How do you view massage? Is this your treat to yourself every few months or is this a necessary part of your health?
I used to think that massage was that extra fluff or only in cases of pain but as I went further into the realm of massage I realized how important receiving regular massage really is for your health.
Here are my top reasons why EVERYONE should get massages regularly.
1. Managing stress and anxiety
Anytime someone fills out client paperwork for me, I always expect to see stress/anxiety marked on their intake. At today's pace of life everyone has stress or anxiety in their lives. So what exactly causes stress?
The human body was designed in response to danger which back in the day that could mean devastating climate changes, animal attacks on a village or fighting to protect your people. All of these put us in what is called fight or flight.
Even though we don't face many of these challenges today, the fight or flight response has evolved into digestion issues, chronic pain, and sleep deprivation . This response brings on higher levels of cortisol which suppresses our immune system and shoots our blood sugar up in order to keep our muscles ready for that fight or flight moment.
When you get a massage this increases oxytocin and serotonin levels which result in combating the stress. This also in turn helps lower blood pressure and puts you in a better mood.
2. Boost Immunity
Certain types of massage like Swedish and Lymphatic Drainage are lighter modalities that stimulate your lymphatic system.
Your lymphatic system involves tissues and organs that help remove waste, toxins and other unwanted materials in the body. Certain organs in the body like your spleen whose role is controlling the amount of red blood cells and blood storage it the body but also helping fight infection.
What this means exactly? These types of massages actually naturally boost your immune system!
3. Increase Athletic Performance
Even if you are not an athlete, anyone who works out regularly can improve their fitness goals with massage. Massage helps increase flexibility and range of motion. This could mean increasing the length in your quads shave off that extra second in a sprint or it may give you the depth you need to max out that squat.
On top of increasing those athletic gains it also helps in muscle recovery. Lactic acid is a byproduct of metabolism which is achieved through intense exercise and is what you know as soreness. Remember the Lymphatic System I mentioned earlier? Lactic acid would be considered a toxin build up in your muscles which therefore can be removed through massage.
4. Pain Management
Certain types of massage like Trigger Point, Myofascial Release and Deep Tissue can be very helpful in managing muscular and joint pain. These types of massage help break up adhesions which are essentially knots but in our facial system. Any tender, hot or stiff area can get released with these techniques and also help flush out the toxic build up in these areas.
When you get a massage regularly you will start to notice a difference in how your over all muscle tissue feels. The massage therapist is manipulating the tissue and over time can change the health of the tissue that is causing pain.
5. Increase Flexibility
As we age we start to lose certain capabilities that we used to, like flexibility. Flexibility is important in that the more flexible we are in our joints the less energy we exert through out our range of motion during activity. This over all will help prevent injury.
Stretching helps our muscle tissue by decreasing the resistance in our muscles during activity. This also increases blood flow and nutrients to muscles that may be deprived.
Invest in yourself by investing in your health!
Sure you can get many benefits from one massage here and there but the true value in bodywork is coming regularly. Taking the time to budget and schedule massages as a part of your self care regimen is not only a good practice for other healthy habits but its also looking out for your future wellness. Just because massage feels like you are getting pampered doesn't mean that it holds less importance to your well being.
Growing up my Dad would have me walk on his back as a form of massage. Who would have thought that today people would be seeking out my massage services just for that?
Ashiatsu is a form of massage that uses two parallel bars attached from the ceiling for the massage therapist to hold onto while using different parts of the foot to apply massage.
Ashiatsu is Western massage modality that has heavy influences in the Eastern hemisphere. The name Ashiatsu actually means “ foot pressure” in Japenese. Chavutti Thirumal is believed to be one of the earliest practices of Ashiatsu found in India. This ancient practice uses a generous amount of oil and one rope hanging from the ceiling as balance rather than two bars.
The long deep compressive strokes allow a lot of benefits for those who like deep tissue or sports massage but don’t be discouraged to try this if you prefer less pressure either. The depth is controlled by the Ashiatsu therapist and because the fluidity of the strokes provide wonderful circulation it mimics Swedish massage.
I personally find lots of benefits for athletes or those in chronic pain for a few reasons including:
This modality is also effective for those with back pain as well. The movements of the foot along with para spinals and lumbar region help to open up the intervertebral disc space which increases disc height. This allows the nucleus pulosus inside the disc to be more centrally aligned alleviating irritation of the spinal nerves and connective tissue along the spine.
Considerations Before Receiving Ashiatsu
Here is a list of contraindications - Reasons NOT to receive this style of massage.
Try Something New!
If you’re still intrigued by Ashiatsu or if the benefits resonate with you, I encourage you to schedule this ashi-awesome experience! Even if you are interested but slightly scared contact me to ask any questions that may help you experience a massage like no other.
For the month of April I am offering 10% off on your Ashiatsu experience which is a great chance to try something new.
Hope to see your faces soon!
After receiving a massage, your massage therapist will usually give you guidance on how to take care of yourself post massage. Some clients will listen attentively and take the advice while others may let it go in one ear and out the other.
Despite which one you may be , there is a reason your massage therapist gave you this advice. Lets find out why.
This is by far the number one self care advise you will hear from your massage therapist. Since about 60% of our body is made of water, it is apparent the body functions at optimal level being hydrated.
Just like a workout, massage dehydrates your muscles as they are being worked. The point in hydrating after a workout is to help muscles build healthy tissue and remove metabolic waste that may cause aches, pains, or soreness.
The same goes for massage. Drinking water after a massage helps with the removal of toxins or metabolic waste that may cause soreness and aches while also building healthy muscle tissue.
Epsom Salt Baths
This piece of advice serves 2 main purposes for the client. One is to continue the sens of relaxation and induce a deeper sleep that night but the other benefit is that it helps continue to flush out toxins in the body.
Epsom salt is magnesium sulfate which is a natural muscle relaxer and helps in detoxifying. Muscle relaxers are taken to help ease muscle tension and/or muscle pain so a massage therapist recommending an epsom salt bath to their client is to help prolong and promote the effects of pain relief after a massage.
After certain types of massage especially deeper modalities, stretching can be a very important part of recovery. Since a massage is similar to a workout in breaking down the muscle fibers, stretching afterwards helps the muscle fibers realign properly.
Being in proper alignment will help flush remaining toxins out of the body also reducing any post massage muscle pain.
The main duty of urination is to help the body rid any toxic waste that is being stored in the kidneys.
Since massage breaks down toxic build up in muscles and hydrating helps flush these toxins out, urinating compliments this process by removing those waste from the body completely.
Sometimes after a massage, a client may feel light headed or a little fuzzy due to being in a relaxed state while toxins are being broken down. Since massage stimulates circulation and the digestive system, a post massage snack can boost the electrolytes and nourish the body in the same way a post workout snack does.
Avoid Strenuous Activity
A massage is supposed to help relax and let the body recover from all the constant stress we take on throughout the day. Respect your body and allow it the proper time after a massage to rest.
Doing a hard workout or a strenuous activity after a massage can cause more aches and pains in the body or further an injury. It’s best to allow your body 24 hours of rest and recovery after receiving a massage.