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4 Reasons to Make Massage a Top Priority

Updated: Oct 16

Many people rely on massage for both their physical and mental wellbeing. Yet when it becomes necessary to trim the budget, massage is often the first thing that gets eliminated. Tightening the belt can make caring for ones self feel self-indulgent, especially when people think about spending money on themselves that isn’t housing, food, or an immediate necessity like utilities.

But the truth is when we neglect to take care of our own needs, it creates more tension in our bodies due to stress. The effects of stress compound until they manifest into more serious physical and psychological ailments. So before you go cancel your standing Tuesday appointment, here are four reasons why massage should remain a high priority even during times of economic turbulence.

Decreases stress - Perhaps the greatest benefit of massage is its ability to decrease stress. Stress affects every system in the body. It is the root cause of many health issues, including cardiovascular, reproductive, endocrine, and immunity. When we are stressed, we experience physical symptoms that range from mild headaches or migraines to more serious health complications such as increased heart rate, high blood pressure, and digestive muscle spasms. It also wreaks havoc on both male and female reproductive systems.

However, the most dangerous side-effect of stress is how it affects the brain and central nervous system. Stress triggers the Sympathetic Nervous System (SNS) to release adrenaline, epinephrine, and cortisol via the adrenal glands. This is known as your fight-or-flight response and prepares the body for dangerous, short-term emergency situations. Although we are no longer at risk of being eaten by dinosaurs, the body still responds to stress in the same way. Once the immediate threat is over, the Parasympathetic Nervous System (PNS) kicks in to bring the body back to a relaxed state. A prolonged stress response fails to trigger the PNS to kick in and keeps the SNS in overdrive, causing your body’s systems to be in a constant state of activation and eventual failure. It also lowers your immune response, contributes to Adrenal Fatigue, and increases the risk of memory impairments like Alzheimer’s and Dementia.

Improves positive mental attitude - Studies have shown that massage helps reduces anxiety, fights depression, and increases your positive mental attitude towards life. Although having a positive mental attitude is more than just pretending the world is all sunshine and roses. It can be difficult to maintain that positivity during times of difficulty and uncertainty. But the benefits of decreasing stress and increasing mental well-being have been known to increase creativity and resourcefulness, which can help you see your way out of a particular situation in a way you didn’t see before.

Improves productivity - Did you know you can improve your productivity with as little as 10 minutes of massage? It’s true. It also helps improve cognitive function, allows you to think more clearly, concentrate better, and increase organizational skills, which can lead to higher productivity. The ability to concentrate alone is worth its weight in gold! Without good concentration, you’re more likely to take longer to complete a task, be prone to distractions, and be less likely to remember important information. Not to mention your co-workers will find you a more pleasant person to be around, which is why it’s important for everyone from CEOs to entry-level employees.

Improves sleep quality - If you’ve ever had difficulty getting to or staying asleep, or if you suffer from insomnia, you know how precious a good night's sleep can be. Not only does a good night’s sleep leave you feeling refreshed and more alert, sleep is also essential for regulating proper body and brain functions. Without quality or the proper amount of sleep, your circadian rhythm cannot reset. This can increase your risk of disease or chronic health conditions and, in extreme cases, can lead to organ failure.

Massage is perhaps one of the best forms of self-care to improve sleep quality. Regular massage can help manage chronic, muscular, and joint pain which is the main cause of sleep disruption not caused by a sleep disorder. It increases the production of serotonin, a precursor to melatonin which some people take synthetically to promote sleep.

Improves mobility and movement - I feel like this one is a given, but you know what they say about assumptions. Being in pain is no fun. And if you’re anything like me, when my hips ache or my back hurts, the last thing I want to do is move more. The truth is, this is when you need to move the most. Movement helps lubricate joints, keeps muscles from atrophying, and increases the production of dopamine, endorphins, and other neurotransmitters that carry chemical messages to the nervous system. Regular self-care stops pain from disrupting your life to the point where you want to just sit on the couch and watch more NetFlix, which, let’s be honest, is what got you in this mess, to begin with.

Now that we know all the ways in which regular massage can be beneficial, let’s look at some actions you can take to keep massage within the budget.

Less frequent sessions - I know everyone always wants more massage, not less, but if a weekly or bi-weekly session is going to break the bank, try booking a less frequent session. A regular monthly or every 6 weeks massage will have the same compounding benefits until you can resume your regular massage schedule. The important thing to remember is that you keep to a schedule. Even if that schedule has to be modified, the action of receiving massage regularly will continue to provide compounding benefits.

Bulk purchase - Purchase a number of sessions up-front. If you have the opportunity when cash flow isn’t an immediate issue, this can be a great way to stay on a regular schedule even when money is tight. Also, if you have the sessions ready and waiting to use, you’re more likely to book regular appointments.

Find savings in other places - This can be a somewhat controversial or triggering option, especially when you feel someone is telling you what to do with your money. I assure you that is not the case. Finding savings in other places in your budget can be as simple as canceling a recurring subscription you forgot about and no longer use, checking books out of the library instead of buying them, or meal planning to reduce food waste and lower your grocery bill. It’s all about creativity, which increases with regular massage. 😉

So many people deny themselves time to recharge. They say, “I’ll just live with it,” but is that living? Also, the longer you go without acknowledging and treating muscle or joint dysfunction, the more the body begins to compensate in other areas that cause even more pain and dysfunction.

For many of my clients, massage therapy started as a need to eliminate or reduce some kind of immediate or chronic physical pain and transitioned into a necessity that continues to provide them with many benefits that allows them to live a better quality of life. If you’re looking for help getting started or maintaining a regular massage routine, I’m here to help! You can book a session or a consultation if you have more questions.

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