A Necessary Indulgence

Massage is one of the few things we do for our health that feels like an indulgence. When we go to the doctor or the physiotherapist, we do so because we have to. We don’t call the healthy food we eat a “treat,” and when we exercise, it can often feel more like work than play. But for some reason, receiving massage is a luxury: something we only allow ourselves if we feel that we deserve something special.

If you are someone who hardly, if ever, receives bodywork, it might not be obvious what exactly you’re missing out on. If you can keep living and breathing, coping and getting by, how necessary is massage? But like food, movement, mental and spiritual self care, the detriment of not partaking in massage can be difficult to measure and possibly only noticeable months or years down the road. Would you have developed carpal tunnel syndrome or herniated spinal disks if you had indulged in some massage at the first sign of pain in your wrist or back last year? Maybe not. Could you have avoided that knee replacement or the cesarean surgery by luxuriating in some regular massage? Possibly. Would the whiplash you sustained in a recent car accident be less severe if you had been treating yourself to a monthly massage? It’s likely.

While it’s impossible to know all that life might throw at us, and what injuries would or would not have been prevented with more self care, it is well known that massage helps our bodies to perform at their best. Barring contagious diseases, there is almost no ailment that can’t be helped in some manner by massage. Cheaper than surgery, with better side effects than pharmaceuticals, and usually really pleasant, massage should be the first thing you ask your doctor about when discussing a treatment protocol.

If you are striving to be the best possible you, consider adding massage to your self care regimen. I can’t know if you will be saving yourself thousands of dollars and years of agonizing pain, but I am certain you will be enjoying how healthy you feel, on and off the table. Does that sound like an indulgence to you?