We all chant on January 1st. We write down goals and get ready to cross those dreams off our lists. Then as the weeks continue we slump back into our routines; taking kids to school, working, take out food and late dinners. That awake, spritely, feeling we felt in the beginning of the year is now just a memory, an emotion we try to emulate when running the kids to practices and afterschool activities. Now those plans to put your mental and physical health seem further than ever. But what if they didn’t have to be?
Mark Rapaport, MD conducted a study that monitored 53 healthy adults who got one of two “touch therapies”. The first the Swedish/Relaxation massage was found to decrease stress hormone levels and promote an increase in white blood cells, which contributes to the boosting of the immune system. The rest of the adults, who simply received a “light-touch” therapy were found to have higher stress levels and more physical health issues. The massages relieved both a mental and physical stress that the active adult is likely to have.
Massage has been known to lower blood pressure, as well as relieve stress. You are given a dark soothing room for sixty minutes. While you’re mentally shedding the stress and building back stability, your massage therapist is reliving your body of the left over tension we all carry, whether we notice it or not.
Now that your stress levels have begun to decrease, you can focus on sleep. Eight (on a good night) hours to yourself, to rebuild and recharge. Getting a massage can affect the delta waves in the brain, which is connected to deep sleep. You don’t necessarily have to sleep as long rather sleep more effectively.
With a busy schedule, and so many other people dependent on us, it is difficult to begin to think about putting sixty or so minutes aside for ourselves. But what if it would help you be more attentive to those who are dependent on you? Massage is one of the few activities that do not only benefit you but those around you. If you’re more alert and happy, your family and friends are sure to benefit. We all try to be the best versions of ourselves for the people we care about. Massage will nourish that mindset.
Getting massage lowers your doctors’ visits for back or other joint related issues. Seeing a massage therapist once a month will reduce pain and can also act as preventative care.
Instead of thinking of our resolutions to nourish our bodies and minds as a thing of the past, lets take that small step towards achieving that goal. It is sixty minutes to ourselves to relieve our psyche and tension, to become a more relaxed and happy partner, parent, and friend. Lets recognize that we must give to ourselves in order to give to others. And lets strive for a calmer and more centered year.