MASSAGE for WOMEN
Completing the Circle
As a woman, you are likely to be under pressure, with your talents
in demand at work, at home or both. You offer a lot of yourself.
But you arent made to give unendingly and never replenish.
The stream of giving must become a circle, completed by receiving.
Massage therapy helps you cope with stress and provides a way to
relax and move through lifes challenges and transitions more
gracefully. Massage can reduce the discomfort and pain caused by
illness, activity, or hormonal fluctuations. By committing to care
for yourself with massage, you boost the emotional and physical
resources that support you in doing all the things you want and
need to do.
The Need for Touch
Research demonstrates that touch is necessary for normal infant
development. The need for touch continues throughout our lives.
The caring touch of massage can help restore your energy and sense
of well-being. If you are living alone due to the loss of a mate,
by choice, or for any other reason, you may miss physical affection
or feel isolated at times. While massage is not a replacement for
a partner or family, it can help satisfy the need for touch and
in this way support your feelings of self-worth and sense of connectedness
Massage and Stress
Massage can help you cope with what may be your number one complaint
-- stress. Because massage relaxes the nervous system and alleviates
muscle tightness, it can help relieve stress-related conditions
such as anxiety, depression, insomnia, and headaches. When you feel
renewed and restored after a massage, daily aggravations seem less
important and are easier to cope with. A tension relieving massage
can also support you during emotionally stressful times or if you
are in psychological counseling.
Help for Specific Conditions
FIBROMYALGIA. Fibromyalgia is a condition associated with chronic
pain and specific tender areas in the neck, trunk, and hips that
primarily affects women. Specific massage techniques can relieve
trigger points and release endorphins, the
bodys natural painkiller.
ARTHRITIS. Massage therapy can help you cope with both the physical
pain and the mental stress of arthritis. Massage boosts circulation,
which enhances natural joint lubrication and flushes away irritating
chemicals produced by inflammation. Gentle stretching and kneading
of tight muscles around affected joints helps then relax and improves
movement. You may find that a nurturing massage can improve sleep,
provide a break from anxiety, and act as an antidote to the isolation
sometimes associated with arthritis.
Massage helps calm your emotions, eases low back tension, and can
decrease the pain of menstrual cramping.
Support Through Lifes Stages
In adolescence, the safe and soothing touch of massage can help
a girl become more accepting of her physical and emotional changes
and teach her to release tension in a healthy way.
During pregnancy, massage can reduce discomfort in the muscles of
the back, hips, and legs caused by increased and redistributed weight.
Gentle stroking reduces excess fluid retention by assisting the
effective circulation and elimination of these fluids. Postpartum,
the nurturing touch of massage can provide a needed comfort if you
feel depressed, overwhelmed, or just need a relaxing break from
the demands of caring for a newborn.
Because massage promotes relaxation and a sense of well-being, it
can ease the menopausal discomforts of hot flashes, headaches, insomnia,
achy muscles, and emotional ups and downs. During menopause you
may at times feel invisible, or doubt your usefulness as you transition
away from the childbearing years and societys idealized body
type. Massage therapy offers you reassurance, balancing, and a positive
association with your body so that you may experience the enhanced
vitality that is also a part of this powerful transition.
Facial massage has long
been used to promote a vibrant complexion and to combat the effects
of stress and aging. Because massage increases circulation, it can
help to improve your skin tone. Massage oils and lotions also moisturize
and soften your skin.
You May Be Wondering...
How much clothing do I need to remove?
commonly, people remove most or all of their clothing for a full
body massage and are draped with a sheet throughout the session.
Undress as much as is comfortable for you. For chair massage and
some other types of massage, undressing is not necessary. If you
are uncomfortable about receiving a massage for this or any reason,
be sure to discuss your concerns with your massage therapist.
Will I feel embarrassed about the massage therapist seeing my body?
Massage therapists are there to help you feel better, not to judge
you. They see a wide variety of body shapes and sizes and work with
each client as an individual. Since massage is an affirming experience,
it can even help you come to appreciate your own body more.
Will massage hurt?
A massage should feel relaxing and enjoyable.
If your massage therapist is working in an area of chronic pain
there may be some initial discomfort which should quickly ease.
If you do experience pain during a massage always let your therapist
know so that she or he can adapt to your comfort level.
How frequently should I get massage?
The more often you receive a massage, the more benefits you will
notice. Your therapist will help you decide the best frequency for
your appointments to meet your specific needs.
Isnt massage a luxury?
Can I afford it? Even if a massage were just an enjoyable experience,
you deserve it. If you are concerned about affordability, talk to
your massage therapist about options, including varying lengths.
But massage is more than a luxury. It promotes health by relieving
stress, reducing muscle tension, increasing circulation, and enhancing
your overall energy and vitality. Receiving a massage is an investment
in yourself. It pays off by improving your capacity to take care
of others, to fulfill your responsibilities and to lead a more satisfying