Once upon a time there was a human with a high stress job, a hectic family life and just barely enough time to exercise their buns off in their spare time. The person created a body of high blood pressure, tight muscles, high shoulders, and inflammation. Regrettably, this person died early. We can all learn a lesson from this fictitious yet very realistic person by simply listening to our bodies and attending to their needs. In this article, I will explain some important reasons why regular massage therapy is an important process to whole body well-being. Relaxation is a process, not just a once-in-a-while activity. It is something we must practice on a regular ongoing basis- some of us more so than others.
How often should you get massage therapy? Well, your ability to relax and let go of unwanted stress and tension might determine the frequency of bodywork you should receive (given there are no chronic physical imbalances.) Generally, the “type A personalities are the hardest type of client to switch over into a relaxed state. These are the people that have a hard time letting go of the muscles that the therapist is working on. For these people, I recommend multiple activities throughout the day for relaxation including deep breathing and meditation. I like to use this very simple site for a quick guided (or not guided) meditation: www.Calm.com . I like to use this site for a more community-oriented meditation (join groups, see who is meditating over the world, has a social aspect if you wish) www.InsightTimer.com. For people with high stress and pain, or physiological imbalances in their bodies, I suggest several massages per month.
So many people are stressed or tense and just don’t know it! Clients come in to get work done on something that is painful (I call these areas “screamers.”) However, when they get on the table they say “oh, I had no idea my shoulders were so tense.” As a therapist who listens to her clients, I like to work on what is their number one concern. Unfortunately, many times there is not enough time to treat everything that is needed. I urge the client to follow up with their other imbalances (the “talking” or ” whispering” areas of the body.) If left untreated, it might be even more difficult to unwind the muscles and connective tissues in these areas. For such cases, a massage every 3-4 weeks should be ideal, given they are stretching and practice other relaxation methods on their own. Click here and here for a plethora of good stretches to try at home.
As you know, the body works in unison and is most happy and efficient in the state of homeostasis (perfect balance.) The musculoskeletal system talks to the nervous system which communicates with the endocrine (hormone) system which speaks to the brain and all feed back to one another to make us who we are. The chemistry and physiology of these interactions are intricate, long to explain and sometimes even mysterious. What I have observed in my 10 years of practice is that the person who receives therapy on a weekly basis tends to have higher immunity, increased vitality, and are the least depressed (click here for the study.)
Don’t feel guilty about getting massage! Massage is one of the oldest forms of healing and our bodies just unravel naturally when touched correctly. The benefits of bodywork are compounded when utilized as a frequent therapy. The more you get, the more you benefit. If you have had a massage from me, you know that it is something naturally healthful to all aspects of living. Talk to me about setting up a schedule this year and invest in yourself the time and budget to keep wellness in your life!