THE CONCEPT OF MASSAGE PART 1: FINDING THE RIGHT LMP, BY SHANNA ARNO
Many people think that massage is just a luxury or a ‘fufu’ experience as opposed to the practical applications that facilitate an amazing change.
What does it mean to you when you hear the word massage?
How many different types of massage are you for familiar with?
What are typical goals that are the focus for the sessions that you have while receiving massage?
What is the frequency and budget for sessions you receive for massage?
These are some very important questions to ask and be knowledgeable about regarding the physical care of your body. The biggest thing to be concerned about is making sure you are receiving the type of massage that is fit for your body needs with the right therapist to help you meet your goals. The questions regarding your body are open-ended and depend on a list of variables that can change daily. Massage therapy is extremely beneficial to promote and nurture the well being of the entire body.
Initiating the steps toward a journey of wellness includes caring for your body to allow it to operate at the highest capacity to carry out the daily tasks in each role of your life. A few different styles of massage include: relaxation, preventative care, accident recovery, sports injury, trauma recovery, medical rehabilitation for pre/post surgery, sports injury rehab, preparation for a run or a competition, and the list goes on.
A huge component of massage first begins with one’s own understanding. Once you are familiar with your goals, seeking out the best therapist for your massage is the next challenge. Once you’ve found and established a relationship with the LMP that specializes in the service area of your needs it is imperative that you communicate your goals to get the most effective session(s) and to receive the greatest outcome for your money and safety. Establish a relationship with a therapist you can really connect with, one who has a sense of compassion and who is still effective in the treatment room. The relationship cultivated is crucial for long term benefits. It helps the client relax more, the body starts to respond more instinctively and the therapist can begin to understand the body as the client continues to work with the same therapist. A bond is created through trust and understanding with a professional and ethical manner.
Where has the massage therapist focused their education? It wouldn’t make sense to schedule a massage with a therapist who focuses on aromatherapy or relaxation when you are interested and getting deep tissue work or address chronic pain conditions. That would be a job more suited for a therapist who specializes with medical massage treatments, and sports/rehabilitative services. If you are unsure where to begin, seek referrals from friends or colleagues, and check out the website for the facility or therapist. Most businesses these days have a website, read up and pick a place that feels comfortable based on the needs you have for the perfect fit.
The benefits of massage range from adjustments with a psychological viewpoint, to physiological changes in the body. The human body is fascinating with a multitude of layers waiting to be unfolded literally and figuratively. Stress reduction, decreased anxiety, decreased depression, reduced pain, less fatigue, increased energy, lowered blood pressure, flush of the body to aid in the release of toxins, decreased levels of lactic acid, increased proprioceptive response of the muscles, increased neural activity/response, and hormone release are a just a few of the benefits of massage. A great massage therapist will always communicate so be sure to reference a new injury, a certain type of massage that you do or don’t like, medical issues or restrictions/limitations, especially new medications.
Establish a budget to fit your needs. Initially it might cost more to reset the body to get on a regular care plan. If a prolonged period of time has gone by without receiving body care to address a chronic condition (something that has lasted more than a month) regarding pain, a few treatments sequentially over the period of the month could be in order which will then allow a person to adjust to a monthly maintenance plan. If you’re looking for long term preventative care, 1-2 times per month is recommended. “Clients who receive care regularly have greater health, less stressors, chronic conditions dissipate, and pain levels are less than those who are seen irregularly”. For the people who say they cannot afford massage, I urge you to reconsider as some therapists will often work with your budget, so ask! Therapists often have packages where you can save a little money. Generally massage sessions can run anywhere from $40-$200 dollars per session however an average cost is somewhere in $60+ hour range. The more expensive the session typically means the therapist is more educated, or it’s a destination location.
Massage therapists with advanced education such as medical massage, rehabilitative applications, trauma recovery, or a sports therapist, typically have a higher price point. Advanced education is a must for the therapist to stay current with the times to address the body efficiently. ‘In order to know how to heal, the massage therapist must first understand the types of bodily tissue involved, the ways that injury can occur, and the injury process itself’.
Receiving Massage is an action choice. Massage promotes health and wellness into one’s life through preventative care even if you choose to receive massage care one time per month. Your body is the most important asset you have. Your health is the one true gift you can give yourself. Regular body maintenance will ensure longevity of health with the physical body. It will aid to postpone the physical degeneration with the natural process of life. You take care of everyone else, who is going to care for you, if you don’t? You deserve to be the best you can be, and you must begin with nurturing your body first so you can attend your family and life commitments more healthfully. Make the commitment to nurture and care for yourself!