Cramped seats barely big enough for a small adult. Stale, recycled airplane air. Dry eyes and skin. Water retention. But if you drink enough water, you’ll be tethered to the tiny restroom the whole flight and the target of scolding flight attendants.
They say to love the journey, not just the destination, but that’s hard when you’re traveling, whether on a plane, bus or car. Travel is fun, but it’s not comfortable. Often, it can be downright painful.
If you’ve arrived in Boulder and you’re feeling the aches and pains of travel, here are six ways to help undo the damage.
1. Get a massage.
In fact, book one before your departure so you know it’ll be waiting for you upon arrival.
Zeel makes that convenient. You can book a same-day massage to be delivered right to your hotel room (or door). You can also book a traveling chair massage through Spavia. If you’re with a group, this can be a convenient and quick way to reset everyone before the adventure ahead.
Need to focus on your back? Boulder Therapeutics offers massage therapy for back pain.
2. Take a yoga class.
A restorative yoga class can do wonders for your achy muscles, back and neck. Try Kaiut Yoga, a type of biomechanical yoga for the “modern lifestyle,” created by a chiropractor with a background in massage, hatha yoga and craniosacral and polarity therapies. This type of yoga is designed to undo the wear of modern activities and works the joints more than the muscles. The premise: This addresses the causes of bodily inefficiencies, not just the symptoms.
The Denver International Airport even offers private yoga studios called Yoga on the Fly. According to Yoga on the Fly, 67 percent of travelers say airports are stressful and 73 percent of people say yoga is a stress-reliever.
If you can’t make a class, do a free yoga class online, like “Yoga For Travel.”
Or simply spend a few minutes doing yoga postures to help undo plane pain. A few to try: upward-facing dog to open your chest and lengthen your spine; supine twist to help ease bloating and back pain; and cobbler pose to ease tight hips. You can even just put your feet up the wall and let gravity smooth out any water retention in your ankles.
3. Treat your spine.
So many of your pains emanate from your spine, and sitting in a cramped position (or worse, trying to sleep) on an airplane can wreck your neck. Sally Lewein-Gilbert is a local expert on spinal health. She is a certified practitioner and trainer of Spinal Reflex Therapy and the founder of Fitbak Systems, which not only takes care of your spine and neck, but also teaches you exercises to take home and do on your own to keep your body in alignment. Find her via Front Range Spinal Health. She has an office in Longmont and Boulder.
4. Get enough sleep.
It can be tempting to launch into your itinerary right when you arrive, but take it easy the first day. If you have a time-zone change, get on the local time immediately. This helps with jet lag.
Here are some more tips on how to get a good night’s sleep in Boulder: “Sleepless in Boulder: How to Sleep Better While Traveling.”
In addition, make sure you do what you can to adjust to the altitude. Here’s a guide to handling altitude sickness in the Mile High area.
5. Visit a chiropractor.
If you benefit from a little pop and adjustment back home, you’re in luck: Boulder’s got some great chiros. The Boulder Sports Clinic offers chiropractor services, among other treatments, like trigger point dry needling, laser therapy, Active Release Technique and more.
In fact, many of the treatments athletes receive for their sore muscles and to improve recovery can help you recovery from travel. Cryofusion in Boulder offers services to help with athletic recovery, chronic pain and joint inflammation using cryogenic therapy, Normatec compression, cupping, an infrared sauna and kinesiology taping. The compression treatment may be especially useful. It uses compressed air to massage your limbs (feet, hands, legs) and mobilize fluid.
Cryotherapy may also be beneficial, if you can handle the extreme low temps. It claims to decrease inflammation and treat tissue damage, increase cell rejuvenation and more.
6. Fill your lungs.
Airplane air just isn’t the same, and then the thin mountain air can leave you gasping. That’s where an oxygen bar can help you adjust. Tonic in downtown Boulder is the perfect stop for the newly landed traveler. Get an oxygen treatment and indulge in healthy snacks and raw desserts in a relaxed atmosphere. Tip back a potion-like herbal tonic and rehydrate yourself.