My friends will jostle me for “shaming the demand”, for what it is that I believe in when I write but this one isn’t rooted in selfishness. It’s rooted in community goodwill, though I am here to sing praise to the industry I help serve as well. I am lucky to be connected to a group of people who regularly give and receive massage therapy. We seem to take for granted what we do as part of our physical, emotional and spiritual diet. When I go to the gym, or yoga studio, I am surrounded by like- minded souls as well. We seem to manage the physical demands of life on life’s terms with activity that grounds mind, body and soul. So without going too over the top, just what are the most notable benefits of massage?
There are an entire set of benefits one receives as a giver of massage but I will reserve this for another time. As a receiver, building a kinesthetic feeling as to which muscle groups are used repetitively in one’s own body becomes an immediate benefit. This provides a greater awareness to either continue on course with physical activity or perhaps change some body mechanics (rethinking how we do things) to improve smoother function.
Another major benefit is the improved awareness as to just how profound our breathing is. Receiving a deep tissue massage will ultimately reveal our stress patterns or if you will, the physical manifestation of our perceived notions of physical or emotional threat. Breathing deep helps reshape those perceptions of how we hold ourselves physically. It can literally transform a mountain into a molehill or remove the proverbial bats from our belfry.
A consistent benefit I hear from most regular massage recipients is that they emerge from a session with a renewed sense of peace and serenity which helps them bring peace back to a frenetic pace of an abundant life. Loved ones around them then become the secondary beneficiaries to their renewed sense of bodywork.
Without getting too technical, there are 12 major systems of the body. These are: cardiovascular, digestive, endocrine, immune, integumentary, lymphatic, muscular, nervous, reproductive, respiratory, skeletal, and urinary. Each of which have specific functions that contribute to homeostasis of the body. It has been noted by the Touch Research Institute (T.R.I.) that all body systems have been substantially affected in the study group of premature infants who receive touch/massage. These infants visibly grow due in direct proportion to the loving intention they receive.
Knowing full well the benefits of massage that I have received, I am subjected to cringing every time I listen to someone quip, “Massage is a luxury, not a necessity.” I would contend differently. As a daily consumer of outstanding coffee, tooth flossing and brushing, prayer and meditation, and questionably good nutrition….massage is the balance of my vigorous exercise. It quells the “committee” between my ears. It does the body good…the garage where my soul is parked.
Thanks Jim! Wonderful article. I just completed a class on breathe two nights ago in my master yoga training. The power behind breathe in the mind body connection is powerful. Sharing this.
Jim you ROCK!