Massage Care: Preventative Care or Luxury?
While most people love the idea of receiving massage, it is curious to me what drives peoples’ intentions or motivations them to actually get massage care. I have been asking this question for 12 years. My practice with my clientele is centered on preventative maintenance. Likened to that of maintaining a vehicle, my clients seek my services to keep their bodies running at peak performance.
Luxury massage is a typical relaxation and stress relieving ‘feel good only when I have the money’ massage and is a different state of mind with the treatment on the table. I offer this type of massage also of course, but these clients tend to believe they need to ‘earn the right’ and limit massage to only 1-2 times a year and only when they feel justified in spending money on themselves.
Why not enjoy the best of both worlds regarding massage care?! A massage should be enjoyable, it should offer stress relief, and it should also offer a therapeutic aspect to lessen pain, or help increase mobility for each person each session of care. The human body is a fascinating machine that is constantly in need of a tune up, especially in this fast paced world we live in.
Preventative care is not always about pain management and luxury massage is not always just ‘fluff n buff’ either. Blending the two mindsets into one beautiful treatment is the ultimate goal of mine. To bring the best of both worlds into the treatment room. It is an art. A dance. It is a mindful and intentional presence for me, as a therapist, to consider each client’s needs individually and to cultivate a beautiful dynamic where I can offer a relaxing treatment that is mixed with deeply therapeutic elements. Integrating the grunt work of finessing the joints and musculature into each session brings the optimal outcome for the client which is ultimately, to walk away from the session as pain-free, stress-free, and relaxed as possible.
This should be the goal for all therapists. This should be what each client is looking for when searching for their perfectly matched massage therapist. Cultivating a relationship with honest communication of their needs, mixed with an intentional and mindful massage, can be wildly beneficial. This is where the client mindset shifts from Luxury Massage to Preventative Care. The clients can recognize that each session is valuable beyond measure. The façade of a Luxury Massage is taken out of the equation and opens the minds’ eye to see the value of the care of the treatment sessions through regular care where they see and observe the body morphing into this vessel that serves them optimally.
Regular massage care cultivates better movement, greater range of motion, increases flexibility, stabilizes balance, creates lengthier spine and legs, and improves joint mobility. Stress is lessened, and neural pathways are forever changed into a healthier function. The muscle memory records new ways to function better, more optimally, when they are reminded of how they should function.
Releasing the stigma of massage as a luxury treatment has always been a goal of mine. I have taken hundreds of hours in continuing education toward the medical side of massage, the structure of the body, the maneuverability of muscles acting with the neural pathways to the brain, the deep release through various manipulations of either structure or musculature. The science is fascinating.
That said, the story varies little and is often the same. My clientele covers a range of ages from 20 years through 70 years old yet at the end of the day, bodies are over worked, they are stressed, and they are in need of care and attention. Some more than others need a bit of re-structure, or the need to facilitate the range of motion, or flexibility, or sometimes, an entire overhaul is needed. We use and abuse our bodies regularly. From the client who sits at a desk job every day, to the client who is an extreme sports junkie, to the regular client working and functioning as a role of parent and wants to take care of their body, I see it all. What I have come to understand is that everyone needs to get a tune up. A regular, monthly session is the best course of action for preventative care and optimal body function.
So, take the time to cultivate a budget that fits in a maintenance plan that honors your own body. As we journey through the life cycle, it is a natural part of the aging process that our bodies need even more love and care. It is never too late to start to take a healthy approach to living a life that honors our body. It is said there are 4 parts that make up the body: Emotional, spiritual, physical and mental. Take the challenge to find balance by caring for each equally important part of your magnificent body. Your massage therapist can help you with your plan! Cultivate a healthy offering for your own self and begin your journey. If you already have begun the journey in your wellness plan, then keep up the awesome work!