The Healing Effects of Massage Therapy
It’s funny how a lot of people think of scheduling a massage for themselves only when they feel they deserve to be pampered. I have learned over the years just how therapeutic massage is for the body. And also that all massages are not created equal.
Because I am not a big fan of pharmaceuticals or doctors, I have dedicated my quest for health along holistic avenues. And one of those holistic avenues just happens to be massage.
I have had many massages, and they are not all equal. My two favorite massage therapists down south where I used to live are Lorri and Dean. Lorri works for a chiropractor I used to go to. She can get to the heart of your muscle issues and work them right out. She’s helped me be able to work as a dental hygiene clinician for 28 years, which is a very tedious profession and not the kindest to my neck and shoulders. Lorri is a fantastic massage therapist!
I met Dean while he was in massage therapy school. I think he’s managing a vitamin retail store now, but doing some massage too. Dean is also a gifted therapist. It’s as if you can feel the healing energy coming from his hands. All of us hold a certain amount of stress and tension in our bodies. If we don’t do something to loosen that up, we will develop chronic issues that ultimately decrease our mobility, our flexibility, and our quality of life.
Most recently for me, I had an accident on the ice. I was taking my dog out in my backyard. Unbeknownst to me, our back patio was iced over. Before I knew it, both of my feet slid out from under me and I landed hard on my right elbow and the back of my head. The blow to my head was so hard that it affected my vision for several hours after the incident.
I used an ice pack on the back of my head, 20 minutes on, 20 minutes off, for about the first 4 hours, which helped the swelling tremendously. And I used ibuprofen daily for about 5 days, which did help. But ibuprofen (as with most medications) masks the underlying issue. I know it helps with inflammation and pain, however, once I backed off of taking it, my pain returned. That’s the danger of relying on medication. It makes you think your body has healed because it covers up the pain.
About a week following my accident, my daughter and I went to a local spa for mother/daughter pedicures and massages. The gal who massaged me was good, but she totally didn’t listen to what I was telling her about my fall. She actually created a lot of pain in my body. It was a miserable massage.
One of my friends in south Florida, who is also into natural health and healing, had recommended for my husband several months ago to see a therapist who specialized in craniosacral massage. So, I called this therapist, Elizabeth Shumaker. She spent time on the phone with me listening to the story of my injury and felt like she could help me. I scheduled an appointment for the next day.
Elizabeth spent an hour with me, performing both traditional and craniosacral massage therapy. I could feel my tight muscles giving up their tenacious grip. There was definitely soreness during our session, but I couldn’t believe how fabulous I felt immediately following the work. The pain was subsiding in my body. I felt more fluid and flexible.
I go back for another session tomorrow with Elizabeth. I am thoroughly amazed at the difference just one session with her has had on my pain and healing. I am so grateful for her healing hands and that I kept searching until I found the right answers.
I think a lot of folks choose their treatment options according to what their health insurance will pay. I consulted with the insurance policy I hold, and they do not pay for massage as a treatment. But, I am living proof that massage therapy is definitely a valid and respectable treatment option for injuries, and for maintaining wellness! Thank you to all of the gifted massage therapists out there!