Today was finally massage day. I haven’t had one in about a month and a half and I was really in need of one. Not simply because I have slight back problems (as many of us do), I felt my muscles needed the extra relaxation since I started exercising 5-6 times a week (ChaLean Extreme!) in January. I think I kind of hurt my shoulder during weight training 2 months ago because you can hear it pop and grind when I move it. It’s weird, but it doesn’t hurt, so I’m not too worried. It’s just annoying. So anyway, today I wanted to spend some time sharing benefits of regular massages to convert some of you non-believers. It might sound like a spa day but it really should be seen as something more than that.
Reasons for getting regular massages:
- Stress relief – pretty obvious and main reason for getting massages for most people. They help you relax. It’s your personal “you” time – all of the attention is on you, your needs, and taking care of your aches and pains. You know you’re going to get all of those annoying knots out. You don’t have to worry about returning the favor (for those of us with significant others…). It’s “you” time and you get to enjoy it. Forget about all of the stresses of the day: what you did earlier in the day, what you have to do later, what’s on your to-do list… you let these things just float away as you close your eyes, listen to the calming ambient music, smell the relaxing scents in the room, and feel your aches and anxiety melt away.
- Helping anxiety and the blues – I started getting regular massages when I was diagnosed with panic disorder. I was anxious all the time and always on the edge. Any little thing could put me over the edge and into panic attack mode – it was scary. That was exactly a year ago. I bet I wouldn’t be considered as having panic disorder anymore, as I barely ever feel the effects of it but I’m sure that could be because of the massages as well as my avoidance of caffeine and getting adequate sleep. Massage helps you relieve stress (^) but it also works all of the muscles which tend to hold the most anxiety in your body, which for most people are the shoulders and neck. You’d be surprised how much a massage can do to help reduce anxiety. Also, during a massage you release endorphins and serotonin, the feel-good hormones and natural pain-killers, which make you naturally happier – and therefore fighting off those sad thoughts and feelings you might get sometimes.
- Improves circulation and lymphatic flow – after a massage we are always asked to drink plenty of water to stay adequately hydrated. All of the fluids in our body start flowing easier and more efficiently and start flushing out toxins faster, which requires us to help by hydrating.
- Post-workout recovery – massages should be especially frequent for those of us who exercise regularly (which, of course, should be ALL of us!). We break down the muscle tissue and exhaust our muscles during exercise and many people tend to overtrain themselves without even realizing it. During my massage, the masseuse told me my muscles are “tired” and that I should make sure not to overtrain them. Massages also reduce muscle soreness and stiffness. Flushing out of toxins is done by increased metabolic and oxidative processes. Massages also help prevent future injuries by leaving the body more relaxed, flexible and by increases the body’s range of motion.
- I tend to prefer male masseuses over female. My boyfriend prefers female. I find that females tend to be more rough, while men have the perfect touch – they know exactly the pressure to put on the body and they tend to listen to requests more effectively.
- Frequency of massages varies by how often you think you need it and how much you can afford. I try to get a massage once every month or so. Sometimes, it’s less than that, but it really varies. If you think you absolutely cannot afford to get a massage, think again – there are numerous daily deals websites which offer huge discounts on massages (and other services). That’s how I’ve been to so many masseuses. Hey, I am a college student, I live on a budget!
- Make sure you specify what type of massage you want. I always go for a Swedish massage which is a general “starter” massage. I’ve also had lymphatic massages before: those are focused on increasing the lymphatic flow in your body. I’ve gotten them as a part of a weight loss thing. I’ve had a medical massage before as well but it was way too painful for me. I think I am too fragile to try a deep tissue massage. My pain tolerance isn’t that high and I want to be able to relax during a massage not be in pain! I am curious to try a hot stone massage though.
Here are some daily deals websites which often offer massage services at discounted prices. They are really worth checking out. The massage I had today cost me only $22 and lasted 75 minutes! How’s that for a deal?
So I hope I convinced some of you to book a massage in the near future! You won’t be sorry!