This month at IO, we focus on your travel wellness. In this second part, IO massage therapist Kelly shares her favorite strategies for keeping the body awake and refreshed on long trips.
Whether your cooped up on an airplane with a laptop, favorite show, manhandling kids, or all of the above there are aches and pains that come with staying in your small space on the plane. Beyond the basic must-haves (sleep masks, earplugs, neck pillow, even a foot hammock), Kelly brings a few carry-on add-ons to her feel great routine - especially if she’s going to be taking on jet lag at the end of the flight!
Bring a kit.
Kelly always packs a mobility kit with her. This pack includes a muscle roller stick, a trigger point ball and some resistance bands. The roller stick and trigger point ball are fantastic and easy to carry tools to keep her circulation moving in her muscles. And resistance bands are great for stretching her arms, legs and even back in the small space. And they are great to have at her destination for great stretches on the go.
Hard to imagine being able to do in-seat stretches? A good one is the chest opening stretch. Lead forward a bit, clasp your hands in the back and draw open the chest taking deep, cleansing breaths. Another one she loves is half moon pose. She clasps her hands above her head and leans from side to side (looking like a half moon). These stretches, combined with walking around whenever possible on the flight, will keep your blood moving!
Aromatherapy on the go.
Kelly always travels with her Lavender, Lemon and Peppermint essential oils. Peppermint oil has many uses but some are alleviates for upset stomach, can be used for muscle and joint tension and can give a little energy to help fatigue. Try putting a few drops on a washcloth when showering in your hotel room, hang it over the edge and let the steam and aroma do its work. Lavender oil is great for calming and relaxation. Put a few drops on your pillow case before bed and it’s also great for skin suffering from too much sun or irritations. Lemon essential oil is refreshing, detoxing, energizing and uplifting. Put a few drops into your water first thing in the morning or in your refreshment on the flight.
Hydrate. And then hydrate more.
Your body especially craves hydration during long travel. Every cell, tissue and organ in your body needs water to function properly. Your muscles and joints (and digestive system!) will feel better at the end of your flight if you can skip the sodas and alcohol. Instead? On board, ask for bottled water and either lemon or lime slices!
You’ll feel great.
Whether you are headed to vacation, business, or returning home, these smart (and simple) travel strategies of movement, circulation, restoration + hydration will have you feeling better than ever.
Kelly M is a massage therapist at IO Marin. She graduated from Sonoma college with an advanced body worker degree. When not practicing body work, Kelly enjoys travel, cooking, yoga and spending time with her family.