I have become less picky about where I store my stress as time has passed. It was shoulders and neck, but now any part of my body is a target. It is important for me, and my body, to release the tension regularly. One of the techniques I have used from the beginning is Massage.
There are many forms of Massage, and everyone has their preference. I enjoy a Relaxation Massage with lavender added to the oil, but what my body and muscles need is a more vigorous Massage which can get right into the muscles and between them.
Finding a Massage Therapist is just as tricky as finding any other therapist.
Techniques, behaviour and the understanding of the body and muscular system differs from therapist to therapist, so it is good to make sure they are qualified, and that you get recommendations and try them to find the right one for you.
These are my preferences whilst having a massage:
- a quiet environment. I enjoy soothing sounds or relaxing music playing in the background. I also prefer as little talk as possible between myself and the therapist.
- a warm, dimly lighted room (for comfort)
- a massage table with arm rest (I find laying on my belly and trying to balance my arms alongside me on the table a real pain)
- the use of heat, pressure and percussion ( all 3 techniques are wonderful if done well and suit different parts of the body)
- a general massage from toes to scalp, with concentration on my troubled areas
- organising my day after the massage so there is no sport or rigorous activities planned (my sessions are long and thorough, so I am exhausted and sleepy afterward)
- a professional therapist. Massage is skin to skin contact in a small space, so the therapist needs to display absolute professionalism and discretion.
- water to end the session. Massage releases toxins, so a glass of water is a great way to remind me to keep flushing the toxins through my system afterward.
The regularity of your massages will depend on your needs, as well as maybe your budget and schedule. I book a regular monthly massage which goes for 11/2 hours. If my budget and schedule were more flexible then I would have more. Most Massages can be claimed as a Health Fund benefit if you have health insurance.
Most of my experiences with Massage have been positive, but I have heard some terrible tales.
As with all things, try it out, and see if it works for you.