Touch is the first sense we all develop, in the womb – something primal and powerful that many of us tend to forget in this technology-driven world.
The use of touch as a healing method is rooted in ancient cultures. As long ago as 3000 BC it was referenced as a vital medical treatment to encourage the body’s own innate healing abilities.
The Romans practised massage and spa therapies as sacred rituals, vital to a person’s well-being.
Today, we have the wonders of modern medicine to keep us healthy, but we must not forget the ancient truths about health and wellness which are as relevant now as they have ever been.
Chronic stress is a major epidemic of the 21st century, wreaking havoc on our minds and bodies. Everyday things like workload, bills, family conflict, social media and, of course, the Covid-19 crisis are often read by our brains as dangerous threats which trigger our bodies’ alarm system, the fight or flight response.
The perceived danger is met with the same physiological response as if there was indeed a sabre-toothed tiger lurking behind you!
When stress is ongoing it increases the risk of anxiety, depression, digestive problems, headaches, heart disease, sleep issues, weight gain and impaired mental function.
The practice of massage, healthy diet, exercise and meditation are the answers to preventing these conditions appearing, and in some cases, like anxiety and depression, the key to reversing them.
Massage is a powerful tool to help you relax. Relaxation is the opposite of stress, actively countering the stress hormones in our bodies and, as a result, letting our body’s immune system function to its best ability.
The more you relax, the happier you feel; the happier you feel, the more you relax.
So, stress management is a huge benefit of regular massage therapy. It also greatly relieves sore muscles after exercise and sport, reducing inflammation and helping the body to recover faster and prevent injury.
Regular massage can ease chronic back pain and osteoarthritis, too, by promoting improved circulation with the use of hands-on pressure, plus better circulation of lymph fluid which carries metabolic waste away from muscles and organs.
The positive effects can continue for some of us up to a spiritual level. As a massage therapist I believe in the importance of holding a positive intention for the person I am treating at all times.
I aim to create an atmosphere of sanctuary for them, and this includes the thoughts I am bringing into the treatment, which should always be respectful, and come from a place of love, not fear. On top of this, the use of music, and smell can come together to help transform the atmosphere and create a blissful experience for the person.
I believe getting ‘in touch’ with our bodies and inner selves through massage therapy is something we can all benefit from.