Thursday, April 22, 2010

Why did I wait so long?

My birthday was earlier this month and my oldest daughter gave me a gift certificate for a one hour massage. I have never in my life had a full body massage and  I so wish i had gotten the nerve to have one sooner. Boy was i missing out! I had always wanted one but was nervous about it due to the whole strip-down thing. Like a lot of women i have a lack of confidence and body hang-ups. Isn't it awful how we miss out on some great experiences because of hang-ups we push on ourselves for things that no one else pays anymind to. Sometimes we can get over them, many times we can't. In this case i was kind of forced out of my safe little box to try a new experience. All my nervousness had been for nothing - here is a recap for those of you curious to try, but also nervous of the unknown.
When i walked in to the store i was asked to fill out a form with a few questions such as if i had any injuries, taking any meds, under a doctors, care, what kind of work do you do, etc. This all helps the massage therapist know what type of treatment might be best for you and what parts of the body she may  need to focus on the most. In my case since i'm hunched over a computer most of the day at my job, she focused on my shoulders and lower back. The forms also confirm that at no time will those parts of the body in the swim suit zone be exposed.
My daughter had splurged and also added in an aromatherapy treatment. Once i had filled out the forms (2) i got to choose what scents i wanted. These would be mixed into the lotion that would be used during my massage. I had 7 choices and all sounded enticing but since i was a tad bit anxious about this experience i choose the anxiety aromatherapy. This featured lavender, chamomile and vetiver, citrus and clary sage and according to the brochure, promised to "promote a sense of inner peace and harmony while easing nervousness, irritability and apprehension."
Once that was done, i was shown into the "tranquility" room. A small waiting room with calming music, comfy chairs and a water fountain. It was very tranquil and wish i had one at home i could escape to when i want to just relax and read.
After a few minutes, Martha, my massage therapist came to get me. She introduced herself and was very pleasant all the while asking questions to help her gauge and confirm what i wanted out of the experience (knead out my shoulder knots and some relaxation). We came to the massage room which had dim lighting and the same calm music from the tranquility room. She told me to undress and get under the sheets face down and she would be back in 2 minutes. It felt funny undressing for something that was not a doctor appointment. Once Martha came back in she began to work her magic on my poor shoulders and back. It was so relaxing and before i knew it the hour was up! i didn't think it would go by as fast as it did and i was dissapointed when she said we were done.
In addition to the relaxation benefits there are additional health benefits as well to having a regular massage -
  • Helps boost your immune system
  • Helps relieves symptoms of PMS such as water retention and mood swings
  • Helps reduce stress hormone levels
  • Helps reduce blood pressure
  • and more depending on your health and activities!
For anyone who has never had one it really is a must try experience. There are several chains out there (massage envy is one) that offer the service for a not too expensive price plus the convenience of night and/or weekend appointments. Massage schools also offer great deals (they have to practice on someone right?).  Step out of your comfort zone and give yourself this time of pampering. It will help you be in better mental and physical health to keep up with the demands of work and family! It is so worth it.

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