27 Dec The Benefits of Massage on our Minds and Bodies
I recently had lunch with Heather, most recently the Marketing Director at The Dragontree, who will be taking on more of a part time role at The Dragontree in order to continue her scholastic studies. As we discussed passing the torch to me to handle the marketing and PR for this lovely spa, I asked her, “why do you love your job, and why do you love massage? What is the fundamental message I need to know to promote this amazing spa to our community?” Heather shared with me a very personal story about her experience of bringing peace and pain relief to a dear friend who was dying of cancer a few years ago, and it made me stop and realize that a spa day to a healthy person is relaxing and luxurious. But to some, a massage can be life changing, with health benefits we can only begin to imagine. Though her friend did eventually succumb to the disease, Heather told me it was an amazing experience to bring peace and relief to her friend through gentle touch in her final days.
We all know we live in a stress-worn world, and understand the amazing relief we feel after an all over body massage. This is because our body and mind communicate with each other, which means mental stress manifests itself as physical tension. Some people don’t even know they’re stressed until it comes out in a physical symptom such as a headache, a twitching muscle or eye lid or something similar. The calm we feel after a massage is not just the muscles relaxing, but our emotions and mind calming as well. People who receive regular massages experience decreased anxiety, depression and fatigue. This is because gentle forms of massage can affect the nervous system and help to release endorphins, or your body’s natural “feel good” chemicals.
As Heather demonstrated on my hand by gently moving her two fingers in an upward motion from the back of my hand, up my wrist and toward my elbow, even a simple touch like this is beneficial to relieving pain due to clogged lymph nodes, which is the relief she brought to her friend. A more rigorous massage tells the body to release endorphins that induce relaxation and reduce the body’s production of stress hormones. The reason I have the utmost respect for the therapists who work at The Dragontree is because they are experts in their field. They know what our bodies need, in terms of massage and touch, better than we know ourselves.
Studies have shown that massage helps alleviate the pains of not only cancer patients, but many other diseases as well, including arthritis, gastrointestinal problems, premenstrual syndrome symptoms and the aches and pains of pregnancy. New studies indicate Alzheimer’s patients and kids with autism and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) may also benefit from massage.
Massage does much more than relieve everyday stress, and studies continue to prove it. As a community, we will continue to look to the experts at The Dragontree not only for a day of pampering or an hour of bliss, but to ease our aches and pains, center our minds, and help us live a more stress free life.
~ Maggie Palmer