If you’re a wife and mother, you’ve got a full time job; and if you do any part time work, too, then you’ve definitely got your hands full. While you may feel a certain level of pride in being able to handle anything, the superwoman syndrome can also wear on your nerves and cause your body to ache from inflamed muscles.
How do you get back your easy-breezy, carefree ways with all the chaos going on around you? Coffee with your friends and a few bouts of retail therapy may help, but then the relief quickly fades away as you walk into your next family emergency or firefighting role at your job.
Although a solution may seem to be wishful thinking, there is a way of restructuring mind and body, realigning all your scattered energies, and reinventing your life without learning how to meditate or going to a yoga studio.
It’s not a new solution, but one that has been under your nose all this time. It’s something you can easily have dismissed as unimportant.
The solution is to get a massage!
We’re not talking about asking your husband to give you a backrub—no, we’re talking about an expert in physiology reworking your misaligned muscles back into shape. Yes, we’re talking about getting a professional massage.
Why A Massage?
There is a common misconception that a professional massage is a form of pampering, akin to going to the hairdresser or getting your nails done by a manicurist. It’s often considered something that you do when you have some extra time and feel like being frivolous with your money.
Actually, massage is not the exclusive domain of spas and resorts, or something that you might be able to arrange on a cruise ship, it’s a serious form of alternative health care focused on restoring health and well-being.
The Many Benefits of Massage Therapy
Research on the efficacy of professional massage has shown that a massage can provide the following health benefits:
- It can relieve lower back pain by working on tight hips, hamstrings, and superficial back musculature like the trapezius and latissimus dorsi.
- It can improve range of motion by relieving the tension of tight, inflamed muscles in the neck and shoulders.
- It can heal tight muscles by improving circulation and increasing oxygenation and nutrients to cells, tissues, and vital organs.
- It can ease dependence on analgesics like Tylenol or other common painkillers by releasing endorphins and catecholamines. It’s great for curing headaches and relieving migraines. If you have headaches or migraines, it will remove headaches and relieve migraines.
- It can prevent flu and colds by improving your immune system because massage activates lymph flow, which is a filtering system used to keep your body healthy.
- It can help your muscles heal, tone, and strengthen.
- It can even help you look more beautiful as it stimulates the largest organ in your body—your skin. Improving skin circulation will improve skin health and beauty.
Many More Benefits
This is only a short list. Massage has also been proven effective in relieving all stress-related system, the harbinger behind most diseases, and it has even proven effective in relieving conditions as severe as asthma and arthritis.
Common Excuses to Avoid Massages
Although massage is good for you, many women find excuses for not getting one.
Here are a few common ones:
- “It’s too expensive.”
A doctor’s visit and buying prescription medication is far more expensive.
- “I don’t have time to go to a massage clinic.”
Massage therapists have portable massage tables that make it easy for them to travel to see clients. If you don’t want to leave the home–or can’t because of injury–sign up for a mobile massage.
- “I don’t believe it can help me.”
Unless you are in perfect health, then chances are this is simply not true.
- “I can’t afford to pamper myself.”
Although massage is often marketed as a spa treatment, in actuality it is a form of alternative health care.
- “I can just ask my husband to do it.”
There is a huge difference between someone trained in massage and someone who has not. It takes about 500 hours of hands on work to qualify as a massage therapist, during which time a student learns a great deal about human physiology.
In an article in Massage Today on the amount of training and education necessary to become a professional in this field, Christy Schumacher, NCTMB, says, “A typical massage graduate requires a period of professional practice and substantial continuing education to be qualified to practice in a clinical setting. Knowledge must be gained that includes assessment and proper documentation of functional pain, lifestyle and ranges of motion. Advanced understanding of pathology and kinesiology also is important.”
Good for the Mind
The mind is not separate from the body, and when you relieve the aches and pains of the body, you also get mental clarity and emotional relief.
A good massage can improve bad moods by indirectly relieving depression and anxiety. When your body feels good, your emotions automatically become more positive.
Interestingly enough, massage can also improve your relationship with your family and friends. When you’re in a good mood, the little things that irritated you will no longer bother you at all. You will become much more patient and family and friends will find it much easier to talk to you and share what’s going on with them.