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How to Tell When It's Time to Get a Massage

Seeing a massage therapist is one of the very best things you can do for your body. As a treatment, the proximate and long-term healing benefits of massage are hard to overstate. That’s why Advanced Health is so proud to be working with Andrew Castellanos L.Ac. A practitioner of both Eastern and Western schools of medicine, including Shiatsu and acupuncture, as well as deep tissue sports massage and Neuromuscular Reeducation, Castellanos is an expert when it comes to healing, stabilizing, and strengthening the body.

Is it time for you to get a massage? Well, ask yourself if any of these apply to you…

Have You Suffered an Injury?

If you’ve recently suffered any kind of injury, a massage can be an extremely productive part of your recovery. An injury interrupts your body’s normal function, either through damage, or through the imbalances that occur as you go about your day favoring one side or one limb over another.

For instance, even something as innocuous as a sore ankle can lead to a hip imbalance. That imbalance causes tension throughout your body, which can be alleviated or corrected by focused tissue massage.

Do You Workout Regularly?

Regular exercise strains the body. That’s sort of the point, but the oft-repeated adage “no pain no gain” is fundamentally flawed. While exercise is good for the body, pain is a warning that something is too tight, or has been overexerted. That kind of damage can lead to bad form and slower progress toward your fitness goals, and can seriously increase the risk of injury.

A massage loosens the body, and ensures that the various musculoskeletal systems are aligned and integrated properly. Even with perfect form, regular bodily exertion can force those systems out of alignment, and a deep tissue sports massage is a great solution. Even if you’re not experiencing pain or discomfort, it can be a boon to your workouts all the same, improving form and coordination, and keeping everything loose.

Do You Suffer from a Chronic Illness?

Chronic illnesses are a constant bodily strain. Whether through mechanical imbalances, stress, an inability to exercise, or even the tightness from a persistent cough, chronic illnesses take a very serious toll.

Anyone who suffers from a chronic illness can benefit from a therapeutic massage. Beyond the practical benefits, a massage can help to bring about feelings of serenity and wellness. Those psychosomatic benefits can help to lessen the severity of other symptoms as well.

Have You Recently Noticed any Stiffness or Pain?

Early warning signs like stiffness, pain, or weakness can be the precursors for much more severe conditions. They can indicate a stress injury before it becomes debilitating, and they’re often reliable precursors to deeper structural problems. Even a single round of professional massage can be a strong preventative measure against more severe ailments down the line.

Are You Getting Headaches?

Frequent headaches often result from muscle tension in the neck, back, and shoulders. Regular massage can relieve this stress, preventing tension headaches and encouraging good posture. There’s mounting evidence that massage therapy can provide relief to migraine sufferers, as well.

Do You Lack Full Range of Motion?

Whether you’re regularly athletic or not, you may find your range of motion compromised. Have you ever knelt down, but been unable to get back up? Or can you turn your head farther one direction than the other? When’s the last time you were able to touch your toes?

Massage can help unlock that potential, and reintroduce you to angles you’d long since forgotten you had.

Are Your Sleeping Habits Irregular?

On patient intake forms, many massage clients report poor sleep of one kind or another. But with good sleep being so key to other kinds of healing, mentally and physically, it’s not something a person can do without.

Massage helps with sleep issues in two major ways. First, the relaxation and wellness benefits help alleviate anxiety, and help instill a sense of calm. Second, by easing muscle tension, massage can allow a person to find a comfortable sleeping pose without the common twinges and aches many people experience.

Is Your Mental Health Impaired?

As well as its many physical uses, massage therapy is also good for the soul. The serene and placid experience promotes feelings of calmness, wellness, ease, and happiness. There’s a lot of strong science about the very real ways that humans react to touch, and massage intensifies those benefits.

Massage therapy can be an effective treatment for stress, anxiety, certain kinds of depression, or other mental imbalances.

When Is It Time to Get a Massage?

If any part of your mind or body is unwell, massage therapy can help. Even if used for regular bodily maintenance, it can help to prevent future issues before they occur. Really, for most people, there’s no wrong time to get a professional massage, and a world of health and wellness benefits waiting as the result.

Andrew Castellanos, L.Ac. Andrew Castellanos, L.Ac. is a licensed acupuncturist with a Masters Degree in Traditional Chinese Medicine from AIMC in Berkeley.

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