At the beginning of the month, I talked about my 2018 mission to reduce the amount of stress in my life. As part of that mission, I started incorporating regular massage into my routine last Autumn. I promised myself two things from my appointments: firstly, to have a regular time allocated to relaxation and self-care and secondly, to tackle the permanent back and neck pain I’ve been walking around with. Here’s what I’ve learnt so far:
1. Regular massage doesn’t need to be expensive
I’d been considering whether a regular appointment might be beneficial for quite a while, but the price of massage sessions always put me off. I simply can’t drop £50 at regular intervals, and I know that many others are in the same boat. I spent quite a lot of time looking around for affordable options, and eventually found my current arrangement: £10 for a 15-minute session, every other week. This brings me to point number…
2. It doesn’t need to be time intensive
The massage appointments I attend are only 15 to 20 minutes long, but they’re incredibly effective. Because they take place every other week, I don’t have time to tense up too much between appointments, and therefore see a bit of progress each time. They also fit perfectly into my busy days – whether it’s a lunchtime appointment or a quick detour on the way home, short appointments are easy to fit into your calendar.
3. A good practitioner is everything
The masseuse I go to is brilliant. For one, she’s absolutely hilarious. There’s very little forced silence and quite a lot of giggling. Her treatments are bespoke to your issues, and she’s an absolute expert in what she does. In each session, she explains which muscles she’s working on, how the treatment is affecting them and why the area has been causing pain or discomfort. Alongside giving me confidence that I’m in good hands, this also helps me understand better how my posture, sleep position and working habits are affecting my back pain.
4. Consistency makes all the difference
Like almost everything in life, massage starts making a difference when done consistently. Since going at regular intervals, I’ve noticed significant improvements in mobility, especially in the shoulder area, and a reduction in back pain after getting up in the mornings. Improvements weren’t instant, and when they started being noticeable, they weren’t permanent – instead, each session seems to give increasingly longer-lasting results.
For me, attending regular massage sessions has made a huge difference over the last few months. The pain in my back and neck has reduced, and I have more mobility in those areas. I’m also finding it easier to take a deep breath and really relax my shoulders when I notice I’m starting to get stressed and tense – this is something I couldn’t do at all before! I’m continuing my regular massage sessions, and continue to see improvements to both my mind and body. As I learn more about the effects and benefits, I’ll make additional updates to this post! In the meantime, I’d love to know whether regular massage is something you’ve tried. Did it help you with any particular symptoms?