Have you ever received a massage? Most of us have tried it at least once – especially women. Sometimes the experience is amazing and other times you are left feeling you should have just saved your money. Why is that? Because we all have different massage needs and benefit from different approaches. Communication with your massage therapist is key. Have a conversation beforehand and let him or her know what you like, if and where you are having pain and what you expect to get out of the experience. Once you establish that communication, you will begin to see these short- and long-term benefits:
- Relaxation. It comes as no surprise that our lives are busier than they have ever been. Working long hours, shuttling children here and there, taking care of our aging parents and trying to take of ourselves means we are juggling a lot of balls each day. And, unfortunately, taking care of ourselves using gets pushed on the backburner while we strive to take care of everything and everyone else. This leads to burnout, which is never good, so it’s important we make time for ourselves. Massage is a great way to do just that as it promotes relaxation and relieves stress.
- Pain Relief. Massage is great for alleviating pain you are experiencing. It’s common for people to experience pain in their shoulders and back as a result of carry heaving objects, sports, sitting or standing for long periods and even pregnancy. When you are experiencing pain, it tends to consume your thinking and makes it hard to focus on work or other daily tasks. Regular massage will loosen muscles and promote effective healing.
- Flexibility. Once those muscles are loosened up from the massage, it’s a great time to do additional stretches to help elongate them. Try this before a workout or sports activity too, even if it’s just targeted on specific areas of concern like the thighs or calves. It will warm you up before the physical exertion and help prevent injury.
- Better Circulation. During a massage, not only are your body tissues engaged, but so are your blood vessels. You may have noticed that massage strokes follow an upward direction. Blood vessels carry the blood throughout the body so this motion helps supply blood towards the heart. From there, your heart pumps the blood throughout different parts of your body. The blood cells carry oxygen so this promotes valuable oxygenation of the body as well.
- Ease Sleeplessness/Insomnia Sometimes, the occasional sleepless night occurs before a big presentation or event. Other times, pain can make it hard to sleep. Whatever the underlying reason for the inability to rest peacefully, massage can definitely help. As mentioned in 1 and 2, it promotes relaxation and pain relief, which will make getting those much needed Zs each night even easier. Our bodies need deep sleep to repair and rejuvenate. Without it we are prone to stress, illness and lack of concentration.
Whether it’s once a week or once a month, making time for a massage will benefit your overall health. I often recommend it to people who come in seeking assistance from our line of pain relief products. A multi-relief approach to any pain or stress issue will definitely accelerate healing.
Are you ready to add massage into your New Years pain management resolution?