Pain. Physical pain is what brings most people in for their first massage initially... Chronic back pain, headaches, sciatica and neck/shoulder tension are the most common types of presenting pain we see in our clients at Soulstice Spa. Depending on the severity of the pain, and how long you've had it, it can take one massage to a series of sessions to experience relief. Remember, in most cases it took months and years to accumulate the tension in your body; give yourself time, space and plenty of nurturing to "undo" those knots...
Massage therapy is a safe and natural form of healing and a wonderful complement to other health care including acupuncture, chiropractic, physical therapy, energy balancing, cardiovascular exercise, weight training, yoga, dance and pilates. Regular massage enhances the immune system which allows you to heal more readily and easily. It can amplify the effect of other wellness practices and motivate you to continue a well-rounded healthy lifestyle. A great massage will put you in touch with your body, your feelings and your breath... and the more regular massage you receive the more you will become self-aware on a daily basis.
Massage is a great natural alternative to pharmaceuticals, many of which have unfortunate and long term side effects. Instead of covering up the pain with acetaminophen (potential liver damage), ibuprofen (possible stomach issues), alcohol (cognitive impairment and dependency issues) and sleeping pills (habit-forming), try weekly massage for 4-6 weeks and notice if your pain lessens naturally. Massage therapy works to dissolve the source of the pain, not simply cover it up... and it just so happens to feel wonderful in the process!
Finally, massage encourages you to "tune into" what your body is telling you --- the place where your pain lies in the body can often provide great insight and serve as a catalyst for healthy life changes. Before receiving your massage, let your therapist know not only where your pains are, but also "how" they feel... For example, does the pain feel like a knot? Is it burning? Stiff? Does it hurt all the time, or only in the morning? Does it hurt when you move one way, but not another? Does the pain occur all day long at work, or only at home? All of these things will provide clues to your therapist and help them be the best partner they can be in your healing process.
Our ultimate goal as massage practitioners and bodyworkers is to help you feel as healthy and happy inside your body as possible. If you've been experiencing muscle pain and chronic tension that effects your daily life or prevents you from sleeping peacefully, give massage therapy a try!