the road to self care
As I began my journey transitioning from a graphic designer working in front of a computer for almost 30 years, sitting on my butt 8-10 hours a day, I quickly learned that I was not in shape to do this work. I thought my calm, relaxed personality and energetic hands were enough to do the job. As it turns out, the physical demand of a massage therapist is comparable to being a construction worker, a fireman or professional athlete. This was going to be a far greater commitment than I had ever imagined. Stay? Or run (fastish) out the door?
Clearly I stayed. One fantastic reason to stay? I got a massage 4-5 times a week in massage school. My body never felt better. Getting regular massage, my muscles loosened and the tightness and chronic pain I was holding onto began to melt away. I slept better. My mood was better and I began making healthier choices for myself. I stopped eating meat and became a vegetarian. I hired a personal trainer and started getting up at 4:45 in the morning to make a 5:30 yoga class. I began following a wellness model to keep myself in check and feel balanced. I got out of my rut and changed my health. I changed my life!
You know the words, “You can’t take care of others if you don’t take care of yourself first.” Absolute truth. I got to experience first hand the message I would need to deliver to my clients, “Don’t wait until you’re broken, stressed out or just for your birthday before you get a massage.” Look, I don’t expect you to schedule a massage every day, but if you keep it regularly scheduled on your calendar (every two weeks or even once a month), your body will not keep reverting back to the same contracted place each time you get on a massage table.
I learned massage is good medicine and can help so many ailments beyond a sore lower back or tense neck and shoulders. Reduce anxiety, reduce blood pressure, help symptoms of depression, sleep better, release toxins through lymphatic drainage… The list is long and impressive. Most of these symptoms we all have to some degree. When we manage these symptoms with massage, along with making other healthy choices for our bodies, we can CHANGE how we live, commit to ourselves and our well-being and live the life our bodies are craving. It feels so good to feel good.
I leave you with this, ask yourself, “What is ONE THING I can change today that will add another day to my life?”