Most often when clients come in for massage, there is only one thing on their mind: their body. Aches, pains, injuries. And rightly so, as pain can be debilitating and fog up thinking.
But the body and it’s physical needs do not happen in a vacuum. The mind and our spirits have a lot of say in what signals it’s sending. Stress can increase pain and how we experience it. Overwhelming thoughts, too much to do, social media scrolling, work, home, relationships, spiritual crisis, children, friends… should I go on? I bet your shoulders are raising just reading that list.
So what can we do at home?
- Be aware of your posture: pull your shoulders back and down away from your head, straighten your spine, take a slow breath in and slowly out.
- Unhinge that jaw: even if you aren’t a grinder, most people don’t realize how contracted their jaws are or how much they clench while they think they’re just in a neutral stance.
- Take purposeful moments of silence: Get up from where you are and change your scenery, whether outside or another room that is quiet. Allow yourself even 1 minute of aware, slow breathing.
- Take care of yourself in all ways: Are you feeding yourself nourishing foods? Are you hydrating your body? Are you attending all of your medical and self-care appointments? Are you taking time to take care of you?
What can you do at your sessions?
- See above: do all of these when coming in for a session. It’s very important you allow your body to completely relax. This helps your body, mind and spirit to balance out as well as allow your therapist to do the work they need without resistance from the body and mind.
- Don’t fight or help: Many people forget they are holding their muscles in positions that are tight and sometimes they think they are helping the therapist. When you are fighting or helping it makes it more difficult for your therapist to move the muscles that need to be moved in a flowing way. If you are fighting because something hurts or strains, tell your therapist right away. Forcing can also backfire as well.
- Let your therapist know what’s on your mind: every session is confidential. If you have stress going on or feel that your energy is off, this can help guide the session. It can also help if you need a referral to a different professional or switching to energy work like reiki.
Allowing yourself and your therapist to be honest and know everything that is going on will fulfill your sessions in a more meaningful way and in turn, your life.