As a licensed massage therapist, believing whole heartedly in the benefits of my chosen trade, I’ve recently been remiss in my own self-care. Last week, I enjoyed a long overdo massage session with one of my trusted massage therapists. Yes, that’s right… I have several massage professionals in my self-care toolkit.
It occurred to me during and after the session that I’ve never formally shared my favorite “by-product benefits” of massage therapy. Many benefits of massage are well known i.e. relaxation, increased circulation, pain relief, etc. For me, there’s much more. So here goes. My five fabulous additional upshots of the massage experience: Relax – Connect - Let Go - Listen - Remember. Before I dive in further, allow me a quick disclaimer. I am simply conveying my opinions regarding massage therapy and not implying it’s the only doorway to any of these results.
Beyond the obvious physical relaxation inherent in a massage therapy session lies a chance to allow your mind to relax. Sadly it's a rare event for some with minds set on constant spin cycle. The spin of one set of thoughts perpetuating more thoughts, ricocheting off of incoming ideas and multiplying into more and more thoughts, all operating like mini-cyclones in the fields of our conscious minds. Relief from this alone would be blessing enough. But wait...there's more.
Within massage lies the possibility of tuning-in to your body's amazing message system. Our body‘s are sending signals regularly: signals relating to (and about) strain, overuse, misuse, discomfort and pain. Amid a chaotic daily life these built-in, helpful and protective indicators become easy to dismiss and eventually ignore.
Once relaxed and tuned in to your body, an opportunity exists to release physical remnants of spent emotions from the recent (and possibly) distant past. Our body's store it all. Cleansing breaths made possible by a relaxed state paired with mindful intention available with connection to your body's indicators provides a perfect setting for letting go. A letting go of stress hormones trapped in your tissues from traumas big and small...a letting go of accumulated pockets of worry...a letting go of the effects of early programming (i.e. a need to do it all - or understand it all - or have it all). The releasing possibilities are endless. Just imagine.
Massage leads to relaxation and stillness. In my business, my mission is to assist you in reaching a state of wellness and stillness so you may hear the whisper of your own inner wisdom - your best compass in ANY situation. Building and strengthening the muscle that is “connecting to inner wisdom” is suited perfectly for meditation and journaling activities and massage provides a terrific complementary option for maintenance.
Within the stillness and relaxation of massage therapy rests a gift: a reminder of who you are...what you truly want...and, best of all, the hint that you can always start (or start again) right now. Offering a subtle gentle nudge toward the authentic wonderful you is perhaps my most cherished by-product of the services I provide.
It's your turn now delighted sage readers. What potentially underappreciated or unperceived benefits do you experience from massage therapy or your preferred style of bodywork? I’d love to hear about it.