Benefits of Massage – Taking Great Care of YOU!

Bonnie Gortler is an accomplished woman in many areas of her life. We welcome her to the Nurturing Wellness through Radical Self-Care book launch and as a guest blogger.  Thank you for your beautiful article Bonnie.

Bonnie Gortler (@optiongirl) is a successful stock market guru who is passionate about teaching others about social media, weight loss and wealth. Over her 30-year corporate career, she has been instrumental in managing multi-million dollar client portfolios within a top rated investment firm. Bonnie is a uniquely multi-talented woman who believes that honesty, loyalty and perseverance are the keys to success. You will constantly find her displaying these beliefs due to her winning spirit and ‘You Can Do It’ attitude. Bonnie is a huge sports fan that has successfully lost over 70 pounds by applying the many lessons learned through her ongoing commitment toward personal growth and development while continually encouraging others to reach their goals & dreams. It is within her latest book project, Journey to Wealth, where Bonnie has made it her mission to help everyone learn the steps needed to gain sustainable wealth and personal prosperity. Look for Journey to Wealth mid 2013!

Benefits of Massage – Taking Great Care of YOU!

Guest post by Bonnie Gortler

Have you ever had surgery or fallen? Or maybe you simply have aches and pains that won’t go away. In an effort to find relief from pain have you sought out different health professionals or taken a number of medications only to find you are still in pain? We have all experienced this in one form or another. Especially as we age. Here is a possible solution to your problem. It may sound a bit crazy but what about adding massage therapy to your ‘take care of you’ list? Let me explain why this method of treatment works and is so powerful.

If you are like me then you know there is always something new going on with your health. When you are in pain prescriptions, ointments, or heating pads work on occasion but really offer only temporary results. Once the pain comes back you are then left looking for other options or are just plain unsure of what to do next.

You will be amazed at how much better your injury or ailment will feel after a relaxing therapeutic massage. Massage is a great way to bring your body back into a state of ease that would not be possible otherwise. I share this with you because massage therapy has made a huge difference in my overall health and quality of life. You can also achieve this by just listening to the facts surrounding this effective method of treatment.

I discovered how beneficial massage was after encountering a severe injury of my own in January of 1995. It happened on a Sunday afternoon while I was walking our dog, Spanky. As I was walking and watching him run my foot became caught in a large hole which sent me rolling to the bottom of a fairly long hill. It was amazing that I was even able to get up! After the shock of it all, I slowly found my way home and forced myself up a flight of stairs to the warm bed I believed would cure me along with a day of rest and an ice pack. Actually, this wasn’t too bad of a thought because it also served as the perfect excuse to engage in my passion…football! However, my ankle had other plans. It soon turned many colors which alerted me that I had a big problem. I immediately called the orthopedist who scheduled me for an appointment the following morning.

Once my doctor had a good look at my injury I scheduled for surgery to repair the torn ligaments in my leg and a broken ankle. My ankle required 6 screws and a metal plate plus a lengthy road to recovery. Having been athletic all of my life and to experience such a serious injury was quite unsettling and not the happiest of times for this independent woman. I soon began to realize that I was now dependent on those around me and the medication only dulled my pain. Sometimes the pain was so severe that I was not sure how I could get through it long enough for my body to heal properly. The thought of this soon began to dampen my spirits. I needed help. I needed relief.

It was soon after these feelings began to take hold, I discovered how massage therapy could actually make a difference in my life. Even after 14 months of intensive physical therapy, I was still in severe pain. It became clear that treating my injury with only medication and therapy was not enough to make me better. I then decided to focus on adding regular massage sessions to find the relief I so desperately needed. It was through a referral that I found my professional massage therapist who has turned out to be a true gift within my life.

If you are experiencing pain or discomfort then you too can find a great therapist. However, keep in mind that they should be licensed, have plenty of experience, and be absolutely passionate about what they do. Also, check with other health care providers to see if they offer referrals. By taking these steps in the beginning, you can move much faster down the road to recovery.

Once I began this process relief happened quite fast considering what I had been through the past year. What I found most intriguing was how massage healed both my mind and my body. My massage sessions allowed my body to truly relax as the intense pressure loosened my injured and overused muscles. I soon learned that frequent massages help to reduce my post-surgery adhesions and edema. The weekly sessions were able to break up and realign the accumulated scar tissue that had developed after my injury. This was the source of my never ending pain. Once this was addressed then the real healing process began. I soon became hooked because it was through massage that my pain was able to disappear like magic.

