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Hey y’all, just a note from Valery! This is the first of MANY amazing guests posts to come – I wanted to start using Fiercely as a platform for other phenomenal women making strides in their field! Leslie is sooooo talented and I’m so excited she’s sharing some of her knowledge here. I actually had a massage/cupping session with Leslie a few months back and it was sooooo rejuvenating. Alright, enough chit chat, here’s Leslie!
Why A Massage Isn’t Just To Treat Yo’self
by The Bodywork Guru- Leslie Meis, BA, LMT, CYT
Self-care has become the latest trend, and as capitalism realizes that Millennials (the new target market) are becoming obsessed, it becomes more Instagram-able by the day.
I could easily write this entire post on the topic of self-care alone, and why it frequently isn’t a purchase or Instagram post, but not only has that been done, I also have a more targeted focus: Massage Therapy.
Thanks to the enormous ad campaign of Massage Envy and similar large franchises, the past few decades have seen a shift in the bodywork industry. These marketing efforts have successfully shifted massage from a lavish luxury of the wealthy to an act of self-care accessible to many. Yet, there’s still a long way to go.
Almost a decade into my career I am still surprising new clients with education on what Massage Therapy can really do! People are astonished when they come in as a birthday treat, and I tell them we can rehabilitate a shoulder injury from twenty years ago that still isn’t the same. Even those who do know some of the therapeutic benefits are still pleasantly surprised to hear that, yes I can do something for those menstrual cramps, or no surgery isn’t the only way to relieve that wrist pain.
It’s beyond time to start considering Massage Therapists among your health care professionals: doctors, physical therapists, occupational therapists, chiropractors. While not every MT performs clinical work, the right therapist can treat issues that have even been failed by an MD, PT, or chiropractor!
A massage just to relax is certainly still valuable beyond measure. Just do some Googling on the effects of stress on your health, and you’ll be immediately more appreciative of anything that helps you relax. However, massage is NOT just to #treatyoself.
Massage has been researched in many areas and proven to alleviate arthritis, asthma, high blood pressure, PMS, and even burn injuries just to name a few. For muscular and connective tissues, massage therapy can not only relieve those painful “knots” in your back but can also hasten recovery of strains or sprains, or with dedication can even completely retrain and repattern your posture providing increased short term wellness AND long term prevention of issues like bulging spinal discs.
Still, even with knowledge of these powerful effects, many people still don’t truly grasp the investment in your health that is regular Massage Therapy. Many times I hear people say that massage is “too expensive,” but you know what else is expensive (unfortunately)- healthcare!
So let’s look at just one example of massage as a healthcare investment. In the age of desk jobs and cell phones poor posture is something that affects most people to some degree. When your spine is out of alignment it can no longer distribute pressure and weight evenly through the discs. Think of your spinal discs like a jelly filled doughnut: if you squeeze just one side of the doughnut hard enough, the delicious pillow will burst open on the other side and hemorrhage jelly. This is exactly what happens to your spinal discs after years of unevenly stacked vertebrae due to poor posture. It will begin as a bulging disc which CAN be reversed through Massage, Physical Therapy, and/or Chiropractic care. If left unattended the disc will burst.
When this happens, it is then too late for alternative therapies, and surgery is required. According to healthcosthelper.com a typical spinal fusion to treat a herniated disc costs between $80,000 and $150,000. Keep in mind this doesn’t even include additional costs of post surgical care, time off work to recover, or medications. Now let’s say you get regular massages for maintenance on a monthly basis at $100 per hour. That would be $1200 per year. Which means it would take 66 years of that massage schedule to equal even the lower estimate of $80,000 for a spinal fusion. Now which would you rather get- 66 years of massages, or a spinal fusion that will likely still leave you with back pain? I’ll let you in on a secret: if you’re getting regular massage, you [probably] won’t need that back surgery. Plus, you will enjoy a boosted immune system, saving you more money on not missing work because you got the flu. If you’re lucky enough to have paid sick days, you can use them for something more fun, like an Instagram-able #treatyoself day!
So make room in your budget and schedule for regular Massage Therapy, just like you would any other important expense or meeting, because if your body fails, you have nowhere else to live. Besides, if you find a therapist with the right expertise you will likely be surprised by what other improvements to your health massage can make.
Hi, it’s Valery again! Thanks again to Leslie for taking the time to share more about the benefits of massage! Visit her website to learn more and be sure to sign up for her email list! She does offer an Exclusive Cupping Session for just $40, a perfect way to give it a try!