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  • Karen Stoner, LMT

Massage Tips and Trivia: Luxury or For your health?

"Massage is often marketed as a luxury or a special treat, but it is actually beneficial to your basic health and wellbeing."

Most advertisements make massage seem like a luxurious treat, reserved only for special occasions or a time when you want to "treat yourself". While massages can be a special experience for a special time, it can also be very helpful for your overall health when made a regular part of your self-care routine. Massage never started out as a luxury, it's origins show that it was originally done by healers, mothers, and others who used it for medical purposes.

Many people see massage as a way of relieving stress, and all the issues that comes with it - tight muscles, especially around the neck and shoulders, restlessness, sleep deprivation, etc. Massage can absolutely take care of those issues when you just can't stand it anymore - but what if, knowing that you do have stresses in life, you didn't wait until things got bad, and instead made massage a routine to head off those issues before they get so bad, you just can't stand it? Stress isn't a once-a-lifetime thing. We experience stress and things that affect our bodies every day. Wether it is something not going right at work, to just how we function at work. Sit all day at a computer? Neck and shoulders will be sore from staring at the screen, but also low back from sitting all day. Alternately, are you on your feet all day? Feet, legs, and back from standing, but also what are you doing while standing? Lifting boxes, kids, moving things, carrying things - all cause issues. So those stresses all can cause body pain but they likely aren't going away anytime soon. Massage can help keep those "everyday" stressors and issues from building up until they are causing major issues. Stress isn't the only thing that affects the body on a daily basis that massage can help. Self-care for chronic conditions or healing old injuries can help those conditions from getting overwhelming and reduce the need for pain killers or possibly other medications.

While massage every day would be an amazing addition to a wellness routine, it doesn't need to be that frequent to do good. I recommend people receive even a short massage every 4-6 weeks just to keep anything from building up and becoming chronic. If there is a specific issue that needs to be addressed, more frequent and focused appointments may be needed until the situation gets under control, then we work towards 'backing off' and making the massages more regular to keep the condition from coming back or re-worsening.

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