Is your day full of deadlines and expectations?  What about the people, maybe smaller versions of yourself, which are depending on you to take care of their every need? In everyone’s day there are deadlines, long lines, stress, and even the unexpected that can throw another curveball into your tight schedule.  In addition to allowing some “you” time, a massage is a good way to relieve stress and provide relaxation.  So how do you know when it is time to schedule a message?

Feeling the funk. Relaxing and letting go for an hour can feel like a mini vacation.  Add in the benefit of a massage to work and relax the numerous muscles in your body and it can feel like a glorious mini vacation.  Studies have shown that getting a massage on a regular basis can boost your immune system.  In addition to stimulating your immune system, a massage releases endorphins that can help combat some of the effects of depression. A review of more than a dozen massage studies conducted by the Touch Research Institute at the University Of Miami School Of Medicine concludes that massage therapy relieves depression and anxiety by affecting the body’s biochemistry.

Pain in the neck. If you are having chronic neck, shoulder, or back pain you should seek the assistance of a medical doctor.  However if you work at a computer all day, there will be times that your neck and shoulders will get tight and start to hurt.  Maybe all your stress is depositing in your back muscles causing pain.  Visiting a massage therapist on a regular basis can help loosen those muscles.  By relieving the strain on these muscles, you can help to prevent long term damage that may need more than massage to alleviate.

Ache in the head.  Do you suffer from headaches?  23 million Americans suffer from migraines and can be caused by a wide spectrum of triggers.  In addition to migraine headaches, there are sinus headaches, cluster headaches, and tension headaches.  IF you suspect that your headache is being caused by anything other than daily stress, please consult your doctor before seeing your massage therapist.  Just like the stress in your muscles, a massage can help alleviate the stress or muscle strain that could be causing your headache.

Tummy trouble.  Your bowels have so many nerves that it is often referred to as the body’s second brain.  The actions and reactions of your bowels are directly affected by your mental state.  The more stress you have or are feeling the more sensitive your stomach is.  As with many other conditions, the less stress you feel, the less pain you feel. Massage releases the power of your body’s inner pain reliever: endorphins. When you receive massage, your autonomic nervous system is affected so pain signals are slowed or stopped. In short, massage calms things down.

Sleeplessness.  Our bodies heal and recover when we sleep. So what happens when we aren’t getting enough sleep?  Well… our bodies don’t heal.  And the stress gets worse.  When the stress gets worse, we have a harder time getting to or staying asleep.  Massages help promote relaxation and a release of stress and pain.  The less stress and pain the easier it is to sleep and allow the body to heal as it should.

Massages are intended to spur the body’s natural relaxation response.  So how do you know when it is time to schedule a massage?  When you are feeling stressed, overwhelmed, or just in need of a little “you” time.  You’re horizontal and you don’t have to do anything but enjoy an hour break from the mundane routines that propel and stress us in our overstimulated society.  Scheduling regular messages can help keep these symptoms and issues at bay and from becoming too overwhelming. So relax. Let go. And go get a massage.