Massage your muscles and your mind

skeeze / Pixabay

Guest post by John Turrell, Wellness Coordinator, Greater Portland Branch,YMCA of Southern Maine.

How’s your summer going? It’s been a great one for outdoor activities.

Have you been doing a lot of kayaking, cycling or gardening? Are your muscles a bit sore?

Feeling a little stressed because summer is winding down and you’re not looking forward to cold weather?

Maybe you’re stressed about life in general.

Or you’re looking for something relaxing to do that will rejuvenate your energy level.

Time for a massage

No doubt about it — it’s time for a massage — for your body and your mind!

Research has uncovered many health benefits from massage.

  • Massage reduces inflammation caused by muscle damage from exercise.
  • Massage moderates arthritis pain.
  • For lower-back pain, massage has been found to significantly reduce the pain and improve function.
  • Studies have found it can help relieve anxiety, mild depression, and stress.

Body-n-Care / Pixabay

The best massage for you

The question is how to find the correct type of massage for your needs and wants? Aren’t there many different types of massage?

You could start with a quick 15-minute chair massage for just the neck and shoulders or feet. The next level would be a stress-relieving Swedish-style massage which involves kneading the skin, muscles, and tissue with long strokes and possibly with vibration and tapping. If you have specific muscle trouble areas consider deep-tissue or trigger-point massage, which targets deeper layers of muscle and tissue.

Find a massage therapist who

  • has been trained at an accredited institution
  • is licensed to practice massage in your state
  • is certified by a professional organization
  • has malpractice insurance.

Talk with the massage therapist you choose about what you hope to get from your massage as well as your medical history and any symptoms. The therapist can then focus on particular areas using the most appropriate technique. Tell the therapist about any conditions or injuries that you have.

Caution

If you have any medical conditions, such as cancer, diabetes, high blood pressure, osteoporosis, or are pregnant, it is of utmost importance to consult with your doctor before having a massage.

Summer is a special time of year to vacation, relax and enjoy the outdoors. Even if you’ve had a great summer, if you need an extra boost for your mind and body they both deserve a massage.

Guest post by John Turrell, Wellness Coordinator, Greater Portland Branch,YMCA of Southern Maine.

Diane Atwood

About Diane Atwood

For more than 20 years, Diane was the health reporter on WCSH 6. Before that, a radiation therapist at Maine Medical Center and after, Manager of Marketing/PR at Mercy Hospital. Now she writes the award-winning blog Catching Health with Diane Atwood.