A large majority of people think of massage as something optional or a treat for special occasions. Some people never consider it at all, thinking it’s something only wealthy people indulge in. That is completely false. Albeit, massage is more widely accepted and sought after than ever before with the advent of all of the massage schools out there… there are still lots of people who haven’t yet experienced a massage.
For those who haven’t tried massage because they think it’s sexual in nature, let me put your mind at ease. That is not the case. Therapeutic massage is specifically tailored for your sore, tight and achy muscles, with the goal being to make you feel relaxed, rejuvenated and refreshed. Also, the other most common worry is that you’ll be naked on the table. While you will undress in privacy, you will be lying under the sheet and not be exposed, no touching of the genitalia will occur either. OK GREAT. Now that we’ve gotten rid of the fears, let’s find out how massage can relieve your stress!
The power of touch cannot be understated. Most people never think of it, but touch is an automatic response to pain. Think about it for a moment, if you bump your elbow what’s the first thing you do? Rub it. If a baby cries what do you do? Pat the baby on the back, or rub their back. Why? Because it’s soothing.
While there’s both good stress and bad stress, I want to focus on bad stress for the purpose of this article. Did you know that stress related illnesses account for most of the non-productivity that occurs on the job, as well as for problems that affect people both personally and socially? Examples may be responding in an angry tone to a simple request, or having frequent outbursts.
Stress depletes the body’s supply of vitamins and minerals, so it makes us crave unhealthy foods, which leads to other health problems. Unmanaged stress also leads to chronic health conditions such as ulcers, anxiety, high blood pressure, heart disease, insomnia and others. However, the good news is there is a simple thing that you can do to limit the affects of negative stress, and that is… Get a Massage!
Simple human contact in a serene, calming environment with peaceful music will allow the mind and body to release the buildup of negative stressors. Massage done properly will make it feel as though you’ve lost 10 pounds of stress off your shoulders immediately. You’ll feel lighter and looser and you’ll marvel at how amazing you feel. As a matter of fact you’ll probably wonder what took you so long to try one.
Massage also helps improve mental clarity and focus. You know how sometimes you can read the same paragraph 10 times and still not know what it says or means? That’s because you are having trouble focusing. You’re tense, stressed and most likely obsessing over all of the other things that must get done, but after a massage your approach is different, your mind is clear. You’re brain feels engaged and ready to take on new assignments. It’s as though you feel “plugged in” again.
The funny thing about massage is you won’t know how much stress you were under until AFTER the massage. This is why it’s so difficult to get people to try it, because they don’t “think” they need it. But the reality is just about everyone can benefit from a massage. I recommend at minimum one massage every month, but bi-weekly would be awesome. It will keep you able to handle all of the crazy situations that come your way on a daily basis in a more controlled and healthy manner.
Do yourself a favor, if you’ve never had a massage. Try one. If you’ve had one and had a bad experience, give someone else a try and tell the massage therapist what you didn’t like about your first experience. Massage isn’t meant to be painful, so if it hurts please let the therapist know. Don’t just lay there and bear the pain while vowing secretly to never return. It’s all about communication. Now of course depending on the type of massage you ask for certain manipulations might be painful, but again, please communicate with your therapist and I’m sure you’ll have a wonderful, relaxing experience.
Now what are you waiting for? Find yourself a fabulous therapist and get rid of that stress starting today!