Sometimes, when our minds succumb to a bout of self-pity for no apparent reason, except perhaps due to overexertion, we all need something to ground us back to reality. While spending time with my beloved family serves as a significant source of solace, there are two other activities that instantaneously restore my positive outlook.
Engaging in a brief session of Yin yoga never fails to redirect my focus to the present moment, relinquishing the hold of past regrets and future uncertainties. Through gentle stretches and deliberate slowing down, I immerse myself in the practice, placing emphasis on my breath and granting myself much-needed personal time. This ritual consistently uplifts my spirits, leaving me content, serene, and prepared to confront whatever the day may bring. When performed before bedtime, it even grants me a restful slumber akin to that of a peacefully dreaming infant.
Walking by the Water:
The act of walking itself fills me with energy and an improved sense of well-being. However, what truly elevates my mood is the opportunity to step out of my front door and within minutes find myself strolling along the water’s edge. It holds a unique allure for me, invoking a profound sense of gratitude that renders any minor troubles trivial and unworthy of dwelling upon. By the time I return home, I feel invigorated and on top of the world.
Life is an ever-present tapestry of challenges, yet possessing the tools to overcome or manage them makes a world of difference. So, what are your personal means of coping and flourishing amidst life’s tribulations?
Three years ago, Covid took over the world with a vengeance. Many of us had to navigate the changing landscape weekly, asking ourselves the eternal question, ‘Can I do this now? Is it safe?’ For me, it was a scary time, and I held back on many activities. Including having a regular massage.
I am a fully qualified massage therapist. I know that stress relief and relaxation are some of the many benefits of a massage. Yet I held back. It was simply another question I had to navigate in those uncertain times. For me it was easier to just not consider it.
This week I finally booked myself in for an hour’s massage at a new local place. To be honest, it was not the best massage I had ever had. But it was absolutely what I needed. I emerged feeling like a zombie on cloud nine, and that evening I slept like a log all night.
Let’s go deeper than just my experience. How can a massage session help you? What are the benefits?
We have used massage therapy for centuries to promote healing, relaxation, and overall well-being. From reducing stress and anxiety to relieving pain and improving circulation, massage therapy has a wide range of benefits that can improve your life in many ways.
Here are just a few of the ways your life can improve from regular massage therapy:
One of the most well-known benefits of massage therapy is its ability to relieve pain, whether acute or chronic. Massage therapy works by increasing blood flow to affected areas, which promotes healing and reduces inflammation. It also releases endorphins, which are natural painkillers that help to reduce pain and promote relaxation.
Reduce Stress and Anxiety
Another major benefit of massage therapy is its ability to reduce stress and anxiety levels. Not only has this therapy shown to reduce the levels of cortisol, a stress hormone, but it can also increase our feel good hormones, serotonin and dopamine. Overall, a massage can improve your mood and mental state and often lead to improved and deeper sleep.
Boost Immune System
Massage therapy can also boost your immune system. By stimulating lymphatic flow and promoting circulation, massage therapy can help improve immune function and reduce the risk of illness and infection.
Improve Posture and Alignment
By reducing muscle tension and promoting proper alignment, massage therapy can help correct postural imbalances, which can improve overall body alignment and reduce pain.
Increase Flexibility and Range of Motion
Tense muscles restrict normal movement. By reducing muscle tension and increasing flexibility, massage therapy can help improve range of motion and joint mobility.
Enhance Athletic Performance
By improving range of motion, reducing muscle tension, and promoting proper alignment, massage therapy can help enhance athletic performance and reduce the risk of injury.
Reduce Headaches and Migraines
Massage therapy can also help reduce the frequency and severity of headaches and migraines. By reducing muscle tension and promoting relaxation, massage therapy can help reduce the frequency and severity of tension headaches and migraines.
The benefits are many and wide reaching across so many aspects of your health. But the simplest, and sometimes the most important, is the mere touch of gentle hands moving across your body. In this age of our connectivity so often being across a screen, the enormous benefit of touch often gets neglected, yet it is a fundamental human need equally as important as water and food.
So next time you are feeling low or in pain, or indeed just want to be good to yourself, go book yourself in for a massage. You will benefit in more ways than you ever realise.