When you think of massage what do you think of? Chances are it’s something along the lines of having time out, to relax. You might buy a massage for a friend as a birthday present, or for yourself as a treat. It might form part of a pampering spa weekend. And you’d be right – there’s no denying massage is relaxing. But… is having a massage a revolutionary act? Surely not!
In my mind massage is both a form of relaxation and an act of revolution. And in this blog I’ll explain why.
Massage for relaxation
Coming for a massage creates a space for you to just be. With no demands on your time. There’s nothing for you to do, there are no expectations of how you need to act. It’s such a contrast from everyday life to be able to ‘just be’. That, in itself, is an invitation to relax that we so rarely give ourselves.
Massage is more than just time out though. The act of massage itself encourages your body to relax physiologically. During your massage I use a variety of techniques to manipulate your body into a state of relaxation. Your muscles loosen and stretch, releasing tension – which in turn helps to release psychological tension.
Having a massage also decreases your levels of cortisol (known as the stress hormone) and increases your levels of dopamine, serotonin, oxytocin and endorphins. Having these ‘positive’ hormones circulating around your body helps to reduce your stress and anxiety levels, leaving you in a more relaxed state, not just during your massage, but afterwards too.
Massage for revolution
It probably didn’t come as a surprise to you to read that having a massage is a great way to help you feel more relaxed. And that, in itself, is a great reason to book yourself in! But massage for revolution? What’s that all about?
Here I’m talking directly from my personal experience, and that of my clients. Having a massage can lead to your life changing! Changing for the better. The very act of booking a massage can feel like an act of rebellion. In a society that rewards us for ‘keeping going’ and celebrating the juggle, actively booking in a time for pause and nurture is rebellious. It goes against the grain. It can feel self indulgent.
My two boys were young – in kindergarten – when I first started going for a regular massage. They wanted me with them a LOT. Giving myself permission to have a massage once a month was a reminder that I have my own needs too. And that if I want to meet other people’s I also have to look after myself. To be totally honest, I credit my monthly massage with preserving my sanity in those early years!
And once you make time for that pause, for a regular massage, space emerges. You find yourself questioning the everyday routine. You find yourself wanting more of that calm, grounded feeling. Your take on what’s important and what you can let go of changes. I found it easier to do my own thing without fear of other people judging me. It was my regular massage that prompted me to have the courage to refresh my training and set up my own complementary therapy business.
So booking a massage is revolutionary in that it’s taking a stand against the ‘faster, more, now!!’ messages that society throws at us – and especially throws at women. And, it can also be revolutionary in what it leads to.
Creating space for yourself to pause, for your body to operate from that dopamine/seratonin good place rather than the cortisol stress place can have a ripple effect. You can find yourself making new choices – ones that leave you feeling happier, healthier, and more ‘you’ than ever before.
Book in your massage now
So, yes, everything you’ve heard about a massage being relaxing is true. Time out for yourself is always a good thing. And the physiological benefits of massage mean your body and mind will release tension as a result of your time on the couch.
But don’t underestimate your massage; it’s not simply a pampering session! Regular massage has the power to reset you – to reconnect you to what matters, to release what’s holding you back and free you up to do the things you really want to do.
If you want to perform an act of tiny rebellion today – book in for a massage. We’ll talk through how you are and what you need to create more relaxation and revolution in your life – on the couch and beyond.