Life moves so rapidly that we forget to stop, breathe and just “be”. We often live too much in the mental realm, worrying about deadlines and bills and this is no good for the mind or the body. Leaving behind abstract concerns and thoughts for a while and just living in the physical realm is a brilliant therapy for stressed people and massage is one of the best ways to get back “into” the body.
Massage is all about touch, and touch is primal. We were aware of touch even before birth and as newborns, touch and physical closeness was, alongside milk, vital to survival and development. It gave us the security we needed to thrive and explore, as well as to become aware of our own bodies and their place in the world around us.
If you stub a toe, what’s the first thing you do? You rub or squeeze it better. Of course a stubbed toe is far more noticeable than the effects of everyday stresses and strains, which is why the after-effects of a massage can come as a surprise.
After a demanding week, a firm massage makes you realise how tense your muscles were. Most people have a particular body area that “stores” tension – often the neck and shoulders. Loosening the stored-up tension can also free up emotions, allowing the person to process and release them.
Others have generalised aches and pains caused by tense muscles or impaired digestion. This could be due to poor posture or bunching up over a desk and it can be hard to identify the source. Massage can winkle out these knots of stress and eliminate them. Once massage has done this a few times, clients become aware of the problem arising and book a treatment before the tension really sets in.
Stress can affect posture, which in turn can affect balance, digestion and cause muscle aches and strains. Many clients leave the treatment room looking a couple of inches taller, with open shoulders and straighter necks, and this is the case whether the problem is physical or emotional in origin. You can’t pick the two apart as both realms are entwined. What massage does is bring them back together to let someone feel grounded and “inside” their bodies once more.
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