week for that evening? Perhaps the worst idea of all!

At the end of the day, the quality of your massage may actually rely just as heavily on the measures you take following your session as on the skills of the therapist. Rogelio tips us off to five secrets for prolonging that sense of relief long after a session is over.

1. Stretch. Perform specific stretches that can be done throughout the day and at work. Not all stretches require a yoga mat and a dance studio's worth of space. If you're not sure what kinds of stretches are best for your muscles' particular needs, ask! A qualified massage therapist will be knowledgeable in these areas-and willing to dish out advice.

2. Utilize self-care tools. As many massage therapists will tell you, self-care techniques offer simple and affordable means for maintaining the outcome of a session. Rogelio suggests the Thera-Cane to work specific knots on the tops of the shoulders and in between shoulder blades; the Jacknobber II for spot-specific work; and any old head massager for a little noggin' relief.

3. Biofreeze. Head over to your nearest pharmacy and pick up a bottle of Biofreeze pain relieving gel. Apply as recommended by your therapist to keep your aches and pains in check following your massage.

4. Office supplies. Can't avoid the call of duty? Rogelio understands that many of his clients have no option but to head back to work after their session. If that's the case, he recommends the use of ergonomically correct equipment such as keyboards, mouses and chairs. Consider it an investment in your long-term health!

5. Relax! Be sure to incorporate some "me time" into the hours and days following your massage. That doesn't necessarily mean booking a cabin in the woods (though if you have the time and funds, then hey, why the heck not)? Rogelio keeps it much simpler. He says, pour a glass of wine; soak in a muscle-easing bath; turn on some relaxing music.