One need only review the AMTA 2010 Massage Therapy Industry Fact Sheet to know that more people are turning to massage therapy not only for financial prosperity but for prosperity in their health as well. Each year more and more people are turning to private massage businesses to meet their health and well-being needs. From pain relief to injury recovery to stress management massage is helping people look better, feel better, and move better.
Regular exercise will help you look better and feel better, that is true! And you should exercise regularly as well as maintain a healthy diet. By adding regular massage with its immediate and lasting benefits you truly have a health/fitness regime targeted at keeping you feeling and acting younger.
- Lowered heart rate
- Pain reduction
- Decreased anxiety
- Faster recovery from injury (and sore muscle from working out)
- Greater flexibility
- Better mental attitude
On the preventative health front, massage can help to ward off illness through increased immune system support and improved sleep patterns. During the massage, our lymph system is aided in lymph exchange thus boosting our immune system. As lymph fluid is moved our body, in a heightened state of relaxation, is better able to eliminate toxins (via kidneys and colon).
As hours pass after the massage the body rids itself of those things that weigh it down and make us feel sluggish. When we gift to ourselves regular massage, we are actually developing, within our mind, body, and spirit, a healthy habit of relaxation. As we learn to relax on the table we also learn to relax off the table. Slowly, we begin to respond to stressors in our life differently and with less anxiety. Less stress, anxiety, and worry lead to better sleep and eventually improved sleep patterns.
Massage is often viewed as a luxury because it feels good, is revitalizing and costs more than a haircut or manicure. But just as a haircut or manicure is an investment in your well-being, massage is more so because of its wide reaching and long term health benefits. Massage is an investment in the future you.
Maybe you have considered massage but are fearful of the touch of a stranger. Please remember that a good therapist has only your best interest at heart. A good massage therapist should be able to talk openly and freely about your concerns, put you at ease and support your decision to try it or not. If you do decide to get a massage, do not limit yourself to just one massage from one therapist. Finding a massage therapist that is right for you is a process. Give yourself time to find your massage match because…massage matters.
Melissa Jarufe, LMT