People come to receive massage for a variety of reasons but largely they fall into three categories, and each has its rightful place.
Firstly, there are folks who just want to totally unwind, chill out and be pampered. That's great and there's absolutely nothing wrong with that. But the second two are perhaps a bit more compelling.
Secondly, relief from aches and pains. This could be to do with your job, your sport, or your hobby. Massage can often help with that. A firm Swedish massage or a sports massage can help break up those knots and improve your flexibility. It'll help waste products move out of the tissues and encourage improved blood flow to the area. This will speed up your recovery, and, of course, is very relaxing.
Thirdly, massage can help alleviate stress, depression and tension. It wont solve your problems but many people report that it is effective as part of a coping strategy. People have used words like "comforting", "soothing", "uplifting" and "empowering" to describe the effect they feel. The tensions we hold in our minds and emotions are often mirrored in our bodies. As the client learns to relax and enjoy the massage those tensions can melt away, both physically and mentally. This is what therapists often mean when they talk about a treatment being "holistic", i.e, it benefits both mind and body.
So whatever your reason is, take care of yourself and treat yourself now and again. When you look after yourself, it often puts you in a better position to be of benefit to others also.
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About Brian Richards
My original approach to learning massage was largely holistic, but after a couple of years I incorporated a more inclusive and adaptable view and learnt sports massage aswell. Clients present themselves for massage for allsorts of reasons and I am happy to accommodate whatever the clients needs happen to be.