How can massage support wellbeing?
Therapeutic massage in north Shropshire
Wellbeing is a bit of a buzz word these days. As we understand more about how the body and mind work together and grasp the importance of holistic healthcare that looks at the whole person and their life circumstances to bring about healing, wellbeing becomes a big part of the equation.
But what does it mean and what’s the role of massage in maintaining it? Wellbeing means something different to everyone. The way that I’m using it here is to mean a sense of overall wellness – not that you may not have aches or pains or feel low energy at times, but that you feel an engagement with and joy for life.
Our sense of wellbeing is hugely affected by our mind. Poor mental health can have a drastic effect on our lives, even if physically we are well. Therapeutic massage in north Shropshire can play a role here. Massage is as much about giving yourself a space to be and let go as anything that I can do with my hands. I often see that as soon as a client lies down on the table, they take a deep breath out and start to unwind, because they have gifted themselves this space that’s just for them.
In terms of the actual massage, studies show that it encourages the body out of the ‘flight or fight’ response in our nervous system, into the rest and repair state. While a short burst of stress isn’t harmful, if we live in that state, our body and mind feel constantly worn out. By dropping into the resting state, our mind is soothed and given space to let go. Often, I start a massage by working around the head, and I feel so much active energy there in clients. By simply holding the head and gently massaging the scalp, that energy dissipates, and the mind becomes calmer.
Research has also shown the benefit of therapeutic touch for our wellbeing. Nurturing touch, such as between a mother and child, not only encourages the brain to produce mood-boosting and painkilling neurotransmitters such as dopamine and oxytocin, it also melts our psychological defences and helps us to connect with the feeling that everything’s okay, no matter what our challenges are. Many people in society today spend weeks or even years without receiving this type of touch. Therapeutic massage in north Shropshire is one way to experience this.
Physically, because massage encourages the body into the rest and repair state, this means that it boosts the immune system, lowers heart rate and blood pressure and reduces feelings of anxiety. So, these physical processes have a mental, emotional and spiritual effect also, leading to an overall increase in a feeling of wellbeing.
My clients also tell me that regular therapeutic massage in north Shropshire is empowering. It gives them the tools to manage their aches and pains and helps them to become aware of when they are experiencing stress, so they can do something about it before it becomes a problem.
Want to know more about massage and wellbeing? Join me for a Facebook Live on 20 March, or at my half day workshop on 27 April at Healing Thyme.
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Research references from the Massage Training Institute.