Cut down travel stress!

One word that has practically become synonymous with travel is STRESS. There can be any number of reasons why we end up finding ourselves, carry-ons and boarding pass in hand, sweat on the brow, crick in the neck, stressing about anything from making a connecting flight to childcare and work arrangements, an upcoming huge life event, and ‘Oh my gosh, did I remember to grab my cell phone charger?!?’


Whether you’re getting on a plane to take a relaxing second honeymoon sans-kids in a tropical paradise…  catching a connecting flight with your church group to do rewarding charity work for a community in need… hopping a long flight to your hometown to give tribute and bid a final farewell to a loved one, while hugging the ones you still can… working tirelessly on your laptop to finish a big project that is due five minutes after you land in The Big Apple… entertaining your cranky toddler and teething little one through a long layover on the way to meet Mickey and Minnie …jet-setting in style in first class to your best friend’s wedding in Europe… or crunched in coach with your family on a five-connection flight to Wisconsin, via New Mexico, to spend the holidays with your in-laws…  STRESS will find a way to follow you all the way through your journey and even to your destination if you let it, unless you have the tools and know-how to combat it.


This monthly blog will give me a space to keep you current on what products and items we as massage therapists at The Dragontree PDX, and I personally, love to use in the spa and recommend for clients who are seeking that extra bit of stress and tension relief before (and sometimes after, when that neck crick is still crick-ing) they fly. I’ll also help keep you up to date on what you can do to maintain lower stress levels while you travel, from the inside of your body out, such as stretching, self-care, and, of course, massage!


Which brings me to my absolute biggest tip for travelers; Drink… more… WATER!

It’s easy to forget in our normal day-to-day lives to adequately hydrate with water and herbal teas (sodas and energy drinks don’t count, not even diet!), so once you’ve given those final instructions on how to avoid burning the kitchen down to your housemates, dropped your car in Economy, and gotten through the security checkpoint, it’s even easier to forget to keep your body running at maximum efficiency with proper hydration. When we travel we come in contact with an infinitely larger amount of germs and allergens than in our regular daily lives, so our immune systems are being constantly inundated with even more new things to adapt to and destroy, which is quite the task when added on top of the all of the stresses that can come with traveling. Add in low levels of hydration in the body, and your immune system is left struggling to keep up the fight, the perfect storm for getting whatever that nice lady sitting next to you who keeps sneezing must have.


Experts say that our bodies are made up of approximately 60% water and, if you’re feeling thirsty, that’s one of the later signs of dehydration. It’s also worth noting that our muscles, and particularly our tendons and ligaments, are one of the last places water gets to in our bodies, so not drinking enough water while traveling can contribute to anything from catching a terrible cold before a big day in tulle and taffeta, to pulling a hamstring before a big day in spandex.


Drink double the amount of water you normally would for 24-48 hours before you travel, this will help jump-start your immune system and overall strength, and keep it up throughout your travels. True, you might have to get up to use the bathroom a few more times throughout your flight, but stretching your legs a little more, even on those short flights, is just a bonus. And if you forget your refillable water bottle, don’t worry, we’ve got you covered with our new stainless steel Dragontree water bottles for only $15. And the filtered water is, of course, on the house 😉

-Michele (Lead Therapist at Dragontree Airport)

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