I had the great fortune to be the daughter of a wise woman. My mother was ahead of her time in many ways; most notably, her interest in herbs, alternative wellness, yoga and massage. This was revolutionary stuff in small town Saskatchewan at that time. When I was 12 years old, she became a Registered Massage Therapist and started a small practice in our home. I have known massage therapy to be an alternative to pain medication since I was quite young. As a figure skater, I benefited greatly from her abilities.
One of the myriad things that Mom taught me was that people use massage for many different reasons. I hope to clarify for you how massage therapy can be used in your life.
Some clients are referred to a registered massage therapist (RMT) by their MD, chiropractor or physiotherapist, for a specific health concern. It may be headaches, back or neck pain, injury from a car accident, sport injury, stress or depression. Often these situations require urgent attention and a patient might see an RMT twice a week. For both therapist and patient, getting the symptoms under control is a priority. After seeing an RMT for 3 weeks or so, the main issue may be alleviated or at least under control. These clients may then stop coming for treatments until some other problem arises.
Other clients choose to come for treatments as part of their wellness plan. There may not be an obvious problem to work on or a nagging injury; this is more of a preventative approach to wellness. Clients book a treatment once every 2 weeks or once per month, on a regular basis. They reserve the time and make it a priority, like exercise. Usually this type of treatment involves relaxation. Relaxation time should not be underestimated! We live in a stressful world, with stress-induced illnesses. When the body knows how to relax, it can deal more effectively with what we put it through on a daily basis.
Some of our clients have chronic conditions such as Fibromyalgia. Massage therapy lessens the effect of the condition and adds to the quality of life for someone who faces these additional challenges.
At Soma, we are all trained in pre and postnatal massage therapy. We’re very comfortable helping pregnant women cope with the many changes of the child-bearing year. Many clients begin treatment at the beginning of the 2nd trimester, although massage therapy is very safe during the first trimester as well. We recommend treatments once every 2 weeks in the beginning, increasing to once per week for the last month. Regular massage during this time helps to reduce swelling, lessen fatigue and decrease back strain. We also suggest that massage treatments continue for at least a few weeks after the birth, to help with hormonal adjusting, fight fatigue and reduce strain on the body. Some women continue with regular treatment even after the baby is born to help with strain from breast-feeding, or simply for some “Me” time.
So you see, massage therapy can be useful for everyone, at all stages of life! Listen to your body, and be good to it. Bring it in to Soma once in a while for a tune-up; you’ll be happy you did.
Wishing you health and vitality,