As massage therapists, our clients often look to us for helpful hints on how to feel their best inside and out. Obviously, receiving massage is crucial. However, general wellness requires much more.

While this topic teeters between scope of practice and appropriate professional boundaries, suggesting to clients what you do for yourself is the safest way to ensure proper legal parameters.

Here are the top five tips you may suggest to clients that you should keep in mind for yourself.

1. Drink water.

Optimal hydration is imperative for overall wellness. A general guideline for measuring one’s optimal water intake is half one’s body weight in ounces (for example, 140 pounds = 70 ounces of water daily).

2. Healthy diet.

Whether vegetarian, pescetarian, carnivore or whatever diet fits your lifestyle, one’s wellness is built on what you take into your body. Hippocrates said it best, “Let thy food be thy medicine.”

3. Exercise.

Exercise of any kind keeps the body strong, the mind alert, stimulates body’s systems, and is great for stress relief. From tai chi and yoga to walking or boxing, pick activities you enjoy and commit to your wellness.

4. Self-care and personal accountability.

We cannot generally rely on any one outside person to take care of our every need or “fix us.” With that said, many bodyworkers are expected to work miracles in the hour or so they are with clients. Just as we prescribe them for our clients, Epsom salt baths, appropriate use of ice and heat, stretches, self-massage and so on are also crucial for optimal wellness.

5. Relax.

Unwind. Find your outlet. Stress has such a harsh effect on one’s body; unfortunately, it cannot be totally blocked from one’s life. However, there are a multitude of stress-relieving options, so whatever you choose, smile and enjoy.

Shannon Gilmartin is a certified massage therapist and certified massage cupping educator with A.C.E. Massage Cupping and TheraCupping LLC. For more information, visit www.shannongcmt.com and www.massagecupping.com.