Sleeping, snoring and other “embarrassments”

During my time as a massage therapist, I have had many people sheepishly say to me, “I might fall asleep during the massage”, or with some embarrassment say to me, “I’m sorry if I was snoring”.

Although I have heard of the occasional therapist who is somehow offended by a sleeping client, I just want to give you my personal opinion. I personally take it as a great compliment that you feel so comfortable and relaxed with me that you  can drift off to sleep. I think that it is a great honor to have my clients trust me enough to relax to that degree! Snoring during a massage lets me know that I am doing my job of helping you to relax. So, snore away!! It’s music to my ears :) !

 

While I am on the subject of possibly embarrassing situations, let me try to put your mind at ease about a few other things…

Shaving legs

I’m not just trying to be nice when I tell you that it’s okay that you didn’t shave your legs for this appointment…It REALLY is okay! IN FACT, it’s probably BETTER if you don’t shave, simply because stubble that has grown for a day or two is much sharper and actually can cut into my hands. Trust me, I am not offended by hairy legs.

Bodily noises

There are all sorts of sounds that the body makes when it is relaxing. Remember in Science class when your teacher talked about the “Fight or Flight” response? It is activated by your Sympathetic System. Well, your body also has a Parasympathetic System which triggers the “Rest and Digest” response. When you are getting a massage, this system is activated. A number of digestive functions are taking place, some of them more audible than others. So, if these noises occur when you are in a massage with me, and you feel embarrassed, you can do one of two things: Ignore it, and I will too. Or say “oops” and we will both laugh about it.  

Other body reactions

Occasionally, your body may react to massage in other unexpected ways. Again, it’s all part of the relaxation response, and it is fine as long as there are no inappropriate behaviors accompanying the response. Ignore it, and I will too.

Dirty feet

If it really bothers you that your feet have accumulated some dirt or odor before you come in for a massage, I keep wipies and washcloths available in the room. Feel free to use them. 

 

Above all, if you feel embarrassed by anything, please don’t just leave and never come back! Talk to me! You won’t be the first person to have felt worried about these things and I want to take that worry off your mind.

 

 

Massage can help arthritis pain!

Arthritis is a PAIN! Massage can help to manage the pain!

Research supports the idea that regular massage helps manage arthritis pain and stiffness, and helps to improve functioning of the joints. If you are interested in reading about some of the research in this area just head on over to the website for the Touch Research Institute.

I think the most interesting aspect of this idea is that massage can help to break the pain cycle. Pain makes it harder to sleep and harder to move. When you don’t get enough good sleep and/or you don’t move enough, that leads to more pain. Pain makes it harder to sleep and harder to move. And on and on and on and on! If you live with pain, you probably know exactly what I’m talking about! 

You’ve probably heard of the “fight or flight” response. That is the sympathetic nervous system kicking in. BUT, there is also the parasympathetic nervous system which is otherwise known as the “rest and digest” system. When you get a massage, your parasympathetic nervous system kicks into gear.

Increased parasympathetic nervous system activity=Your body relaxes

Your body relaxes=Better sleep and Easier movement

Better sleep and Easier movement=Less pain

Less pain=Your body relaxes

Your body relaxes=Better sleep and Easier movement

Better sleep and Easier movement=Less pain

Less pain!

Also, when you get a massage your body produces more of a hormone called Oxytocin, that makes you feel good. (Massage also decreases certain stress hormones).

Increase of good hormones=Your body relaxes

Your body relaxes=Better sleep and Easier movement

Better sleep and Easier movement=Less pain

Less pain=Your body relaxes

Your body relaxes=Better sleep and Easier movement

Better sleep and Easier movement=Less pain

Less pain!

 

 

So, the only thing left to say is:

Give massage a try!