When is the last time you got a massage? I’m not talking about the kind you get from your partner when they are grooming you for sexy time, because that doesn’t count. Neither does your toddler rolling their Hot Wheels over your back and legs.
I’m talking about picking up your damn phone, making an actual call to a licensed massage therapist, then clearing your schedule so you can take all your clothes off, lie on a table, and have someone rub your body with magic lotions as you melt like a pat of butter sliding down a stack of warm pancakes. That my friend, is a the real deal.
I just had a massage the other day, and I left feeling glorious and like I wanted to kiss everyone I saw. And there is a reason I was feeling so fabulous: Touch and massage has been proven to have healing powers. Seriously. It reduces stress, increases serotonin levels in the brain, and boosts your immune system.
In an article for Everyday Health, Tiffany Field, PhD, director of the Touch Research Institute at the University of Miami School of Medicine in Miami, Florida explains, “Massage therapy can improve a person’s emotional health by reducing stress and stress hormones; by increasing serotonin and thereby reducing depression and pain; and by enhancing immune function and thereby reducing bacterial and viral illnesses.”
So not only does massage completely relax you, but it’s amazing for your mental wellbeing, too. Yep, that’s right. A massage is basically magic.
I realize a massage is a special treat and might not be in the budget for everyone, but when I invest in myself and get one every so often, I can’t believe the difference in the way I feel. And it’s not just my body that feels happy; it does wonders for my mind too.
You can get a massage lasting anywhere from a half hour to an hour and a half. There can be warm stones involved, and there are several different types to choose from. Field recommends moderate pressure because it is “the key factor for massage therapy to be effective. Any type of massage therapist who uses moderate pressure should be able to help with mood management,” she says. But you may crave a deeper massage to get the job done.
I even had an experience where the massage therapist pulled my hair. She took it in handfuls and worked her way up my head. The pulling gradually went from gentle to a bit rough, but it left me feeling hella good for days. The technique is called chukake and has been around for generations. It does wonders for headaches and neck pain.
Listen, I know it’s hard to get away. I know the guilt you might feel for doing something like this for this yourself. But you owe it to your mind and body to indulge every once in a while. Not only will you benefit, your whole family will too.
Who knows, they just might see how truly magical you feel after a fantastic rubdown and shove you out the door to give your feel-good juices flowing more often.