There were even more benefits to discover as I continued with my program. Not only was I feeling better but I really began to understand why it was working. The body is truly remarkable! Massage therapy works so well because it actually helps to increase the number of endorphins (the body’s natural painkiller) your body creates thereby allowing you to experience improved range of motion. Increased blood circulation creates efficient pathways to tissues and vital organs where the much needed oxygen and nutrients can travel. Soon your lymph flow is stimulated to boost the body’s natural defense system against toxic invaders. I can tell you, without a doubt, I’ve experienced tremendous pain relief through massage in a way that medication and physical therapy were unable to provide.

You now may be asking if the results are long term. Let’s fast forward to today and my answer is a resounding – ‘Yes’! Even though my pain subsided years ago I still include weekly massage sessions as part of my better health regime. Why? Remember when I spoke earlier about your ‘take care of you’ list’? Just because you are feeling better there is no need to give up the healthy benefits that massage provides.

It is also a necessity to discuss the benefits that massage has on the mind and spirit. We all lead such busy and demanding lives which can cause tremendous stress and imbalance. The medical community and society in general are becoming more aware of the role stress plays on our health. People who are stressed are less healthy compared to those who engage in regular stress relieving activities. Stress increases the risk of heart disease which is the number 1 killer in America. When you incorporate massage therapy in your life it becomes an effective and enjoyable way to reduce stress, tension and anxiety. Massage therapy calms the nervous system and promotes a sense of relaxation and wellbeing. This is perfect for people who suffer from migraines, arthritis, sciatica, and muscle spasms (just to name a few). In most cases, people find that their pain is greatly reduced and may even require less medication. Some even are able to give up their prescriptions all together. This isn’t the case for everyone but how wonderful it is to have an alternative that works with fewer side effects. Remember, I am speaking from my experience so please discuss any changes to your activities or medication with your own health care provider.

No one can dismiss the fact that massage therapy is great for the mind, spirit, and body. If you have ever dreamed of being a ‘King’ or ‘Queen’ or wondered what paradise was like then you MUST schedule a massage to find out for yourself. What other activity has such profound health benefits while allowing you to let go, relax, and pamper yourself?

There are those who may perceive massage therapy as an expensive luxury. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Frequent visits are a wise investment toward better health. What may actually be holding people back is a lack of discipline or a perceived lack of resources. Take a moment and think about your life and your health. What would be different in your life if you made the commitment to having a better diet, engaging in regular exercise, making wise emotional choices, and adding massage to your healthcare regime? What difference would this make in your overall picture of health? Compare these healthful activities to the cost of traditional forms of health care (doctor visits, medication, etc.) Which one is going to serve you better in the long run? Which is going to provide you the best overall benefit? Once you begin paying attention to your whole body instead of just treating the complaint your entire body responds with good health. Everything begins to run efficiently just as the body was designed to do. So much so that you may even want to consider a weekly 2 hour massage! (Now you probably think I’ve gone too far) But really, when you combine the use of essential oils, soothing music, and a professional you trust the benefits simply outweigh the costs.

Another way to save money is by asking if the therapist is to travel to your home. Some do and at a lower rate than what a spa would charge. You can save yourself some money while basking in pure relaxation without the drive home. You will feel like a million bucks in body but also in spirit because you did something for you. So be sure to remind yourself of the many health benefits you will receive from massage therapy should you ever start feeling guilty about spending money on massage. Remember, you are worth every penny!

We’ve been talking a great deal about massage and its many benefits. Simply stated you can feel a tremendous difference in your overall health by incorporating massage into your healthcare routine. When it comes to our own health we tend to take care of others first and then address our needs only when a serious condition arises. This is a recipe for disaster. Don’t let a serious injury be the reason that you begin to take notice of your health. I learned this the hard way. What would serve all of us better is a proactive approach and remembering that the best way to take care of someone else is to ‘FIRST’ take care ourselves. You have this one life and by adding massage you can create changes within your physiology that will serve you on so many levels. It can be the one special way you take care of yourself and create real change in your life. I’ve shared with you my own experience while discussing both the physical and mental benefits that massage can bring. The investment of time and money are well worth it. The results are pure magic! You have to put yourself first and believe you’re worth it. Taking care of you in this way is simply a slice of heaven! No one is going to give you permission. YOU must put forth the effort and take the time to incorporate massage as a way to clear your mind, heal your body and renew your soul. It really works. Remember, you are bigger than life so take care of number one… YOU!

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