Massage Therapy provides a fantastic way to help you feel better, both during your session and afterward. But taking care of yourself is more than something you do once every few weeks.
You need to provide your body with the care it requires, every day. What you do and how you do it, what you eat and when you eat it, and how you manage stress along the way all help you improve your overall wellbeing. And when you add regular massage therapy treatment to the mix, you lay out a complete path that will help you feel great.
Diet and Exercise
For many of us, it starts with what we eat. This isn’t about needing to have a certain body type or shape; we come in all different shapes and sizes, and that is part of what makes every person beautiful! But you should think about giving yourself the right kinds of fuel that will help you feel better: not in a moment of indulgence, but in the long term. Take in fruits and vegetables,and drink plenty of water. Get the protein and vitamins and minerals you need to give you strength and fuel. Too many people either binge eat or try to starve themselves, not realizing that a moderate diet can and should include foods you enjoy so you will continue to enjoy meals while being healthy about it.
Similarly, exercise should be part of your routine every day. No one needs to work out five hours a day, unless you are a professional athlete or model! Some exercise each day, though, keeps your body fit and lets you bounce back more quickly from injuries or illnesses. Stretch before and after, and mix up your workouts: walking jogging, swimming, yoga, and team sports all help you get your blood flowing, strengthen your heart and your muscles, and make you feel good!
Taking care of your body means giving it the fuel and the exercise you need each day. It isn’t about looking a certain way, though a proper diet and exercise can help you reach or maintain your fitness goals. It’s about giving your body what it needs to work optimally, to heal itself and fight off illness, and to support you well into your later years.
Physical and Mental Health
When you look at your overall wellness, physical health is probably what comes to mind first. And this is important. Many sicknesses and injuries result from our not taking proper care of ourselves. Going to the doctor when you are sick is important; taking care of yourself so you don’t get sick as often is better. Your body has systems in place to cleanse itself of impurities, to nourish and energize itself when you eat, and to do all of the different work tasks you do. Give it a chance to function at its best! Still, physical health is only part of the picture. Your mental and emotional wellbeing play important roles in your overall health too. Too many times, we let stress build up and take over.
It weakens your entire body, and leaves you more vulnerable to problems of all varieties. Alternatively, you may feel your mood and energy levels drop, and lose the motivation and desire to complete the tasks you need, and normally want, to do.
Some of this ties back to what you eat, drink, and do. Scientists every day find new connections between our minds and our bodies. After all, your brain isn’t floating outside of you; it sits in your head and connects through your spinal cord and nervous system to everything else in your body. When you take care of the physical aspects, it can’t help but improve your mental and emotional state.
This is where massage therapy fits in as well. If you are feeling the impact of mental and emotional stress or physical injuries, massage works to soothe much of that away. Depending on your body type, you may benefit more from a relaxation massage, Deep Tissue Massage, sports massage, or hot stone therapy. Regardless of the style and techniques that work best, though, going in for treatment helps tie your health picture together. It improves your body’s stress levels and basic functionality, allowing you to do the things you need to do—and do them better than ever.
Finding Your Balance
A common thread though all of this is balance. You need to find ways to bring your physical and mental sides into harmony with each other. Take time to exercise and work, but take time to relax as well. Some stress is natural and good, but too much without finding releases for it creates health problems that can be difficult to overcome. Balance strenuous workouts with lighter ones. Eat healthy foods, but find opportunities to treat yourself along the way.
We as people are not built to live on the extreme edges of anything. Even professional athletes build in rest time to help them reach their peak condition, and to recover after the climaxes of their performance lives. For you it may be less intense, but you still should find ways to balance out your days. Massage therapy sessions that you schedule regularly can be part of this, and you should build that into your schedule over time. In addition, finding moments of quiet in general serve you well. You may use meditation, yoga, massage therapy, and/or moments just stepping away from your usual plugged-in life to enjoy a cup of coffee, a walk, or time relaxing with some friends.
In all of this, finding your balance is perhaps the most critical aspect of taking care of yourself. Life should enjoy both ebbs and flows; each one contributes to the life you live. Driving through every day without taking time to relax and appreciate yourself ultimately hurts you. Find your bliss, and find time to pursue it. Whether you do so with massage therapy, Yoga, or quiet moments along the way, your mind and body will thank you for it.