My specialty, and our specialty at Alchemy is assisting, guiding, and supporting the body in dropping out of an on-the-go aroused and stress-filled state.
There are dozens of studies that reference the value of massage and other hands-on modalities in reducing the body’s response to stress, inciting relaxation, and bringing calm to an over aroused person. There are also hundreds of studies showing how powerful massage is for actual healing - I could write about that all day as well, we see those successes regularly. Today I am focused on the simple value of relaxation.
Because I am fascinated by the fact that therapeutic massage, craniosacral therapy, lymph drainage, all of these forms of touch switch the system to a new place, switch chaos to relaxation. Bring us down off the ledge. And that is a much nicer place to live.
Even more importantly though, coming back to a place of relaxation, coming to know a life with less stress, learning to make choices, over and over that bring you to a place of peace. I think these are the choices that will bring us true health and well-being. No matter how long or short our lives are.
We know that massage can effect biochemistry with decreased levels of cortisol and increased levels of serotonin and dopamine across dozens of studies. These studies show us that the actions of intentional informed touch can bring real and lasting physiological change to the body.
That’s not a good enough reason to get a massage though is it?
They may be relaxing, but shouldn’t it do more to be health care or important?
And hey we are often proud of our stress, strut our “busyness”, our multi-tasking.
It has come to define us, and I invite you to let that one go - let’s look at shifting towards health instead. For me, I have learned to bring more and more stress relieving awareness and practices into my life over the years. That said, there is always more to do, however I am as gentle as I can be with myself - because if BEING HARD ON MYSELF WORKED - IT WOULD HAVE WORKED BY NOW!
That something so simple as getting a regular massage could really significantly change your body and reduce your stress response is wonderful and amazing to me. That is the news, that is what I want to crow about. That feeling after a massage - that wonderful place of relaxation, that not a care in the world, that slowness, that deep breath, that is the news! That is enough! We can create the space and time to make getting bodywork a priority.
I challenge you, add a regular massage with a quality licensed therapist to your life once a month. In six months, please share with me how your life has changed. I promise it will.
Amelia Mitchell, LMT, LLCC, BCTMB
Owner Amelia Mitchell, brings her years of experience as a therapist as well as a deep interest in wellness, self-care, and healing to Alchemy's blog.