What are the real benefits of massage and bodywork?Â
Well that depends, in some ways, on who you ask and what their particular area of expertise is.Â
A sports massage practitioner will tell you how beneficial massage can be in both preventing and recovering from injury and in assisting athletes to perform to the best of their ability.
An infant massage specialist will attest to the positive results of relieving colic, improving sleep patterns, releasing stress and tension, improving sensory awareness and promoting bonding between parent and baby.Â
A rolfer will explain how structural integration can help correct habitual patterns of misalignment in the head, shoulders, abdomen, pelvis and legs which, in turn, leads to improved health.
This is the beauty of massage therapy – as a healing modality it is a far cry from one size fits all.Â It is now possible to find a type of massage or bodywork to benefit each and everyone of us.
The benefits of massage and bodywork are also dependent on, and in many ways determined by the expectations or attitude of the recipient.Â By this I mean if someone believes massage is going to be good for them, they will more likely feel better as a result of a treatment than someone for whom the idea of massage is unappealing.Â
We are all familiar with the saying “reap what you sow”.Â It is true, you really do get out of life what you put into it.Â Approaching events and experiences in your daily life with a positive attitude will more likely bring about a positive and rewarding experience than going into something with the attitude that it’s going to be awful or that nothing good can come out of it.Â It’s hard – not impossible, but much more difficult – to produce something positive and beneficial out of a negative mindset.
So, with that in mind, you have the ability to benefit from a massage or bodywork session in whatever way you would like.Â All it takes is a little forethought on your part.Â Think aboutÂ making an appointmentÂ for a massage and what your goal might be for that session.Â Would you like to release tension in your neck and shoulders?Â Perhaps you have been experiencing some pain in your hips or legs.Â Maybe you would like a little timeout from all the demands on you.
And herein lies the true benefit of massage in my mind – by thinking about and focusing on giving your body some attention, you begin to take control over your health and wellness.Â This is empowering, enlightening and can onlyÂ lead to improved quality of life and health.
Massage and bodywork practitioners are, by nature, people who like to give – they are healers.Â They gain satisfaction and a sense of purpose and wellbeing by assisting other people in feeling better.Â They know how valuable the gift of positive touch can be and so they want others to experience that gift.
When you make an appointment for a massage or bodywork session, allow your practitioner to better assist you in achieving your goal by letting them know what you would like to work on.Â Remember, theyÂ want to help youÂ feel better, and they are more able to do that when they receive communication from you.
So……. reap the true benefits of massage therapy -Â which go way beyond skin or muscle deep!Â Get involved in your own healthcare.Â Be aware of what your body needs and wants.Â Involve and engage your practitioner so that he or she can best assist you.
You will soon notice improvement in all areas of your life.
That is the real benefit of massage!