Adding Massage to Your Wellness Routine

By Shana McDonough- Newport, Rhode Island

I’m willing to bet that it’s been too long since you’ve treated yourself to a massage. In your defense, you’ve made an effort to start taking better care of yourself lately, so you’ve been feeling pretty good! You’ve been getting in at least two or three yoga classes a week, walking the dog every morning, making breakfast at home for yourself and the kids instead of grabbing something on the run and have even managed to meditate 5 minutes a day in the show while getting ready for work. You’ve been doing great, truly, but you just can’t seem to justify treating yourself to a luxurious massage. There’s just no time and you’ll wait until you really, really need it. In fact, you’re pretty sure that you still have a gift certificate from 2009 from your best friend, that’s really going to come in handy when you finally feel like you need a, “me” day, when you really deserve some extra pampering.

What if I were to tell you that getting a massage isn’t simply a treat and that in fact, it’s a wonderful addition to your health and wellness program to help maintain your mind, body and soul. That’s right; you can dust that gift certificate off sooner than you thought, because the benefits of a therapeutic massage are vast. It is a way to help reduce pain muscle pain, improve flexibility and range of motion, lower blood pressure, boost your immune system, decrease stress levels, improve circulation, promote calm and relaxation, relieve headaches, help muscles recover from strenuous workouts amongst countless other phenomenal health benefits. And just like exercise, we thrive from regular sessions as our bodies become accustom to the therapy and tend to respond better to the therapy, and hold the results longer.

Now that you’re ready to start thinking more about adding massage into your wellness routine on a regular basis, you’re probably wondering how regular is regular? This is something you should talk about with your therapist as you begin treatment. Think about what your goals are….stress relief? Relieving chronic neck pain? Addressing carpal tunnel syndrome? Depending on what your body needs, there are treatment plans that can work for you, your schedule and your budget. Don’t be afraid to ask questions as you start treatments with a new therapist or to let them know if anything is uncomfortable in the sessions. Everyone is different, and what works for one person doesn’t necessarily mean it works for another. You may not like the deeper tissue techniques and really find that a lighter approach is more beneficial to your needs. You may find that you don’t like any scented oils to be used as you’re too sensitive to them. Whatever it is that works for you, is the right thing for you.

Now, instead of wracking your brain for the last time you’ve had a massage, you’ll know exactly when it was and when you’re next appointment is.  And just like your favorite Vinyasa class or preferred walking route with Fido, you now have your very own massage program tailored to your individual needs. You’re working on your physical stresses as well as increasing your peace of mind. Gone are the days of random, “treat” here and there, and here are the days of taking care of you.

About Shana McDnough, LCMT,CEIM
Shana has been a nationally certified massage therapist and licensed practitioner in the State of Rhode Island since 2008 and opened her own practice in Newport in 2012. Her goal is to help facilitate a massage program for her clients to help maintain their wellness goals. She uses Deep Tissue, Swedish, hot stone and sports massage techniques to tailor her treatments specifically to the clients’ needs. Shana also specializes in prenatal massages as well as provides infant massage education to parents and other health professionals.

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