Massage…A need or a luxury?
What kind of question is this? Massage is absolutely not a dang need! Why is this even a question? That’s a rhetorical question. I know why people talk about massage like it’s a need.
Other massage therapists like myself try to convince you that massage is absolutely necessary to living and the miracle cure for all disease and dysfunction, so that they can try and talk you into doing it on a regular basis because that’s our job. Every time I see or hear someone talking about how massage “isn’t a luxury” and “people really need it”, it really bothers me.
The truth. Massage is not and will not be necessary for you to live. It may not even be necessary for you to live a quality life as some would say as well. Plenty of people live happy, quality and fun lives and don’t get massages. However, if you are not living a happy, quality and fun filled life then something needs to change.
I’ve been a therapist for 9 years now and I’ve struggled with my job for a while. I struggled with it because I would have people come in for pain relief and they would walk out feeling better, but a few days to a week later they were right back in pain again. Because of this I had a lot of trouble talking to people about how great getting massage was and why they should get it all the time.
As a therapist it is sold to us that what we do helps people get rid of problems at their origin and it’s just not true. Which is weird that I say that because I am more sold on my ability to help people now than I ever have been in the past.
The real benefit of massage.
I got a massage 3 or so years ago by one of my therapists that completely gave me a paradigm shift.
I used to think that massage was good for helping people with stress and pain. And that’s what you will hear all the time. That’s what every therapist talks about. “Are you in pain” “Kids stressing you out? Massage can help” and then they go into all the details about the effects massage has on the body and the hormones that are released and dopemine hit you get and the endorphin’s that get released (which are your body’s natural pain killers by the way). Oh and don’t forget the Blah Blah Blah Blah. No one cares. I mean if they did then more than 14% of people would get them right?
Now I believe massage is really more about self care. It’s about making YOU a priority. It’s about being selfish. Which is why I believe most people don’t get massages or really do anything for themselves on a regular basis. There is a lot of guilty thinking that happens on my table. It’s so sold to us that putting everyone else’s needs first is the right thing to do. It’s so noble and your friend, family and peers applaud you for putting yourself last. “You’re always helping everyone else”. But I see right though you. I know you’re miserable. I know after 2 years of taking care of your mother you’re about to snap. I know if you’re kid wakes you up one more time in the middle of the night you might drown yourself in a bowl of cheerios. I know that if that difficult customer complains about one more thing you might lose your job because you’re going to jump over the counter. All of this is happening because you aren’t taking care of you.
The thought is simple and when I say it almost everyone agrees. “You take care of you first, so that you can take care of everyone else.”
After that massage I got on July 13th 2014 this was the experience I had. Stressed out. Not taking care of me. Always trying to get my therapists busier and working on the business, day and night. Didn’t get a massage for 6 months. Wasn’t eating good. Stopped exercising. Had almost no energy and was constantly irritable. Spent almost no time with my wife and kids and when I did. I was laying down on the couch tired, or not really focused on them at all.
I got that massage and it changed everything. I passed out during the massage (which I don’t normally like doing) and the next day I WAS BACK!!! I was energized, recharged and I was motivated again. I got more done in that next three days then I had in the previous 2 weeks.
I used to think massage was just good for pain and stress. But the real question is why is it important for you to not be in pain and to not be so stressed out? It’s different for everyone but my experience is this. I believe massage makes me a better Husband and better Father and better Business owner.
When I don’t come home stressed out and in pain I actually get off the couch and play with my kids. I Help my wife around the house and less irritable with her over stupid things.
When I am not stressed and in pain I am more focused on the tasks I need to accomplish. Guess what. When I get my work done then I am not thinking about it when I am with my family and friends.
When I am not stressed and in Pain I am more present with my clients and since I took care of my own needs I can focus on helping them with theirs. I can’t do that as effectively if I have a headache or my shoulder has been killing me all week.
The real benefit of massage comes from a change in mindset I believe. One where you start thinking of you first, But you do that because you want to really help people and really be there for the people you love. Not just wake up and go through the motions.
This is what exercise, eating better, drinking plenty of water and self care do for me. Just imagine what it can do for you.