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  • Karen Stoner, LMT

4 Signs that you need to schedule a massage

4 signs you need a massage

1. You can’t shake feelings of stress and anxiety

Short Answer: Stress is a part of life, but when you feel like the stress just won’t completely go away, or things have you on edge and you can’t settle it down, you may need to take some time for yourself and get a massage to quiet and calm your mind.

More details: Unfortunately, stress and anxiety are part of life, but there are many things we can do to try and relieve it. Sometimes the only way to get out of your head is to spend some time with just your own mind, and getting a massage can help that. Getting a massage not only helps you relax your body, it can let you have some quiet, meditative time with your own thoughts, which can help you calm some of the stress and anxiety. Massage can also help encourage your body to release hormones such as dopamine, serotonin, and endorphins which counteract the cortisol and adrenaline that your body produces when you are stressed.

4 signs you need a massage

2. You are having trouble sleeping

Short answer: Insomnia can cause the horrible cycle of: can’t sleep > stress over not sleeping > not sleeping because of stress. Massage can calm your Central Nervous System and help stimulate the glands and organs that produce sleep hormones.

More details: Massage can help calm the CNS which allows the body to relax and fall asleep better. It can also stimulate organs and glands that release hormones such as the pineal gland which releases melatonin, which is the primary hormone that helps you sleep. Regular massage can help all organs and hormone-releasing glands work more functionally and regularly to help you body be able to release it's issues at the end of the day and help you sleep. Of course massage can also help relax muscles and relieve any lingering aches and pains which also may be keeping you from being able to fall asleep. So if sleep is eluding you, that is definitely one of the signs that you need to schedule a massage.

4 reasons you need a massage

3. You sit at a desk all day

Short answer: Even if you have a good setup at your desk, the long hours of sitting and staring at a computer, answering a phone, or writing can take a toll on everything in your body from your neck and shoulders, to your hips and low back. Massage can help keep this chronic sitting pose from becoming a chronic pain condition.

More details: "Computer Back" is one of the most common complaints I hear when people come in for a massage. As much as we are aware that sitting hunched in front of a screen is not good for posture or overall wellness, the normal work day, schedules, and stress all negate that knowledge. After "computer back" as a complaint, the next most common thing I hear is "I hold all my stress in my neck and shoulders". Seems like many people who hold all their stress in their necks and shoulders also do a lot of sitting at desks as well. Coincidence? Upper body is not the only thing affected. Sitting in general for long periods of time can irritate the piriformis muscle, located in the low back/gluteal/hip area and that can cause pain throughout the lower body as well. Even if you have no choice how you sit at work, massage can help soften, stretch, and lengthen the muscles that get compacted and irritated from sitting at a desk and may help those issues not be so bad, or recover more quickly.

4 reasons you need a massage

4. You do any type of activity

Short answer: From marathon runners to carrying children up the stairs, our bodies are constantly in motion and our muscles can use the care and help. Massage can keep our bodies in top performing shape no matter how intense our activities may be.

More details: You don't have to be an elite athlete to need to take care of your body. Yes, athletes and those who do very physically demanding activities are more likely to have achy and sore muscles and need them taken care of, but in reality everyone moves, so everyone needs their bodies taken care of. This is why there are different modalities, or types, of massage. Athletes may need a different style and focus of a massage than a stressed out preschool teacher, but both of them move, use their muscles, and need to clear their heads to stay healthy and able to function.

4 reasons you need a massage

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