There are so many benefits to massage. Experiencing nurturing touch boosts us on many levels – emotionally, physically, mentally, spiritually – we feel we have permission to let go, rest and restore. This allows our body to do what comes naturally – heal and repair itself to prepare for new growth.
While this may feel like a luxury or a treat to have once or twice a year, studies show that regular massage can help to address ongoing conditions and, in combination with exercise, help you develop a more active and able body.
For example, government guidelines published in November last year advise GPs and other healthcare professionals to recommend massage to help ease lower back pain and sciatica in adults, as part of a treatment plan that includes exercise.
Part of my role as a holistic therapist is to offer aftercare – usually I suggest some stretches to try, though it could also include relaxation techniques or other therapies. I see the most sustainable results with clients who can put this into practice in between their regular sessions.
This shows me that, as the government guidelines suggest, massage is most effective in combination with other kinds of care. Then it can show some real long term, sustainable effects.
In the last few years I’ve learnt (and am still learning!) to be my own healthy lifestyle coach. I’ve tried many different kinds of nutrition, exercise, bodywork and skincare to find the things that really make my body sing and hum.
And it changes all the time. For the last nine months I’ve been doing high intensity circuits three times a week. Last month, something deeply shifted in my body chemistry and now I can’t do that kind of exercise, it actually feels painful! I find this so fascinating and shows me that loving my body is a living journey of listening and responding to what I need right now, and trusting my body to show me what it needs.
As human beings, we form habits easily. We know that there are habits that don’t help us live more fully. But there are those that do and the more we can bring healthy habits into our lives that become an integrate part of our lives, the more we will feel supported and loved and be able to live our potential.
Massage can be an occasional luxury in your life – and if it is, great! It will still benefit you. But if you want to bring in healthy habits that can support you to do more of what you love, monthly massage is one of the most loving things you can do for your body and soul.