Massage is wonderful way to experience relaxation, speed recovery from an injury, alleviate muscle pain and tension, increase range of motion, rebalance the bodies energy systems, and more. Maybe one of the biggest benefits of massage is how it opens a conversation between you and your body and starts you down a path of understanding your physiology that will empower to make positive physical changes as you move through your life.

GETTING STARTED

While many of our suggestions at EWB don’t require a professional, a drive, or a cash outlay - getting a massage will. The rewards will be well worth the extra effort and expense. If you don’t already have a Massage Therapist, see the Resources section for our suggestions. You’ll definitely want to chose a therapist that has a degree from an accredited massage school, holds a current license in your state, and is insured.

Factors in frequency depend on the issues you want to address, the time you have, and your available funds or insurance coverage. If you have a particular issue that needs attention and resolution, you might try a massage every week or every other week. If not, a monthly massage is a good way to get started. Likewise, if you have the time and the funds, I recommend a weekly massage. If not, its perfectly fine to space them at two, three, or four weeks apart.

Don’t be surprised if your massage therapist finds areas of tightness and soreness you didn’t know you had. Tight muscles will be sore to the touch long before they develop into chronically painful areas that negatively affect your daily activities. This “early warning system” is just another benefit of massage – it will allow you and your therapist to find and manage areas of muscle tension before they create bigger issues.

Harder to “put your finger on” but no less important are the benefits that come from the way massage activates the parasympathetic system in the body. In short, this means lowering the blood pressure, calming the nervous system, releasing endorphins, promoting healing, and deep relaxation that is just plain healthy and feels good!

In our experience, people are amazed at just how much better their body feels, how much their understanding of their physical symptoms and functioning have improved, and how much they look forward to and depend on massage as a part of their health care regime and everyday well being!

RESOURCES

Your community.  Get recommendations from your friends, relatives and colleagues. Ask questions that will help you decide which therapist is right for you and your goals.

Your physical therapist (if you have one) will almost certainly have a recommendation for you. Its an added benefit if your PT and your LMT can work together on resolving your issues and attaining your goals.

Your insurance company.  More and more insurance companies are including Massage Therapy in their coverage. Check with yours to see if massage is included in your plan and if so, ask for the list of LMT’s.

At www.MassageTherapy.com you can find a licensed and insured therapist in any zip code across the country. You can even search according to a specific type of bodywork if you have a favorite. The site has lots of other good information about massage as well, and its a great place to browse around and learn a little, whether you’re new to massage or just curious.

Lastly, don’t be afraid to interview the therapist when you contact them, before booking your first appointment. Ask anything you’re curious about or concerned about; there are no wrong questions. Its important to be comfortable with the therapist, the way they answer your questions, and the way they make your feel. If you’re someone who likes to “know before you go”, you might even drop by the office to see the neighborhood, look at the space, and meet the therapist ahead of time.

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