Are you a parent? An athlete? Maybe you work in an office, teach or perform a skilled trade. Whatever the case may be, if you are using your body, you can benefit from massage therapy.
This modality has been proven to reduce stress and anxiety, ease depression symptoms, reduce chronic pain, improve sleep and exercise performance, lower blood pressure and so much more.* Even physicians are on board with 59% of them strongly recommending massage therapy.**
Some of us have never received a professional massage and it can be stressful to think about being in a vulnerable position with a stranger. Hesitation could be because of body insecurities or touch history but a massage therapist is trained to handle these matters.
They will focus on correcting imbalances while respecting any boundaries you may have. I highly recommend seeking a massage therapist with an established reputation or getting a referral from a trusted friend.
If you would rather try massage on your own or cannot afford to see a therapist, there are many ways to experience the benefits of massage. Consider self-massage either by hand or with a tool.
Take the lacrosse ball. It’s simple, affordable and can be used in many ways. It can massage the foot by rolling it underneath; it can help release stubborn knots in larger muscles like the glutes by placing the ball on a chair, sitting on it and holding the position until the tension reduces.
What about that achy spot on your back between your scapula and spine? If you have a wall you’re in luck. Place the ball on the area of tension in your back and lean on the wall. With the ball between your back and the wall, you can either hold the position or slowly squat and come back up, rolling the ball over the tense muscles.
Foam rollers are also worth exploring and can be used on your whole body. Whatever method you choose, always consider your limitations before making a decision and learn to use tools properly to avoid injury.
The next time you’ve had a stressful day, skip the junk food and impulse buys. Opt for massage therapy instead. Whether you work on yourself or visit a professional massage therapist, your body will thank you.
*25 Reasons to Get a Massage – Amtamassage.org, **2017 AMTA Consumer Surveys – Amtamassage.org