The Indulgence of Massage
Article by Elisha Shumaker, LMT
Healing may not be so much about getting better, as about letting go of everything that isn’t you all of the expectations, all of the beliefs and becoming who you are.~ Rachel Naomi Remen
The word indulge is a verb meaning, “to allow oneself to enjoy the pleasure of.” Many people consider receiving a massage to be an indulgence. It may be ritualistic, or seen as a special treat, something special you do for yourself. An act of self-kindness. It is a surrender of the ego.
The voice of ego is concerned with money, power, self-consciousness, and intangible reward. The voice of ego is rushed and wants to be in control. The ego is often the voice telling us we aren’t worthy, deserving or good enough. Receiving massage relinquishes the ego of control, and allows the true self to step out and boldly flourish.
We have all experienced pains and traumas to varying degrees within the holistic body. Many of these are unwittingly self-inflicted. Breaking the cycle of self-inflicted pain and trauma involves releasing these tensions in the mind and body. The mind and body are inseparable, what happens to one, affects the other. Massage, the manipulation of soft tissues, thus not only brings vitality and healing to the physical body, but also the mental, emotional, spiritual, and energetic aspects. Many of societies ails today involve people who are simply not happy, or at home within themselves. Being within their own skin is not a comfortable feeling. It is helpful to remember that it took a long time to accumulate our aches, pains, and traumas. They run deep within us, and it can take a while to reach full release.
Massage Therapy has an effect of allowing you to become more in tune, and able to listen to the body’s sometimes stifled messages. Massage’s role as an act of self-kindness, self-care, or self-love promotes a healthy attitude toward the self and towards others. This act of self-kindness, when done regularly, promotes bodily awareness, improved proprioception (sense of self, movement and balance in space), and builds habituation of the practice of receiving massage. Allowing oneself to receive massage is a way to create space for the life long journey of wellness. Physically, muscles tissue is brought out of tension, the parasympathetic response is engaged, and painful blockages are negotiated, allowing fresh blood and nutrient supplies to reach constricted areas. A skilled, knowledgeable, and nurturing Massage Professional is able to create space for healing and growth, and allowing oneself to enjoy the pleasure of oneself.
I receive massage about once per week. It is an investment of time, energy, and money. It is an investment in my health, my well-being, my interconnectedness, and my awareness. I recommend that everyone receive massage at least monthly.