A Team That “Kneads” You to Take the Lead
Many people think massage is something that is done while lying on a massage table, resting comfortably as the massage therapist moves about the room. Technically speaking, your job is to relax while the therapist moves their hands and stretches your body. In order for you to really get the most out of your massage, it’s better to see it as a healing partnership – an even exchange of communication and feedback. As your therapist gets to know the contours of your muscles, they are assessing and testing range of motion, applying different amounts of pressure to see what the tissues will respond to and to facilitate circulation. As the massage therapist does their part, you also need to do your part to help with receiving the best and most effective treatment. What is your part?
- Communication – Everything from the amount of pressure, technique preferences and feedback about how you are feeling all play a role in making your massage a great experience. We can only change what we know. Intuition only gets you so far in this business, so we rely heavily on your input as to how we can make the most of the time we spend together. That isn’t to say there is talking throughout your whole massage, but just enough so that your expectations of the treatment are met.
- Self-care – When your therapist tells you to ice or soak in a bath, take it easy, and drink fluids, it is to enhance your well-being. Healing takes place when cortisol levels (your stress hormone) are kept to a minimum. That naturally occurs after a massage and can take a day or two for the tissues to normalize. It is important to work with the therapist and follow their suggestions to increase the success of the treatment.
- Maintenance – This can be a sticky subject for many. “Not enough time”,” Not enough money”. In this busy world, a good health goal for most people is to create balance in body and mind. We all want to live the best life possible – a life without pain, increased flexibility and a greater sense of well-being. Massage enables you to get closer to your goal when you schedule it ahead of time and in regular intervals. Like exercise or nutrition, it is the progression over time that creates real change. A massage therapist has the goal to take your body to a place of prevention….of injury, of illness, of stress or pain. The greatest benefit of massage can be achieved when the body can maintain a level of wellness that it could not achieve on its own. It is an investment in your health bank account.
With the aging demographics, baby boomers and those who want to stay active and healthy, everyone needs to consider incorporating regular massage into their lives. Many studies have proven that it helps with recovery from sports activity, improves circulation, reduces pain and improves sleep, among many other benefits.
You should not just rely on one massage therapist, however. It helps to have a team of therapists that can take different approaches to a problem, allow for massage therapy to work easily into your schedule and to keep you in the best shape possible. Sometimes it takes a small village. Dana Torres won a bronze medal in the women’s relay in swimming at 41 years of age in 2008. Her team was a head coach, 2 sprint coaches, 2 stretchers and 2 massage therapists. You may not need that kind of team, but we have a team at Therapeutic Kneads of 14 Licensed Massage Therapists and a Natural Medicine Doctor who can do gentle release chiropractic, acupuncture and nutrition to assist you in caring for you and your body!
Why not consider massage therapists as members of your healthcare team and partners in your overall well-being? Your interest will pay back in dividends!
Sandy Saldano, Lic. Massage Therapist
Owner of Therapeutic Kneads, Ltd.