One of the things I always get my dad for Father’s Day is a gift certificate for massage. He routinely gives it to my mom. That got me wondering how many other dads are doing the same thing, why and, of course, how to get my dad, who suffers from chronic back pain, to get on a massage table.
So, how many men are getting massage? Statistically, they are about sixteen percent less likely to get massage than women, according to a 2015 study* by the American Massage Therapy Association. Well, those numbers are up from past years so that’s a step in the right direction.
On the whole, about 52% of people getting massage do so for medical reasons - pain relief, soreness and injury are the most likely culprits - and another 33% of people are working on stress reduction*. I don’t know about yours but both of the dads in my life (my father and my husband) definitely fit into both of those categories.
What are some of the benefits of massage for men? It’s not surprising that they are actually the same benefits that anyone can receive from massage but now’s a great time to review them:
Pain relief — whether the pain is related to a recent injury or a long-term issue, massage can have a profound impact. Deep tissue massage — which should never hurt, by the way! — is good for working with specific muscle groups to aid in joint mobility, relief of chronic aches and pains, and to promote flexibility. Myofascial work involves applying gentle sustained pressure into the myofascial connective tissue to relieve restrictions, ease pain and restore motion. Craniosacral therapy (CST) is especially helpful with headaches, neck tension and TMJ disorder. When it comes to pain relief or management, our service menu provides a variety of excellent options!
Improved athletic performance — being active on a regular (or, for some of us, NOT so regular) basis is a stressor for the body; it’s beneficial, endorphin-generating and heart-healthy but still a stressor! Massage is a phenomenal way to not only address those little aches and pains that can come with an active lifestyle but also to prevent bigger issues. Ligaments are a great example of that; they anchor the muscle to a bone. If there is consistently too much load on them, they can rupture, either in part or completely. Think about a rope that is holding a large weight for a length of time; eventually, the rope begins to fray. Sports massage in particular can be helpful for anyone trying to improve their athletic performance!
Stress reduction — compassionate touch is the quickest way to communicate a “stand down - we’re not in danger” message to the nervous system. That message is, on a basic level, the root of stress. Swedish massage and Lomi Lomi (a Hawaiian style of massage) are fantastic choices for stress reduction and relaxation!
Now, how to talk to the dads in our lives about massage? That’s really up to each you but the information we just covered is a great place to start, even if you’ve talked to them before. In my case, that would be off and on since massage school. Sometimes, the people involved in the conversation just need to be in the right frame of mind!
Father’s Day is just around the corner - think about giving the dad in your life a gift certificate for massage. It’s the perfect way to say “I love you and appreciate you” and, for dads that aren’t already getting massage, it’s a fantastic way to start a conversation about the benefits of massage for men! Thanks for stopping by - we’ll see you again in a couple of weeks. For now, I’m going to go call my dad and talk about massage; I’ve already got his gift certificate and I’m really hoping this year he won’t give it to my mom!
To purchase a gift certificate, stop in or visit us online!