By Sue Shekut, Owner, Working Well Massage, Licensed Massage Therapist, Certified Wellness Coach, ACSM Personal Trainer
While I’ve been interviewing and setting up the new massage services at the Lincoln Park Wellness Club, I’ve been able to receive demo massages from a variety of talented massage therapists. And at the same time, I’ve been extremely aware of my own muscle issues and tension. As a massage therapist myself, I frequently feel my client’s tight muscles, work out muscle adhesions and try to educate them as best I can about proper body mechanics at work and how to stretch. But I myself find that, when times are stressful and my workload is intense, I don’t always have time to practice what I preach, exercise-wise. And that’s where massage therapy really saves me.
I don’t see massage therapy as a luxury these days. Without a few weekly chair massages and a table massage every other week, I would be in too much pain to function properly. When people tell me they can’t afford a massage, I think, I can’t afford to NOT get a massage. Massage therapy is part of my wellness routine. Just like drinking water, getting enough rest and exercising as much as I can, time permitting. But why is massage so important to me and why do I promote massage, not just at my own Working Well Massage locations, but in general?
1. Massage therapy offers me a few minutes or an hour of time that is just for me. I don’t have to answer emails texts or phone calls. I don’t have to talk to the massage therapist if I don’t want to. My massage time is devoted to me and my wellbeing. The rest of the week I may be working hard, attending to my own clients but My massage time is just that MY time!
2. When I’ve been recovering from muscle injury or chronic tension, I can try to work out the muscle tension myself, but even for an experienced massage therapist, it’s tough to work my own neck and shoulders!
3. For stress management, I can either hop a plane to somewhere warm and snorkel out in the ocean or I can go get a massage. Cheaper than a plane ticket, easier to do more frequently than a few times a year, and certainly less expensive!
4. I find that most massage therapists and certainly the ones I select to work at Working Well Massage locations, are warm, kind people. They care about my well being and my pain and they try to help me. I like my dentist too but even though he is super nice and tries not to hurt me, I don’t run to see him as often as I get a massage.
5. In our fast paced world, it’s s easy to lose touch with our physical bodies. I can spend hours in front of the computer and not move. I try not to but I know that many of my clients are in the same boat. When your job involves computer work, it’s difficult to get enough movement in during the day and it’s easier to forget that our bodies need movement and rest. On days I am computer bound, I tend to feel more muscle tension and even feel a little cranky. But within about 10 minutes of a good massage, my mood lifts, I feel less tension and I know I will feel much better at the end of my massage. And I do!
6. I am not an anti-Western medicine fanatic. I go to the doctor for my checkups, I get mammograms and take prescription drugs when needed. But I don’t tend to need a lot of prescription drugs. Due to my relatively healthy living habits, most of my pain tends to come from allergies or muscle aches and pains. So instead of taking a pill every day or needing frequent medical care, I get regular massages to help me manage the aches and pains of an active aging body.
There are many other reasons I get regular massage, but enough about me! What about you? Why do you receive massages? Tell us in your comments.
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