Those of you who know me well know I am not a big fan of medications. If you did not already know that you can refer to my entry about popping pills.
With that said I definitely am an advocate for other therapies. Fortunately I am quite healthy and rarely need a doctor for any illness or ailment, so I cannot say that I have experienced many of them myself.
Years ago I went to a massage therapist for a minor back injury. A friend (drunkenly) picked me up and proceeded to carry me down a hallway and tripped on a dog causing him to drop me. I went down on my knees hard and my back arched. I didn’t think there was any serious injury, but I did have a mild nagging pain in the middle portion of my back. I decided to see if massage therapy would help the spot before I ventured to the doctor or an orthopedist. A few sessions later I no longer had the pain, and I also found the relaxation of a massage to be beneficial for me as well.
As a Wellspan employee I am allotted $500 worth of massages a year through Wellspan Center for Mind/Body Health. Yes, this is a very luxurious benefit, but I am glad that as a health organization Wellspan recognizes the importance of overall wellness for its employees.
I had my first massage session the end of April and did a second one tonight after work. Sitting in a cubicle all day answering phones takes its toll on my neck and back as I’m sure many office workers can attest. The massage not only worked out the stiffness that had developed in my neck, but loosened deeper spots in my back that I had not even realized were so tightened up. While driving home I also felt this overwhelming calmness. I typically hate driving on 83 as I feel that is the speed everyone drives on it, but I wasn’t phased even when I had tractor trailers around me.
Many people who have never had a massage assume it’s just completely pleasurable. It is, but not always in the ways one would expect. If a massage is done correctly you will actually experience some soreness afterwards, and it’s recommended that you drink a lot of water to help flush out the toxins that are released during the massage.
A lot of people also tend to think massages are a luxury expense. My first session was 45 minutes in length and only cost $65.55. I think that’s a small price to pay (and would pay it even if it wasn’t covered for me) for both stress relief and treatment of my minor ailments. Even if you can only afford to go once every 6 months or even once a year I say you should treat and heal yourself with the experience.