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Friday, August 19, 2011

The Miracles of Massage

I have always loved getting a massage. It is a key way for my mind and body to release stress and get the kinks out. It has proven to keep me healthy, allow my muscles more flexibility and provide my mind a way to relax and gain perspective. I firmly believe by receiving regular massage, I avoid having to go to the doctor's office. It is my "tune up"....just like the ones I get for my car.

There are many different varieties of massage from the Swiss method to Sports Massage to Rolfing to Deep Tissue. I go for the Deep Tissue. My parents had massages every week all the time I was growing up. I believe I was fortunate to have had that example given to me. My parents always had them at our home so I got to know the massage therapists a bit. They were my first exposure to alternative lifestyles and philosophies. In fact, I remember my first exposure to goat cheese was from my mom's masseuse. She raised her own goats and hand made her own cheeses. I remember not liking it much...but I did, at least, try it! My how times have changed...

Sunday afternoons is the perfect time for me to have a massage. It is usually a quiet time of the week. My muscles don't have to get immediately back into high gear. Instead, they have time to relax and I have time to just be mellow. A wonderful way to finish up a week and get prepared for the coming week...both mentally and physically. It is my gift to myself. It counts as part of my "me" time.

If you are thinking about setting up a regular massage here are some tips to make it an ideal experience:
   1. Pick a time of day and/or day of the week where you will not be rushed so you can reap the most benefit.
   2. Check out the costs for the different amounts of time. Often there is one that has the best value. I go for the 1 hour massage.
   3. If you plan on going regularly, ask about any plans they may have. We signed up for a monthly plan. It saves us $16 per visit off the published price.
   4. Check out different massage therapists. They all have different styles, even if you go for a specific method, like deep tissue. I actually don't go to one massage therapist because I like the variety. I think my body benefits more by experiencing the different styles. I can do this because I go to a place that has a number of massage therapists on staff. This also allows me to have a massage at a regular time which is not at the whim of the availability of one therapist.
   5. Check out the facilities to see if they can offer additional services like steam rooms and whirlpools. Believe it or not our local YMCA offers all that and massages...for no additional cost! You might also want to check to see if they have showers and changing rooms available in case you need to go directly to another appointment and need to look presentable.

All these steps help add to the total beneficial experience of a massage. And if you are doubting it, be assured, you are worth it!