Straight from the heart . . .

Straight from the heart . . .

Ahhh ... the Many Benefits of Massage

NOTE:   Articles contained in this blog are not intended as medical advice.  Please consult your personal physician regarding any changes to your health regimen.

 

A few years ago, when I was trying anything to relieve the arthritis pain (especially in my neck and right shoulder) I would have a massage and it was a life-saver.  Without it, I couldn't have kept working as long as I did.  The more I learn about the health benefits of massage, the more I am absolutely dependent on that therapy, especially since my heart attack.

 

The benefits of massage for pain management are pretty obvious but there are so many more reasons to schedule sessions on a consistent basis.  When I asked my cardiologist about continuing massage therapy, he responded with an enthusiastic "Yes!"  There have been a number of things I've had to omit or limit but, thankfully, massage isn't one of them.

 

During one of my cardiac rehab sessions, the subject of massage came up and we were encouraged to continue (or for some, start) massage therapy.  Professional massage can actually slow your heart rate, reduce your blood pressure and, of course, relieve stress.   According to a report on Health.com (via CNN), physicans are making massage available for their surgery patients, since massage increases blood flow to muscles which help them heal faster.   People who suffer with migraines and fybromyalgia, even cancer patients, are encouraged to include massage therapy as part of their overall health plan.

 

We think of massage as a way to relax, and it is.  But, it also helps with mental alertness and improved attention.  Remarkably, massage also boosts your immune system, warding off those bugs.  Thinking back to the last year, it's the first one in many that I didn't have a cold or my (annual) bronchitis.  For those who struggle with melancholy, massage affects the brain and creates a feeling of well-being.  Some hospitals have begun offering massage to anxious patients  prior to surgery and to cancer patients undergoing chemo.

 

While we think of massage as being something you get at a fancy spa while on vacation, we should be thinking of it as a natural way to heal our bodies.  I used to think of it that way; now, I embrace it as a way to help my body better function and manage pain.  It is no longer a luxury for me, it's a necessity for living well.

 

Having shared all this, let me tell you that all massage is not created equal.  How can you find a professionally- qualified therapist?  You ask questions.  You visit their facility; is it clean?  Do you feel comfortable? Where were they certified?  What are their specializations?  Did they ask you for a medical profile first?   Does the therapist listen to you?

 

You may also find that you have to try different therapists to find the one that works best for you.  I am very blessed to have found a therapist that is experienced with pain management for arthritis patients and is very sensitive to my new heart issues, too.  I see this as a partnership, so find a therapist that you trust because if you are uncomfortable, you won't get the most out of it.

 

I truly believe between the cardiac rehab (which I am half-way through now) and the massage therapy, that I am improving and healing at a good rate.  My energy level is good, my thought process and concentration is better, and I just feel so much better.  Of course, getting that unblocked artery clear was a big contributor, too.

 

If you would like a referral to my massage clinic, just send me an email.  I don't want to turn the blog into a commercial, but I can send you a card for a reduced introductory session so you can try it for yourself.  

 

Thanks for reading and have a SUPER day!

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