Getting ready for that first (or 40th) Zeel massage? Try taking the experience to the next level by creating your own in-home dream spa. Follow these simple tips and we’ll have all five of your senses relaxed, rejuvenated and ready to take on the world.
- Green: Green is reminiscent of the outdoors. It is restorative, mind-clearing, and is said to be the easiest on the eyes. Add a leafy green plant to any room to get started.
- Blue: Much like green, blue inspires serenity and tranquility.
- Pink: Strangely enough, there is a term in the psychology-world called “Passive Pink”. Light pink or even bubblegum pink wall paint was said to have been used to calm patients with anxiety. Born after 1981? Millennial Pink works very nicely and might be a little bit easier on the eyes.
Colors to stay away from:
- Red: Red inspires anger and hot-headedness. Steer clear.
- Orange and yellow: These colors inspire hyperactivity and energy. While they are certainly perfect to wear if you are hitting the gym, they aren’t quite right to set the mood for a Zeel appointment.
Lavender, lavender, lavender!
The International Journal of Neuroscience found that lavender is filled with of therapeutic properties. In a test that compared the effects of lavender aromatherapy with a number of other scents, adults who smelled lavender reported feeling more relaxed, more at ease, and less depressed.
Lavender-scented candles and/or essential oils are both fantastic ways to introduce lavender into a therapy session, and neither of these options will break the bank.
A study conducted by neuroscientists from Mindlab International recorded participants’ physiological responses to specific songs while solving complex puzzles. Based on the results, the scientists came up with the most relaxing songs. Some winners:
Marconi Union, “Weightless”, Airstream, “Electra”, DJ Shah, “Mellomaniac (Chillout Mix)” and Enya, “Watermark.”
Too modern for your tastes? Since the 7th century, the Shakuhachi Japanese Bamboo Flute has calmed nerves. Or consider Raindrops by Chopin. Canon in D The Elegance of Pachelbel, and Air on the G String by JS Bach if classical music is your preference.
More importantly, here’s what you shouldn’t listen to during a Zeel appointment. Your phone. Step away from the cell phone for just one hour. And yes, that includes texting. If you have young children try booking your massage after bedtime (therapists can come at late as 10:30pm) and if your children are a bit older, let them know that this is “you” time. In the words of my old-school mother, “I am not be bothered unless you or the house are on fire.”
Check out our deep dive on what to eat before and after a massage. Registered dietitian and nutrition expert Tracy Lockwood Beckerman shares her top five post-Zeel massage foods to eat and maintain your Zen for as long as possible.
Eucalyptus plants are a woody flowering tree or shrub that grows worldwide. When Eucalyptus oils and wood pulp are used in sheets, they can work wonders during a Zeel massage. The plant’s stringy fibers make fabrics that are lightweight, soft, silky, and breathable. As one report describes it, it’s “like sleeping on the cool side of a pillow” all night long.
Don’t see a sign for “Eucalyptus sheets” in the big box aisle? Look for brands with the words “Tencel Lyocell” on the label (i.e. Eucalyptus’s stage name in the bedding world)
(Popular sneaker brand Allbirds famously works the plant’s oils and wood pulp into the making of their shoes… and they’re flying off the racks for their record as one of the most comfortable pair of sneakers on the market.)
Remember, taking a one hour (or 90 minute) break from all the stressors of daily life (yes 3 kids, that includes you) allows us to relax and more importantly to recharge. Use all five senses to focus on what you have to tackle tomorrow and we promise, you’ll nail it.
Cristina Gallotto is a masters candidate at The Fletcher School at Tufts University. Previously, she was an Associate Producer with CBS News' award-winning news show, “60 Minutes” and a writer for WCVB-TV in Boston.