by Mari Perez-Lewis
In our time together, I will be educating you about the benefits of body work, particularly massage and other body treatments that make you feel and look better. In this first posting, I will review the therapeutic benefits of massage, one of the most popular and beneficial services in the spa world. Research shows the benefits to massage are numerous, and I’m certain if you understood these benefits you would choose to make massage a regular part of your health regimen.
As compelling as massage research is, I believe there’s something more to why this treatment is so popular. I read the article below and was quickly reminded of why I became a massage therapist in the first place: “Mom’s hug revives baby that was pronounced dead”
Recall your last massage… think about how you felt laying face down on the massage table… the therapist makes first contact, placing their hands on your back, then up to your shoulders… you immediately feel the tension escape from your body and your mind finds peace… you breathe deeply, and embrace what every person instinctively craves since they day they were born, human touch.
Nurturing touch, both giving and receiving of which, is essential to human survival. Infants deprived of it will fail to thrive, even if they are given adequate nutrition. Elders become depressed due to the simple loss of being touched when then lose their partners. We comfort crying children by holding them, rub affected areas of our bodies when we are in pain, greet each other with handshakes and hugs. There is no other connection as powerful and universal as touch.
In the first few months of their lives, before they begin exploring their surroundings with their hands and feet, they depend on their parents, family and caregivers to give them that nurturing touch to help them develop. That need for touch is something we retain our entire lives. The power of touch triggers changes in the body that encourage healing and increases longevity. So the next time you’re on the massage table, remember that you’re not only having your tight muscles worked on, but you’re also communicating with your therapist on the most basic level. And yes, the therapeutic benefits of massage
are great (e.g. lowering blood pressure, decreasing stress levels, alleviating chronic ailments) – even the medical community is embracing and recommending this treatment as an alternative therapy – but all else aside, massage makes you feel good.
Get in touch with human touch!