Time is precious and yet it slips away as the moments pass. We all make time for different things based on our current priorities. And, usually, we tend to take care of ourselves last. We get caught in phrases like: After I mow the lawn, I’ll relax on the patio. Or, when that big project at work is perfect, I’ll take a vacation. Really, it can be anything: Once I [insert any chore, etc.], I’ll take time for myself.
We see the signs all around us of things to be done to improve something else. When was the last time we really took a look at the signs meaning that we need a little recharge and rejuvenation in our lives? The signs are more simple than you think.
Work, kids, relationships, family, money. Any number of things cause stress and it can make you feel frustrated, angry, or nervous. Short bursts of stress can be positive helping you avoid danger or meet a deadline. Long-term stress, however, can be harmful leading to lack of energy or focus, frequent aches and pains, or causing chronic diseases. During stress, our bodies produce more cortisol which triggers
inflammation. Studies have shown a significant decrease in cortisol levels after massage therapy leading to great health and wellness benefits.
You’re not getting enough sleep.
At rest, your body is best fit to recharge itself. Plenty of sleep is important for learning and memory, weight control, mood, health and safety. Lack of sleep leads to errors in judgement or even clumsiness. Massage increases production of the serotonin hormone which also increases the melatonin in our systems and improves our ability to sleep.
You have neck, shoulder, hip or back pain.
Find yourself grabbing your neck, wincing when you turn your head one direction, or struck by a twinge of pain when you get up to walk after sitting for long periods? A short-term effect of massage therapy is an increase in endorphins, our bodies’ natural pain-killer. A long-term benefit is how our muscles are stretched during massage which leads to the reduction of overall tension.
You’re putting extra stress on your body.
Does your job require you to lift heavy things? Or, you have a small child needing to be carried. Maybe you or stand for long periods of time. The simple act of our joints carrying our body weight in one position for extended time adds stress to joints. Or, you could have started a new work-out routine or taken up a hobby such as golf or cross-country skiing. These can add stress to areas of your body are not usually worked. Massage can stretch and relax these muscles reducing the tension you feel.
You’re feeling down.
During massage, cortisol levels are lowered in your body. At the same time, serotonin levels are increased leading to your body’s ability to reduce anxiety and feelings of sadness.
Regular headaches have become a thing in your life.
There are so many potential causes of headaches: stress, lack of sleep, muscle tightness. The list goes on. Not only does massage help relieve headache pain by enhancing relaxation, it can also prevent headaches from occurring.
You haven’t had one in over a month.
Maybe you’ve never had a massage at all. A 60-minute massage is only 4% of your day. Try this perspective: in an average month, that 60-minute massage only accounts for .01% of the month.
These are just a few of the many signs meaning you should take time for a massage. Most of all, you deserve it.
DeAnn Gietzen is the owner and licensed massage therapist with Northern Mandala, LLC, based in East Grand Forks, Minn.
Through a 750-hour training program at Josef’s School of Hair, Skin and Body, DeAnn received advanced training in anatomy, physiology, kinesiology and pathology. The course also included clinical practice, practical application and certification in CPR, first aid and AED. DeAnn has successfully completed the Massage & Bodywork Licensing Examination (MBLEx) offered by the Federation of State Massage Therapy Boards. She is licensed in massage therapy by the state of North Dakota. Schedule your massage with DeAnn today.