Hi, again! I hope this summer is treating you and yours well; mine has been full of bike rides and nice long walks around the neighborhood, the lakes in and around Columbia and the local parks. The other day, I bumped into a friend who asked me why I made massage a regular part of my self-care. A bunch of reasons came to mind but rather than rattle them all off, I tried to pick the one the meant the most to me. That started me wondering about what your answers would be because with so many different benefits and a variety of modalities (types of massage), every story is a bit different.
For me, it’s about maintenance. As a massage therapist and a writer, I tend to use my body in very different ways depending on what job I am doing. Keeping my muscles and my fascia (the wrappers around the muscles) mobile is a huge key to my physical comfort. As someone who has had challenges with anxiety and PTSD, receiving regular massage also goes a long way toward helping me stay in a good place mentally as well. The type of bodywork I choose depends on my goal for that session; luckily, we have a number of therapists and a wide variety of modalities so I can get exactly the kind of work that will most benefit me at the time. (For more info on services we offer, check out our Services Page.)
I asked our other massage therapists why they made massage a regular part of their self-care because it’s not just something we do because we can or because we should as MTs. “Massage replenishes me; I spend time caring for others and the stress reduction I feel with massage lets me keep providing the best care possible,” was one of the answers. That brings up a fantastic point that caregivers tend to forget or push aside: we cannot care for others if we don’t take care of ourselves. It’s that you-can’t-get-water-from-a-dry-well idea. Remember that self-care does not equal selfishness!
Pain relief was another reason and, as a lot of you know, that can make a huge impact on quality of life; when I first started getting massage in my mid-twenties, it was for pain relief and it made such a difference to how I felt that I ended up budgeting for massage therapy. Our practice offers a number of modalities that are an excellent way to address pain relief whether the cause of the pain is injury- or nerve-related, postural or structural. If you are scheduling for pain relief, be sure to talk to your therapist about it — every body and everyone’s pain is different. We want to be able to tailor your session to meet your needs!
For some of us, the benefits of table time go beyond the physical. Massage is a fantastic way to get alone time. In a hustle-and-bustle world where so many people find disconnecting to be a challenge, massage is a block of time when they are able to just BE. The body is not made to be constantly in a responsive or active state; the “rest and digest” state is necessary for recuperating and boosting your ability to rebound from stress. Think about how you feel after a quick nap on those days when you feel like you just can’t keep plowing ahead at full speed; it’s usually energizing and has been shown to improve productivity. Not sure about that? Check out what Forbes, Web MD, Mental Floss and the University of Michigan had to say on the subject of naps and the workplace! Now think how much more of a difference a massage would make!
Well, now you know a few of the reasons that we include massage as part of our wellness plans. Why do you get massage? Let us know in the comments below! Don’t forget to schedule your #MAssageTime; come in and let us make you a priority!