Are you a massage addict?
Are you a massage addict? Don’t worry, you are not alone!
Many people love to get massages but are unsure of the true benefits and how to get the most from their sessions.
After working as a massage therapist for over a decade, I’ve spoken to many clients and prospective clients about the important, need to know information regarding massage therapy and it’s long term use for major health and wellness benefits.
I’ve narrowed it down to address the most common questions I get from people wanting to know more about this amazing therapy.
1. Massage therapy, like most natural therapies, requires consistency and time to reap benefits.
It would be fantastic to go in for a massage and come out feeling brand new but that isn’t always the case.
Our bodies create muscular imbalances over time, so naturally it will take some time to undo them. Some styles of bodywork can release chronic muscular holding patterns and benefit overall posture but it will take several weeks, months, or even years depending on what is going on.
Some therapists also make suggestions for home care or refer to additional health care providers so that your treatments will be more effective and last longer.
I always encourage my clients to make massage a regular self care habit to prevent pain and stress. Massage Therapy works best when it’s used as preventative care.
2. Massage therapy helps muscle tissue rest, repair, and recover after strenuous activity.
Not only does massage therapy feel good, it’s also a great option for a speedy recovery for people with muscular pain or athletes wanting to enhance their performance. Thinking that the only benefit to getting regular massage is feeling pampered severely underestimates this extremely effective natural therapy.
Regular massage adds to our quality of life by reducing everyday aches and pains that nag at us and consequently makes our stress levels rise.
3. There are many styles of massage therapy and every therapist is different.
It’s true, we all study different types of massage and have different skills that are unique to each individual.
While we all study the same basic massage foundations, some of us specialize in different areas. many therapists choose to study clinical styles of bodywork while others are passionate about relaxation and stress reduction. Some therapists choose to only use modern, Western techniques, while others enjoy ancient, Eastern styles of bodywork.
It’s best to ask around for a referral to someone that can be a good match for your specific needs. Luckily, massage therapists are very friendly and love to discuss their work so finding a good referral is pretty easy.
For example, you wouldn’t want to see a therapist who practices massage for relaxation if you need detailed work on specific muscles for pain relief from an injury. You’d want to see a clinical or medical massage therapist.
Whenever I hear someone complain about a massage they didn’t like, it’s usually because the intention of the session wasn’t clear to both parties from the beginning or they were seeing a therapist who’s style wasn’t a good fit for them.
4. We are the facilitators but you are the healer.
Massage therapists create space for our clients to rest and move their nervous system from it’s stress response in to it’s parasympathetic or “rest and digest” response. This is such an important switch to flip in order to set the stage for the real healer (your body) to come in and do the work.
When we are able to take a complete rest, surrender to what is, and just BE, miraculous things can happen. Our bodies can heal from many stress related dysfunctions, we can see the world more clearly, and we can make better decisions for our well being.
Massage therapists can only hold that space for our clients but we can not take credit for healing them.
The real healing of our mind/body relationship happens in it’s own time and when we as individuals are ready.