5 Reasons To Make That Massage Appointment Now…
When was your last massage? Can’t remember? We get it. Life is really, really busy. Even the weeks and weekends you say are “free”, trying to make no formal commitments, things pop up – friends want to have dinner together. Your kids want to have a playdate with friends. Your significant other wants to have an adult dinner. Work emails pile up with lots of “dings” on your phone, and so much more!
But taking care of yourself is a necessity, too. You must take care of yourself so you can take care of others and be the person you are needed to be (spouse, parent, friend, employee, boss, etc.). And taking care of yourself can be getting to the gym, grabbing coffee with a friend, getting a pedicure, spending time washing your car (if you enjoy that…). It can also mean getting a massage. Wellness massage has many many health benefits, both short and long-term.
Massage can gently influence the flow of blood throughout the vascular system. Gentle Swedish strokes toward the heart help push blood through the blood vessels and support proper flow.
Along with improving circulation, gentle massage toward the heart also helps to support proper lymphatic flow. Our lymphatic system purges impurities from our bodies to keep our other systems and detoxification organs running efficiently. When its stagnant, we can have excess fluid in our tissues and have general feelings of dis-ease.
Management of stress
Stress is a part of life. Good stress (eustress) helps to keep us productive and provides stimulation to our brain. Bad stress (distress), acute or chronic, affects our bodies in a significant way. It increases our heart rate, increases our cortisol levels (our fight or flight response), tenses our muscles and makes us emotionally on-edge. When distress turns from short-term to long-term, it can be detrimental to our health and our bodies start to adapt – chronic muscle pain, chronic headaches or migraines, chronic upset stomach or intestinal issues. The list goes on and on. Massage not only gives you time to yourself to collect and relax your thoughts, but it literally wrings out all the tension in those muscles and decreases your nervous system’s response to the stress.
Headaches are a major pain (literally!), and they always come at a time that is least convenient for us. Usually at a time where we have work deadlines, kids screaming, significant others wanting attention, and the dog barking for food. Often times there just isn’t enough time in the day to get everything done. The stress of it all can cause our muscles to tighten and create tension headaches. These are usually due to trigger points in the neck, head and jaw – many trigger points refer pain to a “tension headache” area. If we manage our tight muscles regularly, the body will be less likely to tighten and create headaches when stress is high.
Doing something for yourself isn’t selfish. It’s self-care. In an age where we have to do everything *now* and the stress to be the best is found in every area of life, sometimes we just have to relax and let go. We have to take moments to enjoy things that make us happy. We also need to reflect on and reward ourselves for all the things we are accomplishing! In order to be your best person, you need to take care of yourself. It’s not a luxury, it’s a necessity for mental and emotional health.
Can you relate to any or all of these? I can too. Time to schedule that wellness massage. 🙂