Massage is one of the easiest, simplest and most effective stress busters on the planet. Massage has the following benefits:

  • Produces deep relaxation
  • Increases circulation
  • Soothes anxiety
  • Provides needed human contact
  • Improves healing
  • Relieves tension in muscles
  • Increases range of motion
  • Increases awareness of where we’re holding tension in our bodies
  • Feels good

Massage is a wonderful way to spend an hour, or if you’re lucky, two. If you cannot afford a professional massage therapist, you can get a massage from your spouse or a friend. You can also go to a massage school. I sometimes go to one in Denver where the students do massages for $20. True, they are usually not as good as paying an expert, but if the cost from a professional massage therapist is prohibitive, it is an alternative.

You can also offer to do a “trade-out” with a massage therapist, where you trade them your talent or products for their services.

Massage is a wonderful gift to give yourself or to give others. I was getting a massage once or twice a month for years. It has a perfect healing effect. You have to make sure you know what relaxation feels like so when you get uptight and out of balance you have the sense to get to a massage therapist quickly.

A few of the many different kinds of massage:

Deep Tissue Massage releases tensions in tightly held patterns to regain mobility.

Shiatsu (“Shi” = finger and “atsu” = pressure) is a Japanese method that applies precise pressure to aid the restoration of balance and energy. The therapist applies pressure with his fingers to help release blocks in the energy meridians.

Swedish Massage seems to be the most common of massage therapies, perhaps because it can be done on anybody and it is easier on the therapist. It is a very relaxing treatment in which the therapist smoothly applies different strokes to release muscle tension.

Trager Method, also called Trager Psychophysical Integration, whose namesake coined the word “mentastics” meaning “mental gymnastics,” employs a series of releasing physical holding patterns by gently cradling and stretching movements.

Foot Reflexology is a therapy where the practitioner applies pressure to various areas of the feet that reflect the body’s major systems and organs.

Cranio-Sacral Therapy balances the bones of the cranium.

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