The latest employment statistics indicate that there are approximately 334,291 certified licensed massage therapists in the U.S.
Thank goodness for that! The Covid pandemic pretty much shut down therapeutic massage for a long time. During Covid 19 lockdowns it was what I missed the most.
For nearly 30 years, regular visits for a therapeutic massage have been a mainstay of my pro-health philosophy on taking care of myself. To me it’s a necessity; not a luxury.
Stress, tension, frustration, and every negative emotion we have gets stored up in our muscles. On top of that there is all the daily use, and sometimes punishing movements we expect our bodies to perform. Those muscles tighten, form knots, and no longer function to stretch and move with our bodies as they’re meant to.
A certified licensed massage therapist is a master at relieving all of that and restoring those muscles to work the way they’re intended.
A 60-minute, or 90-minute massage, is the ultimate in feeling good. Even a 30-minute chair massage can make a huge difference.
The massage therapy market is now a $17.7 billion industry, and it’s growing. Last year 25% of men and 21% of women got regular or frequent massages. 34% of massages are done in spas or a massage therapist’s office. 24% are done at name-brand chains. And 7% are done in people’s homes by massage therapists who do house calls.
When I’m at our home in PA I get my weekly massage at a nearby spa. At my beach house in Florida my massage therapist comes to me. I have a room that is ideal for it, and she sets up there. When I travel, instead of missing my massage I try to book a massage as part of the travel.
I’ve had them done on cruise ships, while staying at mountain lodges, at resort hotels, and booked a massage and entire spa day at the Pierre Ricaud Spa in Paris when I was there.
If you are not giving yourself the benefit of a therapeutic massage, even if only once a month, perhaps it’s something you should try.
Seems there are a lot of “reasons” people resist massage. At the top of the list is the cost. The fee for a one-hour massage can range from $60 to $150 or more depending where you live and the type of therapist. But when you consider the immense health benefits, it’s money well spent.
The second reason is that many people are self conscience of having another person touching them. This is actually a real phobia called haphephobia. It’s a strong aversion to being touched.
There is also a strong misperception that there is a sexual aspect to massage. Not so. At no time during therapeutic massage is there any inappropriate touching or violation of areas. The entire process is one of relaxation; not stimulation.
Time is also a factor. Finding an extra 90 minutes from a busy week can be challenging. Eventually, however, it will be part of your lifestyle; a part you can’t imagine not doing when you realize the amazing benefits.
There are many options for types of massage. There’s relaxing massage with long slow gentle strokes. The most popular type is deep tissue massage, where the therapist actually releases the knots and tension in your sore muscles through many different types of manipulation. It always amazes me when my therapists finds muscles so tight with stress they hurt, yet I wasn’t aware of them until they were exposed.
There have been many times I’ve badly pulled a muscle and gone to my massage therapist in pain, with limited mobility. Each time I come out pain-free, able to function normally again. From special techniques such as the application of heat, hot rocks, cupping, and kneading, a massage therapist is an expert at understanding the muscles, tendons, and ligaments of our bodies.
Another great benefit is that massage improves your circulation which can lower your heart rate, relieve anxiety, and reduce panic behavior.
There are additional massage techniques such as Reiki which is a very gentle, calming massage that relates to energy fields through hand touches and gentle vibrations.
Reflexology focuses massage on the soles of the feet where pressure points connect to other points of the body. It’s often called zone therapy and is especially effective to release sinus pressure, spinal stiffness, and digestive issues. It’s a technique that was developed in ancient Chinese medicine and has been practiced for centuries.
Let’s face it, day in and day out we punish the soles of our feet. Adding a reflexology component to a weekly massage keeps feet healthy and is a deterrent for the onset of neuropathy that often occurs in feet as we age.
In most states the practice of therapeutic massage requires licensed board certification, Facilities get inspected and have strict requirements for cleanliness and professionalism to maintain their licensing. There truly is nothing to be concerned about when getting a massage.
If you want to add more calmness to your life, better relaxation, less stress and tension, and lower anxiety, an hour of therapeutic massage each week can be a life-changer for you. It truly is the ultimate in feeling good.
“My one guilty pleasure is, every airport, I will drop everything to get an airport massage at one of those kiosks.” Tyler Oakley
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