I know, I know Massage Therapy is AMAZING! I agree it really is, life changing in fact but it isn't going to totally solve all of your body aches and pains while also transforming your stressed out mind. I love massage. It changed my life. In 2002 I had been working in a super busy medical facility providing patient care for years. I loved working with patients and was truly blessed with outstanding coworkers who taught me so much. In fact I pull from that knowledge even now and their influence has helped me become the therapist I am even now.
But here's the thing I was stressed and burned out big time. I had 2 young kids and knew I wanted to do something where I could provide support to people without being so burned all the time. I worked out 5 days a week and tried to eat right so that should be enough right? NOPE. I entered into massage school which totally brought my fast paced life to a crawl. I worked way less shifts and spent lots of time learning, I'm totally a learner personality so insert bliss😉.
I learned so much about how our body and mind are connected, learning to stretch and use breath work along with physical dysfunctions, injuries and physical rehab. Fast forward 18 years or so and here I am still helping folks with their aches and pains, low back and neck injuries and managing their stress for a time being. I love it. However that feeling from the massage doesn't last forever. It comes back. My clients feel better for a time then that chronic tension comes back or they come in stressed out and rushing for their appointment.
After all these years I've learned I personally have to continue to do the "things" for me between massage sessions. I know first hand my clients who commit to do the "work" between sessions have better results. They are less stressed. They have less shoulder and neck tension. They have an overall feeling of wellbeing and feel better about life. So what do we do?
This is the hard part. You have to commit. You have to commit to doing your self care items between sessions, daily even. Work a computer job and have chronic neck and upper back pain? Commit to doing the stretches and breath work we decide on at your session. Practice yoga or use a topical massage blend to reduce the tension.
Low back pain plaguing your day? Commit to stretching and strengthening the areas that are causing your discomfort every day.
Swirling thoughts and feeling overwhelmed? Commit to journaling your thoughts or feelings every single day for 5 minutes minimum no matter what. Begin a meditation practice.
See where I'm going with this? Since I started massage school with a hubby and 2 small kids I have added 3 more, yep that's 5 boys running around my house, playing sports, going to school, having dinners and arguments and events. I run a business and have a fairly physical job but I have to commit. When I don't commit my shoulder hurts daily, I have less emotional bandwidth and reserve to give and share with my family and my kids. When I don't commit I sleep terribly and become a version of myself I don't want to be with.
Massage is great. Massage is unbelievably healing and therapeutic but we have to love and support ourselves even when we are off the table. The time is now, the time is for you and it can be a small part of your day but it needs to be non-negotiable. Commit to yourself so you can love yourself and others even more. Book that massage. But more importantly book in that time for yourself EVERY SINGLE DAY. Start with 5 minutes a day but commit. You're worth it I promise. If you need ideas reach out I'm here to support your self care journey and that is so much more than just massage.
What's your favorite self care thing? What is your favorite thing to do that doesn't fit the self care box but makes you feel like a million bucks? Share it!