Massage for the New Year

It is the beginning of a new year, which can be an energizing yet worrisome time.  Like a blast of cold wind, the month of January brings to our attention the possibility of new opportunities and causes us to reflect on the goals we didn’t reach in the previous twelve months.  Although the new year is seen as a clean slate, the vast array of choices we have can fill us with anxiety and leave us feeling overwhelmed and powerless to make significant long term changes.  Consider using massage therapy as a tool to overcome anxiety and keep your mind, body and spirit working in harmony to achieve your goals this year.

Anxiety among Americans is especially high this year, as we seat a new President and face a global economic crisis.  Many Americans have seen a decrease in their financial worth as the price of goods continues to rise.  Increased levels of anxiety can cause insomnia, overeating, headaches and other stress related conditions that interfere with our professional and personal lives.  Top-rated institutions such as the Mayo Clinic recognize the many positive benefits of massage and suggest using massage as a tool to calm anxiety and manage health.

Without question, the most popular New Year’s resolutions involve improving eating habits and physical fitness.  Diet and fitness centers nationwide report a jump in memberships and attendance during the first month of the year, only to drop off a month later.  Adding massage to a fitness regimen can help you to reach your diet and fitness goals in several key ways:

•    Massage stretches muscles and improves strength and range of motion.  These benefits help to increase stamina during strenuous activity, improve overall posture and are an important factor in injury prevention.
•    A post-exercise massage relieves soreness, increases the flow of nutrients to muscles and tissues, reduces swelling and helps to expel lactic acid.  This shortens healing time and reduces the number of off-days, which can help you to stay motivated.
•    Massage improves mind-body awareness.  If you are motivated by seeing physical results, you may find it difficult to stay the course when you reach a plateau.  Several studies have shown that receiving regular massage enhances the mind-body connection and promotes an improved body image.  A positive self-image can encourage you to stay focused in the face of adversity.
•    Chair massage is a wonderful reward.  If you are accustomed to rewarding yourself with food, part of reaching your fitness goal is to find alternative ways to honor yourself.  A chair massage is an excellent way to thank yourself for all of your hard work, and it won’t break the bank.  Chair massage focuses on the upper body and an average session lasts about fifteen minutes.  You don’t need to undress and the therapist will come to your location.  Priced at about $1 a minute, it is a lot more satisfying than that pizza.

This year will hold many opportunities for happiness and self-improvement and it will also have its share of struggles.  It is important to keep stress under control and to appreciate your body for all that it does.  Use massage to relax, refresh and reward yourself as you strive to reach your goals.

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