Wellness Strategy, Healthy Touch, Stretching

Wellness Strategy, Healthy Touch, Stretching

IN THIS ISSUE: * Massage as a Wellness Strategy * Healthy Touch: A Story of Recovery from Abuse * Avoid Smartphone Neck Syndrome

Massage as a Wellness Strategy: Partnering with your Therapist Key to Best Results

by Ruth Werner

Every now and then we all need a special treat. Here are some of my favorite indulgences, and I’ll go out on a limb to suggest that I’m probably not alone on some of these:

  • A big piece of cake (dark chocolate, with raspberry preserves oozing between the layers).
  • An evening with a silly movie or two—as mind-numbing as possible, please.
  • Shoe shopping—OK, any shopping. I’m not picky.
  • A massage.

    In the words of the old song, “One of these things is not like the others …”

    How many indulgences can you think of that don’t have profoundly negative consequences on your waistline, your time management, or your credit card bill? How many luxuries can you think of that both promote health and improve productivity?

    Surveys suggest that people today get massage for one of three reasons: to address a specific injury or condition, to manage stress, or as a self-rewarding luxury—a pampering treat.

    These motives might be determined by the setting in which massage is delivered. It seems reasonable to think that massage in a spa or resort might be viewed as a luxury, while massage in a multidisciplinary clinic—maybe along with a session of physical therapy or a chiropractic adjustment—would be viewed as a medical treatment. In actuality, the recipients of massage don’t always make that distinction. Lots of people go to their spa therapists for help with sometimes complex medical conditions, and those in medical clinics often view their post-physical- therapy bodywork session as a reward for their hard work.

I would suggest that the distinction between indulging in a massage as a treat and using it for stress relief is pretty fuzzy. And as someone who has made a career out of studying where massage fits for people dealing with chronic and acute illnesses, I can say with confidence that the line between massage for stress management and massage for a medical condition is practically invisible. The central point here is that massage is a powerful health- care modality, regardless of whether it is being delivered in a spa, a franchise, a home, or a clinic. …Click here for full publication BS summer2011