2013 (Faith) in Wellness Challenge Week 22: Massage
This week’s Wellness Challenge is fun and feels great! Even so, it can be hard to stick to your commitment and do it every day. When I say massage, I don’t mean go to a spa and get an hour long deep-tissue treatment every single day of the week. We’re much more practical and frugal here.
Massage doesn’t have to be something you go somewhere to do and it doesn’t have to take up hour-long chunks of your day. Massaging the muscles helps stimulate the flow of blood and lymph throughout your body. Lymph is what helps your immune system stay strong but it doesn’t have a natural pump like the heart in the circulatory system to move it around. That’s why exercises such as yoga or physically moving it with your hands through massage, is so important (and also why it feels so good).
Do yourself a favor this week and give your muscles a massage. They deserve it because you work hard. Here are a few ideas on how to incorporate massage into your daily wellness routine.
This one is a personal favorite of mine, although I will admit that I’m much better at receiving here than giving. My boyfriend and I exchange shoulder massages and back rubs often, mostly because if we didn’t our shoulders and backs would scrunch up and die on us. Not only do we feel a lot better, but we feel a lot closer to each other. This is easy to do when watching TV or right before bed, and hey, it might inspire some more fun afterward.
The self-massage you didn’t even know you were giving
If you’re like me, you probably have an unconscious tendency that you aren’t even aware of that may include massage. For the longest time, whenever I got anxious or nervous, my hand shot up to my clavicle and I would start rubbing furiously. I always associated it with an uncomfortable reflex until I started studying energy medicine. All the sudden I realized my uncomfortable reflex was actually my energy body’s nartual response to self-medicate. Turns out I was rubbing my K-27 points, which are vital energy centers in several systems of energy medicine that help relieve stress and reset your body’s energy. Now, instead of judging myself for having strange, unexplainable quirks, I happily indulge in rubbing my collarbone all day long!
Take a few days this week to become aware of any unconscious habits you might have, especially when you’re under stress or in an anxious mood. Notice where your hands naturally roam – you might bite your fingernails, rub your hands, bounce your knee, squeeze your skin, whatever. Pay particular attention to the specific area of your body you keep coming back to and come back to the comments to let me know where you go. I’ll try and help you figure out what that means from an energetic perspective if you’re interested.
At least once a month, I try to take advantage of a real massage. Couples back rubs are nice and all, and my K-27’s are taken care of, but let’s be honest: I don’t really know what I’m doing. I’m happy to fork over some cash to get the real deal and it’s helpful to get a full body flush every once in a while. Think of it as your monthly body detox. If money is an issue (and like I’ve said before, I feel ya), see if you can find a massage school in your area that offers discounted massages for the trainees to get practice. You might not get the best massage in the world, but it’s most likely better than what you can give to yourself or what a friend or significant other can provide, unless of course your friend or significant other is a certified massage therapist!
Other fun options
If you’re lazy, but still in the market for some massage try
- A foam roller
- Electronic massage tool (of the appropriate variety)
- One of those back pads that you hang over chairs and plug into the wall.
- Any number of small plastic apparatus that are meant to make your head feel like it’s being pricked and send chills down your spine (they look like claws)
Hammacher Schlemmer catalogs and/or Brookstone stores are your friend here. Just be aware that foam rollers are not for the faint of heart. They hurt, but they are also incredibly effective at breaking up scar tissue, knots, etc.
At the very least, see if you can challenge yourself to spend 5 minues every day this week engaging in some sort of luxurious, pampering massage activity. You’ll feel better, more relaxed, and more in love with life.
Remember, come back and let me know in the comments below about your funny quirks and I’ll try and help you narrow down the energetic reasoning behind them.
Image credit: w00kie