Here's a frequently asked question: How often should you get massage? The simplest answer is, "as often as your budget allows." Any massage is better than no massage, but is "once in a while" enough?
If you don't have any specific goals in mind, absolutely. A monthly massage can be an excellent adjunct to your fitness and wellness routine, keeping you attuned to your body and helping you stay ahead of developing tightness or pain. It can keep you loose for the gym, and it can help you stay aware of your posture as you go through your work day. It's a good way of offering some self-directed kindness and having scheduled me-time.
Did you know that stress can hurt? Studies show that depression and anxiety can lower your pain threshold, potentially making minor aches and pains into major problems. If you've ever noticed your back pain getting worse when your job gets more stressful, you've seen this first hand. On top of that, a common symptom of mood and anxiety disorders is something called somatization, a phenomenon where the body produces physical symptoms (pain, stiffness, digestive problems) as a manifestation of stress.
This is very different from saying that your pain is "all in your head." The pain is real, and it's not something that you can just ignore, or think your way out of. Rather, it's a case where resolving your pain will also require you to deal with the psychological factors that are causing or exacerbating it.
Why professional massage therapy? Why not just get a back rub from a loved one, or use one of those neat massage chairs at the gym? Why get massage at all?
Let's start with that last question, because it's the easiest one to answer. You should get massage because it works. Studies show that regular massage is good for chronic pain, inflammation, mood, and anxiety. Much like an exercise regimen, massage has many subtle—and not-so-subtle—wellness benefits. If you've got a body and a nervous system, they can both benefit from massage.
But why professional massage therapy? Couldn't you get the same benefits from trading massage with a friend? To some extent, yes! I strongly encourage my clients to try self-massage, and to give and receive meaningful contact. This can positively influence BOTH parties, and it will almost certainly help with pain and mood. If everyone made this a regular tradition, the world would be a happier, healthier place.
Thinking about getting your first massage ever? You might be wondering what it will be like, and you may even be a little worried. A little pre-massage anxiety is normal for your first time, but it's not necessary :) Here's how it will go:
We know massage will make us move better and feel happier, but not everyone can make time for regular appointments. Luckily massage is great preventive care and it can have some instantly-gratifying results. Check out these 3 things massage can help you with right now.
The short answer is “No. Absolutely not.”
But the long answer is, well, much longer. This is one of the most frequently asked questions about massage and deserves some discussion.
Our legs do a lot for us. We use them all day, every day. Like other parts of our body they can get tired, overused, sore, and in need of some care.
Our legs take us where we want to go. They let us walk around to do what we need to do - even if it’s just to grab a snack from the kitchen.
Some jobs are physical and involve being on your feet a lot. If lifting and moving things are involved you use your legs to lift and haul them around. Job responsibilities can have repetitive actions than can overwork your muscles.
Almost a quarter of all adult Americans (24 percent) had a massage at least once in the last 12 months, and more than a third (34 percent) have received a massage in the last five years, according to a survey sponsored by the American Massage Therapy Association® (AMTA®).
While use of massage is growing, the reasons people are turning to massage therapy are also expanding. More and more, people recognize it as an important element of their overall health and wellness.
We usually don’t think about our feet. Until they hurt. We tend to take them for granted, but like other parts of our body they can get tired, overused, sore, and in need of some attention. When they start to hurt it can lead to many other problems.
When your feet hurt you don’t want to do much of anything. You just want to stay off of them. Your body likes to move, though. And your brain functions better when you are active. So foot pain can quickly lead to other issues.
Foot pain can cause other pain in your body. If your foot hurts, you change the way you stand, walk, and move. Those changes affect your legs. When your legs hurt, you make more changes in what you do, which affects your hips, then your back, then your neck.
Gripping a steering wheel. Working a trackpad or mouse. Hovering over keyboards. And stoves. And laundry. You get it.
We put our hands and forearms through an awful lot of stress every day. Squeezing and clenching and buckling and writing. All of it. And yet, when I start to massage a hand and forearm, I often hear, “Oh! I had no idea my arms were so sore!” It’s a common surprise, but not really a surprise.
They get sore. And when they get really overworked, we end up with carpal tunnel, tendonitis, trigger finger and a whole host of other issues.
The upside here: it’s pretty easy to massage your own hands and forearms. Here’s how: