The Value of Massage Therapy
by Noelle Butski
When Jon asked to write a blog for Natural Therapy Wellness Center, I knew exactly what I wanted to write about…the value of massage. As a massage client for many years, I want to take a moment to dispel three common massage myths: massage is a luxury, massage does not have any real health benefits and massage is only for women.
More than a luxury?
Massage is not just a luxury. Now, I don’t deny that massage definitely feels like a luxury. Between the therapist working out the knots in my neck, the nice warm table and the soothing music it definitely feels like a decadent vacation from “the world”. But to relegate massage to only a luxury is really doing yourself a disservice. Massage is about self care. Just like exercise and eating right, massage should be part of your regular wellness routine. Why? Well that brings me to the second myth: massage does not have any health benefits.
There is nothing like massage to reduce stress. In fact, that is the main reason I started getting massages. At the time I was working full time, managing a household and attending grad school. Needless to say, stress was my middle name. I knew it wouldn’t be easy but I was to the point of being overwhelmed. A co-worker recommended that I get a massage to “relax” so I tried it. First one time, then once a quarter and eventually once a month. I found that by adding regular massage to my routine I was less stressed, I slept better and I was better equipped to handle the demands on my time. But don’t take my word for it. In a recent article from the Mayo Clinic, they noted that research indicates massage can help people with: anxiety, digestive disorders, fibromyalgia, headaches, insomnia related to stress, myofascial pain syndrome, soft tissue injuries/strains, sport injuries and temporomandibular joint pain. And that leads me to the last massage myth: massage is not for men.
Sure, when many think of massage they often think of “girl time” at a spa complete with mud masks and champagne. While that may be accurate, it is also incomplete. Because of the many health benefits massage offers, it is equally good for men as well as women. When I met my husband, he wasn’t convinced. For him it was something I should do with my friends for a day or weekend. However, I convinced him to try it as a way to manage his back pain. Guess what? He is now a true believer and no longer wants me to go without him!
Massage is more than a luxury for a special occasion. Because of its many health benefits, massage should be an integral part of anyone’s wellness plan.