self-care n.

The care of oneself by an individual to promote and maintain personal well-being throughout life.

How many times in 2016 did you say, “I need a massage.” When you finally got to your totally overdue massage did you say, “I need to do this more for myself more often.” Well … did you?

We all get busy. I get it. I’m busy too. With kids, my jobs, my friends and family, my hobbies, keeping up with my TV shows, my health and fitness, vacationing, my LIFE.

What if you decided for 2017 that your body was a priority? After all of the hard work you put into your body, regular massage would not only benefit your muscles, it would benefit other aspects of wellness which could improve your life.

  1. Massage Reduces Anxiety and Stress by lowering cortisol levels in the body while increasing levels of serotonin and dopamine, thus helping to alleviate the stress we suffer from day to day. The good feel (I like to call ‘massage drunk’) promotes perspective and clarity. 
  1. Massage Addresses Low Back Pain which is the leading cause of disability in the U.S. (according to the Global Burden of Disease 2010). A 2011 study found that regular massage to the lower back can help alleviate pain, regardless of whether it was deep tissue or lighter Swedish massage – bodywork in general to the low back is beneficial.
  1. Massage Enhances Immunity by promoting the movement of lymph, the body’s natural defense system. Who doesn’t want to get sick LESS and just feel BETTER?
  1. Massage Reduces the Effects of Long Hours of Desk-Sitting and Driving. The most common response I get when I ask guests if something is bothering them is upper back and neck/shoulders. The tightness from their computer, desk, commute, and lifting anything. When the shoulders are pulled forward they become weak and overstretched causing the tightness and knots. Coupled with a regular exercise routine, massage can help alleviate pain, those pesky migraines, and keep those postural deviations in check.
  1. Massage Helps Athletes Prepare and Recover from Events. Many of us aren’t just exercising regularly these days, but challenging ourselves with friends at athletic events such as marathons, half marathons, and mud runs such as Tough Mudder and Spartan Race. Massage to help recover from these events is great, but even better is incorporating it into your wellness program leading up to the big event. It will help reduce muscle soreness and tightness, and keep joints mobile and flexible. Let’s face it, the older we get, the more gym workouts are taking a toll on our bodies. Let’s recover properly and treat our muscles with care and extra love!

I understand why you might not get massaged as often as you should, but the thing is, we never regret it afterwards. It’s considered money well spent. So do yourself a favor in 2017 and schedule your massage when you LEAVE your treatment. This ensures you have it in your calendar and you are scheduling that 60 or 75 minutes to unplug and recharge monthly. Then the “I’m too busy” or “I should make time” excuses do not mean you have to hobble into the treatment room four months overdue and in pain. Massage is not just a luxury anymore, it should be considered part of one’s wellness plan, right along good nutrition and exercise. Self-care is not self-indulgence, it is self-respect.

Here’s to adding regular massage to your wellness routine for a smart and healthy New Year’s Resolution. I can’t wait to see you on my table at Release Well-Being Center in 2017!

Sound like a resolution you can get used to?  Treat yourself to our Bliss Membership found here!

Robin Kirkorian, Licensed Massage Therapist Release Well-Being Center