1. Massage makes you feel FANTASTIC! - Okay, that's mostly my own personal view.
2. Find relief from pain: - This can be muscle pain from tiredness, or the pain of some physical conditions like fibromyalgia. Massage has no side effects, yet the hormone release in the body mimics the effects of pain killers. So essentially we're encouraging the body to do naturally, what we inflict on it chemically.
3. You will benefit from a calmer and clearer mind: - Perhaps this is a good strategy to delay the onset of some of the disorders of mind decay.
4. You can expect a faster recovery from illness or injury: - Mainly this is due to an accelerated delivery of oxygen and nutrients to the damaged area.
5. You can expect to receive far fewer injuries and illnesses in the future: - As the physical therapist to a rugby team, I can vouch for this as being 100% true.
6. Massage is no short term temporary fix: - If you can find, and then eliminate, the CAUSE of your pain, your massage can bring long term, even life long, benefits.
7. Improved breathing and oxygenation of your body: - Reducing the stresses around the ribs and intercostal muscles can improve restrictions in the breath which allows you to breathe deeper and fuller thus increasing the oxygen in your blood.
8. Endorphin release: - Yes, those little 'feel good' hormones secreted within the brain and nervous system, producing a number of physiological functions, including pain relief, anxiety/stress reduction, and relaxation. They are peptides that activate the body's opiate receptors, causing an analgesic effect. In other words, they make you feel wonderful (see no.1).
9. Improve circulation throughout the body: - Improving the flow of blood and lymph ensures the body doesn't stagnate through lack of movement. Massage coupled with regular walks, fresh air and exercise, is a recipe for good health. Increased circulation ensures the efficient delivery of blood, oxygen, nutrients and water to every part of the body. Healing is speeded up and so is the removal of toxicity from the body.
10. More energy! - More oxygen = more energy. Without efficient oxygen delivery to the cells, they become tired, sluggish and more easily prone to disease. (which conveniently brings us to no.11)
11. Massage supports the immune system: - Were not allowed to say 'boost' anymore, because boost implies an overactive system that involves autoimmune dysfunction, and that's not what happens at all. Ultimately it's bad stress that diverts the immune system away from its primary function. Support means to eliminate the stress, stimulate increased lymph flow, and give the immune system the impetus to seek out the 'bad guys' and deal with them efficiently, keeping you healthier and for longer.
12. Feeling nurtured, supported and cared for: - For many the idea of allowing someone to touch them is quite alien. There may be many social or historic reasons for this, but rest assured, your privacy and draping are of paramount importance, and so is the promise that you will always remain in charge of the session. Please don't deny yourself one of life's greatest pleasures forever. Massage is a beautiful thing and only ever heals those social or historic reasons.
13. Improvements in skin tone: - Our skin is the largest organ of the body and honestly, sometimes the most abused. Wind, rain, heat, cold, potions, soaps, lotions, deodorant, anti-perspirant, toning agents, medications and all manner of creams, shampoo and conditioners are thrust our way in advertising, in an attempt to get us to buy them. Except for the elements, almost none of the above are 'natural' products, and some are downright dangerous, even carcinogenic. Basic, natural, cold pressed oils are good for the skin and have been used safely for thousands of years.
14. Relax and de-stress: - Few people, besides those who practice yoga, another oriental discipline, meditators or the otherwise well chilled, know what relaxation really is. And even then, they will often choose massage as a vehicle for deep relaxation and healing, in conjunction with their chosen life path. Experience the real relaxation that comes from gentle, therapeutic massage, and then you'll really know what stress is doing to you.
15. Reduce fatigue: - (see no.10) The modern way of life makes us tired, hassled, stressed, angry and challenged. Well, perhaps we're talking about the office, the traffic, the supermarket queues and just other people in general. So making some time just for you is very important. It allows you to recoup, take stock and build up your reserves, ready for the next onslaught.
16. Improve your sleep pattern: - There is no doubt massage helps regulate an abnormal sleep pattern. The number of clients who 'drop off' is almost 100% at one time or another. Still its bedtime that you'll be interested in and rest assured, once your body learns this relaxation technique it will quickly cotton on to using it during your night time rituals to prepare you for sleep.
17. Improve your range of movement: - Muscles that are not exercised regularly, suffer a certain degree of atrophy. They lose oxygen, they lose strength, they lose their ability to reproduce effectively, they become tired, stiff and tense, they cramp and spasm, and ultimately are not fit for purpose. Massage opens up the cellular structure of the muscles, allowing them to absorb more oxygen. This is the first step in reversing the decline of mobility, muscle usage and muscle wastage.
18. Calm the body and relax the mind: - Bring a new alertness and clarity to your thinking. Improve your levels of concentration and free your mind for a more enjoyable life. (Sorry, that's also no.2, obviously doubly important!)
19. Lower your blood pressure: - Better circulation means that oxygen delivery is higher to the distal parts of your body; your hands, fingers, feet and toes. If you feel cold, pain, or a vice like grip, it could be your body responding to a reduced blood supply. Your mind automatically increases the blood pressure to compensate. Massage encourages your body systems to work together by stimulating your parasympathetic nervous system into a harmonious, natural rhythm.
20. Reduce the effects of knots and adhesions: - You might be sporty, hard working or just stressed, but anyway, tense muscles pull on tight tendons, and tired joints pull on tight ligaments. The effect is to increase rigidity and damage, to starve the muscle of oxygen and create acidic waste that is left behind after working the muscles. Poor circulation compounds the knotting effect of the acidity and drains our energy and strength. You might not notice this straight away, but later, when the effects create distortion in the body, then you will. Massage easily reverses this process by all the means mentioned above.
Sorry! I know I said 20, but there's more.
21. Reduce your tendency to headache and eye strain: - When the body is tired, or dry, inflammed, or starved of oxygen, we can develop headaches, joint pain, eye strain, sleeplessness, and general feelings of being unwell. All these symptoms are indicative of a body out of balance. Something that massage addresses with admirable ease.
22. Improve posture and reduce distortion in the body: - Many chronic conditions, like sciatica, lumbago, neck and shoulder pain, thigh, leg or calf pain, sore muscles, poor posture and body distortion, can be avoided by regular massages or other bodywork. Many runners benefit from early detection of muscle strain because of their decision to take regular massages. Anybody, sporty or not, will benefit from the palliative care of massage.
23. Reduce the tendency toward depression and anxiety: - Massage is one of the easiest ways of changing state. One state is feeling good about yourself and the decisions you make, and gifting yourself a massage will be one of those times when you make the right decision, and do good!