Phuket massages are a sort of exercise. Your muscles and joints are worked hard by your masseuse, which gets your blood flowing. Anyone who has ever done a simple workout will know that it’s best to stretch before and after to minimise muscle stiffness. The same applies when you’re had a deep massage. Here are a few simple techniques you can do to make sure that you’re getting the optimum impact out of your visit to a Phuket spa. Remember not to push yourself too hard as that could cause injuries.
Standing arm pull and bend
Stood with good spine alignment (Ears over your shoulders, shoulders over your hips, hips over your ankles, knees relaxed), stretch your arms up over your head. Stretch each hand higher in turn, alternating between the two. Keeping your arms stretched, lean side to side. You’ll feel the stretch in your ribs and oblique muscles. If you want to make the stretch deeper, pull your right wrist as you bend left, and vice versa. Be careful not to push yourself too hard.
Slowly bend at the waist, letting your upper body dangle down, with your chin dropped to your chest so that your neck isn’t doing any work to hold up your head. You’re not trying to touch your toes – just let gravity decompress your spine. Slowly swaying side to side can help to release tension (which Phuket massages will already have helped do). Slowly and steadily stand back up straight, keeping your knees bent and leading the movement with your hips.
Lying on your back, hold one knee to your chest with clasped hands for about 30 to 60 seconds, then switch knee. You can deepen this stretch by pressing your knee into your hands to create resistance, but be careful with doing this as the knee hold is already quite a tough stretch for many people. You can vary this stretch by either moving your knee out to the side to open your hips, or pull it across over your other leg.
Get on all fours, with your back parallel to the ground, and breathe. On the inhale, drop your back towards the floor, like a cat does when it stretches. On the exhale, bow your spine up, folding your head down, like a cow grazing. Keep your hands and knees still on the ground throughout. Use the rhythm of your breathing to dictate how long you hold each stretch. This is particularly helpful if your Phuket massages often include Thai massage techniques, which can work the spine pretty hard.