If you aren’t a regular massage client, you’re probably thinking: Of course massage is about pampering! And, yes, that’s partially true: Massage offers time away from life’s chaotic interludes, the type of relaxation you probably only get away from home, and even—yes—some good old fashioned pampering.
But that’s not all there is to it and I, for one, am committed to dispelling this all-too-pervasive myth.
Massage, it turns out, has a slew of health benefits, ones that might just make you happier, too. So, before you chalk massage up to something made for the super wealthy or the elite, consider the following benefits of massage and how they might impact your life positively:
- Massage Improves Circulation – Circulation? Who cares about circulation?! You do, actually (I hope so, at least). Poor circulation can lead to a number of very serious health conditions. Good circulation can improve everything from the health of your skin and internal organs to the appearance of those pesky little spider veins.
- Massage Has Been Shown to Lessen Pain – Recent studies indicate that massage, when appropriately applied, can significantly decrease chronic and acute pain. Whether you have pain from a condition like migraines or you recently ran a marathon and are feeling a little sore, massage might help.
- Massage Has Been Shown to Decrease Stress – Really, it has. And not just because you are out of the house, away from bills and screaming children, but because massage releases a series of hormones that keep you happy and stress-free.
- Massage Just Might Keep You Sane – I know, I know. I’m being a bit hyperbolic here, but the point is that all of the aforementioned and the occasional much-deserved hour to yourself can have remarkable effects on your life and—yes—your emotional sanity.
When we are busy (and especially when the economy is suffering), pampering ourselves can seem counterintuitive. I get that. Still, the benefits of massage are so numerous that I implore you to think of the pampering aspect of massage as a secondary benefit. It’s a benefit we like, of course, but it doesn’t have to take front and center stage in your willingness to book an appointment. In other words, you shouldn’t feel guilty for it. Pampering is NOT a dirty word.
I like to think of massage in the same way I think of education. I’m a graduate student, so school and I have a very longstanding relationship. I go to school because of the knowledge and critical thinking skills it affords me. It just so happens that it also affords me an opportunity to socialize with like-minded folk (all nerdy about the very same subjects as me!). If I felt guilty for looking forward to the socializing I get to do in class (well, after class) and decided that fact makes school too “fun” to be worth my time and money, I’d be doing myself a disservice. I don’t know about you, but I’m not in the business of selling myself short in life.
The moral of the story: Don’t shove the idea of massage to the side because you happen to know that you will (or that you already do) like it. Yes, pampering is one of the benefits massage has to offer, but the health benefits that massage offers are far more pertinent to your overall well-being. So, get a massage because it is good for you, and enjoy it because it just plain feels phenomenal!