My awesome daughter gave my husband and me massage therapy gift cards! I always look forward to a good massage because it is sooooo relaxing. Personally, I don’t like the deep-pressure ones because I don’t want it to hurt!
I prefer a gentler form of massage therapy like the Swedish massage, and even with the moderate pressure that I request, there are still times when it feels a little uncomfortable. My neck area is usually tight, and this causes a bit of discomfort, but I always feel so much better afterward.
Why Should I Get a Massage?
There is a growing body of research that supports the benefits of massage therapy. Obviously, it helps with stress and anxiety, but it has many other health benefits as well. Here are some reasons that are listed on the AMTA, American Massage Therapy Association website, to get a massage:
Manages low-back pain
Helps fibromyalgia pain
Reduces muscle tension
Relieves tension headaches
You sleep better
Eases symptoms of depression
Reduces pain of osteoarthritis
Lowers blood pressure
Enhances exercise performance
Improves cardiovascular health
Most people can benefit from a massage. However, massage may not be appropriate if you have severe osteoporosis, fractures, a bleeding disorder, take blood-thinning medication, or have deep vein thrombosis. Always discuss the pros and cons of massage with your doctor, and if she/he agrees, go for it.
Some studies question the benefits of drinking water after a massage, but most massage therapists still encourage hydration to help flush metabolic wastes that accumulate as your muscles are worked out and to reduce next-day soreness.
Massage Therapy Add-ons:
There are several different ‘special’ add-ons you can request for your massage. Essential oils smell delicious and are very relaxing when combined with a massage oil base and rubbed on your skin. Aromatherapy has many positive attributes other than just smelling good. The aromatherapy scents can deliver an even greater sense of relaxation, vitality and feeling of calm. For each essential oil, there are related relaxing and soothing properties. Some of the best essential oils to be used for a massage are: Hinoki Essential Oil (energizing yet calms the nerves), Angelica Essential Oil (promotes happiness and helps in bringing a peaceful sleep), Lavender Essential Oil (refreshing and soothing), Geranium Essential Oil (promotes circulation and improves the nervous system), and Coriander Essential Oil (relaxing and benefits the digestive system).
Many establishments will have hot stones as an option. These are stones that are heated to a warm, comfortable temperature and then placed on your back, neck, legs or arms to provide deep comfort to aching muscles and joints.
How Do I find a Reputable Massage Therapy Spa?
There are many great massage establishments that are most likely in your area. I like Elements Massage Therapy because they have nice promotions, and you can sign up to go monthly for even better deals. They also have many expert massage therapists to choose from. There are many other reputable studios to choose from, but make sure you check out the on-line reviews for excellent therapists that will be just right for you. This is one way you can treat yourself to a little piece of happiness, and you will be glad you did!