Ten Reasons to Receive
BY RACHAEL CLEGHORN
Despite its growing popularity, increasing demand, and
more frequent understanding of the powerful benefits
of the practice, massage therapy is still often seen as
a splurge or as an occasional special treat, such as a
Valentine’s Day gift or vacation or getaway indulgence.
Last year, only 18% of adults surveyed received at least
one massage despite the fact that 90% of Americans
perceive massage to be beneficial. That said, we could
all benefit by receiving bodywork more regularly than
simply once a year. Consider the following 10 reasons
to receive regular massage when you are considering
scheduling an appointment. And ask yourself: Why not
benefit from bodywork more often?
1. Touch is healing. Modern science and medicine
continue to find that the healing power of touch and
massage can help people cope with or recover from
life’s biggest challenges from illness, pain, injury, grief,
loss, depression, ADD, trauma, and despair to the
negative impacts of stress. Among its many positive
health benefits, massage can lower blood pressure, reduce levels of stress hormones, strengthen the immune
system, and ease inflammation.
2. It is a matter of fundamental self care. Think
carefully on these few words frequently posited by one
of L.A.’s outspoken Yoga teachers, Bryan Kest, during
class, “This comes down to sensibility and opening
new areas of your body and mind. How can you take
care of anything if you don’t touch it?”
3. It is readily available and affordable. Yes, massage can be expensive depending on where you go or
who you hire. However, there are affordable options
available. Considering it to be an investment in your
health means that the value of what you are receiving
4. It is regularly received by people “in the know.”
The majority of people who receive massage regularly are often body-aware, athletic, or seeking long or
short-term treatment for a specific health condition.
They understand that massage helps speed recovery,
release relaxing oxytocin, enhance performance, and
promote greater health and well-being.
5. It is not a luxury. Whereas massage may have once
been considered a treat for the elite, it is now understood to convey significant healt h and wellness benefits and is available to the masses. Massage is only a
luxury if you consider self-care as a luxury.
6. Become more willing and able to give to others
by receiving. The ancient Greek historian Plutarch
wrote, “What we achieve inwardly will change outer reality.” By taking care of ourselves and allowing
ourselves to be taken care of, we enable ourselves to
take better care of everyone and everything else in our
lives. When we feel good, we make others feel good,
too; the sense of well-being you can experience after a
massage is passed along even through a genuine smile
to a stranger.
7. Use massage to connect to yourself. Receiving a
massage can give you the space to breathe deeply, be
quiet, slow down, zone out and spend quality, stress-free time with yourself your senses.
8. Use massage to connect to others. Receiving a
massage provides us with a fundamental, positive and
healing connection to another human being. Recognizing that connection can expand our own awareness
and empathy, helping us connect to what it means to
9. Live a healthier, happier and longer life. The
Touch Research Institu te at the University of Miami
is solely focused on testing these hypotheses and their
studies consistently find massage to be good for the
body and the mind. Rather than waiting for the truth
to come from science, a better test may be to just do it
and listen to our intuition. Our blissful body-worked
old age may speak for itself.
10. Commit to yourself for your self. Like with Yoga,
continued practice can do more for us than just make
us feel good but the onus is on us to take the initiative. There is never enough time. It comes down to
making the time for our own good. The only task
asked of us during massage is to relax, breathe deeply
While the effects of a massage may seem temporary,
what isn’t temporary? Yet the effects may not be felt
simply in passing. Evidence shows that massage creates long-term positive biologic changes in the body
and the effects from even one massage are sure to do
more than just a body good.
Rachael Cleghorn maintains a bodywork practice in San Francisco
and is always open to receiving Yogi-minded clientele. Visit her website
at: Heal ThySelfBodywork.com