Incorporating Massage Into Your Self-Care Routine Can Help You Meet Your Wellness Goals
It’s become a bit of a buzzword in recent years, but at Mindful Touch Massage & Spa, we have come to think of self-care as the foundation of a healthy lifestyle. With Self-Care Month currently going on, we have the opportunity to re-examine what we see as self-care to ensure our practices align with our wellness goals.
So what exactly is self-care? Let’s dive in and take a look.
Self-Care is Balance
Self-care is tending to and cultivating a life that has a firm foundation in an optimally functioning body, mind, and soul. To live this life as an optimally functioning organism, you must take the time to reflect, research, and understand what you need to be the best version of yourself, and then prioritize the mindsets, behaviors, and actions that align with your goal.
While sometimes that means indulging in the things that bring you peace and joy, self-care isn’t always bubble baths and chocolates. Sometimes it’s pushing yourself out of your comfort zone or doing that strenuous workout you’re putting off; other times, it is ensuring that you are balancing rest and relaxation and not overworking yourself.
Time and energy are finite, so to prioritize your wellness, you must learn to say no to the things that do not align. This is hard to do sometimes! Personally, it is a daily practice to check in with whether or not I am choosing the things that align with my values and health goals.
Massage as Self-Care
While we are celebrating self-care this month, I want to take a moment to remind you that regular massage therapy (i.e., at least once a month) is a powerful ally to your overall health and should be a part of your self-care/wellness plan.
Here are just a few reasons why:
Touch is a human need; studies have shown that touch is vital for mental health and social development. However, we live in a low-touch society experiencing a loneliness epidemic. Regular massage therapy has been shown to release feel-good endorphins in our brain - like oxytocin and serotonin - and can help individuals feel more at ease in their bodies. It can provide some relief for those who experience touch deprivation.
A study by Tiffany Field, Director of the Touch Research Institute, found that preterm newborns who received just three 15-minute touch therapy sessions daily for five to 10 days gained 47 percent more weight than premature infants who received standard medical treatment. This is a powerful example of how important and necessary human touch is.
Ideally, we would all be well connected and receive hugs and touches from our loved ones daily. Unfortunately, this is often not the case. However, receiving healthy touch in a safe, therapeutic environment with your licensed massage therapist can help reduce the adverse effects of touch deprivation.
Decreased Pain and Tension
Have you ever tried to complete tasks or be present for a loved one when you were tense and in pain? Do pain and tension keep you from enjoying the activities that feed your soul? Regular massage therapy can help reduce the tension and pain in your body by relaxing your muscles, tendons, and joints. Massage also helps increase blood flow, decreasing pain-causing inflammation in the muscles and joints.
We can all agree that less pain and tension equals greater wellness and well-being!
Regular massage therapy creates a feeling of relaxation in your body during your massage and helps your body learn to relax outside of the spa. During your massage session, your muscles create new memories that can be evoked as needed in the real world off the massage table; once your body and mind have learned to connect in this way, during times of tension, you will be more conscious of the feeling of tightness in your muscles and be able to relax your muscles intentionally.
Immune System Boost
The manipulation of your muscles during a massage helps to increase lymphatic flow in the body. Lymph helps move nutrients through the body and filters metabolic wastes. Some studies have shown that regular massage therapy increases lymphocytes, cells that help the immune system fight harmful substances.
Mindful Touch is Committed to Helping You Through Your Self-Care Journey
Committing to your self-care means prioritizing your health, and being the best version of yourself are important values to you. Putting this value into action means adopting lifestyle habits and practices that align with becoming an optimally functioning organism. Regular massage therapy (at least once per month) is just one of many lifestyle choices you can make to improve your health and wellness. At Mindful Touch, we are here to support and guide you through your wellness and self-care journey. Book a session with us today so you and your massage therapist can tailor a massage routine to your wellness and self-care goals.
The Governor has signed an executive order that allows massage therapy businesses to re-open this Friday at 5pm. Contrary to what seems to be popular belief, this is no easy task, and involves a certain amount of preparation, money, and many ethical considerations.Read More