It’s so strange how we lose perception of whats truly important amongst the constant influx of information we have to sift through. If you’re anything like me you wince overtime your teenage daughter drops her iPhone and follow it up with “you need to take more care of these things they cost a fortune”. We accept the payments for phone insurance, car servicing and even dry cleaning suits because they cost so much we don’t want that investment to be broken. Yet when it comes to our health we see it as pure luxury. Mobile phones & cars are a necessity but health and happiness is a luxury! When you stop and think about that for a moment you realise how preposterous that belief system is.
Make no mistake, you are the most precious thing you will ever own. No technology or possession will ever be as worthwhile to you as your life is. So why do we not prioritise our health and happiness? No matter what the answer it’s time we reassess these priorities.
We all want to live happier, more fulfilling lives and one way to ensure that is by giving extra attention to our health. No you don’t need to dedicate your life to becoming the fittest athlete thats walked the earth. You just need to do more of the things that will help you fight disease, live longer & while your living experience less stress.
One way of doing this is by having a regular massage.
Do you “treat” yourself to massages? Should massages be considered a luxury or part of an overall wellness plan?
I used to look at massages as a luxury item, but I now look at them as part of my wellness plan. I know personally having just 1 massage per month over the summer has completely changed the way I viewed the treatment. Even though I have been a trained therapist for 14 years I still had that misconception that massage is pure luxury. I would even feel guilty for having a couple of hours off, away from the family to “self indulge”. The truth is the treatments have been a win-win. When I feel reinvigorated then my family benefit. My time with them isn’t wasted with me complaining about my back or how stressful my weeks been. I’m the best I could possibly feel and that is passed onto to everyone I meet. So the last Friday of the month I finish up teaching my last Yoga class and head off to get pummelled for an hour. I never lead the therapist, I trust them to do whats right for me and I can completely let go. Later that evening and over the weekend I feel like a new person. Not so much physically but emotionally & mentally too. Massage & specifically facia/acupressure massage has been proven to release accumulated mental and emotional stress. The basic principles of this new science can be understood with common sense. When your tired, down and emotionally fragile how does your body look? How does it feel? Your consciousness isn’t simply your thought process. It;s the accumulation of all biological feedback from your body. This leads us to say that the physical “tightness” & “nots” you have in the muscle can be connected to an emotional/mental cause and effect. So releasing the physical can lead to releasing the mental and emotional.
So What About You?
I know how difficult it can be to make time for a massage. As I’m booking my session, I question whether or not I really need it, could I be spending that money on something else, etc. And you know the horrible thing about this? I’m a massage therapist myself.
So I get why you might not get massaged as often as you should. The thing is, I never regret it afterwards, and consider it money well spent. There’s a new study coming out every few weeks or months now it seems, scientifically confirming what we’ve known intuitively for literally thousands of years – Massage shouldn’t be treated so much as a luxury, but as a part of one’s wellness plan, right alongside exercise and proper nutrition.
Here’s 5 Reason YOU should be booking a regular treatment.
1. Massage Reduces Anxiety and Stress
It’s said that the vast majority of diseases and their complications are brought on by anxiety and stress. Massage has been proven to lower cortisol levels (stress hormone) in the body while increasing levels of serotonin and dopamine, thus helping to alleviate the stress we suffer from day to day, and promoting perspective and clarity.
2. Massage Addresses Low Back Pain
Massage addresses a number of musculoskeletal issues, including lower back pain. We all have suffered from some form of back pain and while Yoga & fitness can improve the body no end I would still recommend hands on techniques. The hormonal & muscular systems can be affected and manipulated far greater by an experienced therapist. Stretching & strengthening alone doesn’t cut it.
3. Massage Enhances Immunity
Swedish and deep tissue massage promotes the movement of lymph, the body’s natural defense system.
4. Massage Reduces the Effects of Long Hours of Desk-Sitting and Driving
The most common responses I get when I ask clients what causes them the most pain are these two things. Either hours sat behind a desk or driving in the car. Even with the greatest will in the world your posture will slip causing shoulders to become pulled forward and rounded, upper and lower back muscles to become overstretched and weak, and that’s just what happens to the upper half of your body. Coupled with a regular exercise/yoga routine, massage can help alleviate pain, and keep those postural deviations in check.
5. Massage Helps Recovery & Treatment Of Injury
Whatever your current body care plan is, it will benefit from a massage. Crossfire, Hot Yoga, Running, you name it and I’ll tell you how a good therapist could help. The science behind exercise is that it’s during the recovery that the magic happens. Exercises simply breaks the body down causing the body to rebuild something stronger & better! Massage improves the recovery process and regular massage will help your body & mind create a cyclic pattern of release. A sports therapist could asses any injuries and create a treatment program thats specific to your needs.
There are lots of different therapists who each have their expertise and methodology. Never be affriad to question your therapist. Ask what they can do, how they are going to do it. The connection between therapist and patient is also very key to the effectiveness of the treatment and so don’t be shy to try a few different therapies out.