“There are some things in life where it’s better to receive than to give, and massage is one of them.
“Al MichaelsLast week I blogged about mindfulness, describing how living in the moment makes a big difference in our lives. There are many ways to be mindful and it is important to take care of our mind and body. A great way to be mindful of our body is to pamper ourselves and one of the best ways to do that is to enjoy a massage. I used to go to spas often to have a massage, enjoy the pool, sauna, and other facilities and for the most part, to simply have a good time with girlfriends. My experience was always different, sometimes the massage was great and sometimes not so much.
After my car accident I mentioned, I was treated by different medical providers, including a chiropractor. In one of my visits, the chiropractor offered me the services of a massage therapist that had a studio in her office. She told me that this person specialized in treating injuries. I was reluctant to try it because I was looking for the spa experience more than the medical experience, however, I scheduled the massage, and it was the best thing I ever did. For the past eleven years, I have seen my massage therapist twice a month and it has been a very important journey in my healing process. Susan is a very special lady and I consider her a close friend. Throughout the years, she has been an important influence in my constant search and interest in mindfulness, meditation, natural remedies, oils, and vitamins.
I began to think differently about the massage experience, it was not only relaxing but it was a way to bring serenity, peace, and reflection into my life, I discovered the perfect harmony between the physical and spiritual experience. Massage benefits are not only related to relaxation, but they also reduce stress, pain and tension. Massages improve circulation, energy, and your body’s immune function. Massage is something very personal and therefore if you have a good relationship with your therapist, it makes a big difference. Now if you combine all the above with relaxing music, guided meditation, soft lighting, tranquility and serenity…we have all the bliss one needs!
In my journey of massage, Susan introduced me to Jin Shin Jyutsu, a healing art of harmonizing the body through gentle touch, similar to acupressure. It uses light touch over specific areas of the body to balance and restore the energy flow. One of the best books on the subject is “The Touch of Healing” by Alice Burmeister and Tom Monte. It is a great book that explains the roots of Jin Shin Jyutsu and different exercises to get you started. Jin Shin Jyutsu describes the hands as “jumper cables”, as they bring the body back to life restoring equilibrium and well-being. It is indeed an interesting art to perfectly compliment massage therapy.
While there is no doubt that a massage is a way to find relaxation and stress relief, there is much more to it than that. I have a different perspective because I have been lucky enough to find someone that has been involved not only in my healing process but also in my learning process as well. Massage improves your quality of life, relieves adrenaline and cortisol, therefore, giving a long-lasting feeling of relaxation and improved mood. Be creative, research other ways to improve your massage experience, maybe music that you enjoy, oils that put you in a peaceful special place, it is all about your experience that makes a difference, but whatever you do, remember to be mindful and be in your moment! Enjoy your massage and forget about everything else, simply focus on the moment here and now.
Have you experienced an awesome therapeutic massage? If so, what was your experience like, I would love to hear!