For a very long time, I saw having a massage as a one-off, a luxury, a treat. In fact, I used to say, “If I was rich, I would get massages all the time!”
Before the end of last year, I could count on my hand the number of times I’d had one done. I’d had a few girly spa days over the years and been given the odd voucher on my birthday or at Christmas.
Now I am having a deep tissue sports massage every 3 weeks without fail.
So, what’s changed? No, sadly I have not become rich!
What has changed is my mindset…
Despite having a very physical job which requires me to be in tip top shape 24/7, I had resigned myself to the belief that getting regular massages was too expensive.
It was only when the pain in my shoulders started becoming too much to ignore that I decided to bite the bullet and look into them.
After some research online, I found a therapist called Ali who lived nearby who offered a mobile massage service at a very reasonable price. £35 for an hour (not £40 for half an hour!) and I didn’t have to leave the house? Perfect!
Ali – Musclewrx
Ali of Musclewrx is a Sports Massage Therapist dedicated to advance massage techniques based on deep tissue, soft tissue release and sports massage therapy. She is qualified in Sports Massage Levels 3 & 4. Basically, she knows her stuff!
My first couple of appointments with Ali were very enlightening. Not only did I learn I was quite lopsided with my right shoulder being considerably lower than my left, I also discovered I had a small ridge of hard muscle protruding out of the upper right side of my back!
It turned out my traps had weakened and therefore lengthened on my right side. Traps refer to the trapezius muscle which is the large paired surface muscle that extends from the back of your head and neck to your shoulders. Basically, my right shoulder was sitting lower than my left because the right side of my trapezius was weak. The whole left side of my back was actually more muscular than my right side!
A weight off my shoulders
Ali advised me to do some daily sets of shoulder shrugs with a light weight to try and strengthen my right shoulder. I’m happy to say I took Ali’s advice and after a few further appointments my shoulders appeared much more level, my ridge had gone and I was no longer suffering with pain or discomfort! Now my shoulders are in better shape we have started working on my calves, hamstrings and quads.
Ali advises having a massage every 3 weeks to keep on top of progress but at first I was only booking appointments when I felt pain. I was leaving it too long in between sessions and undoing Ali’s hard work. At one appointment I remember my muscles being likened to concrete! This was a particularly painful appointment! It was only after that I realised I really ought to take Ali’s advice and book one every 3 weeks.
Health is an investment, not an expense
It occurred to me that whilst I had been trying to save money by not having massages, I was potentially going to cost myself a lot more money in the long run by not having them. As I have already mentioned, I have to be physically fit to be able to do my job. I’m also self-employed so if I don’t work, I don’t get paid!
I now see getting a massage as a necessity, not a luxury. Not only am I physically feeling better, my hour with Ali every 3 weeks is an hour for me, for my well-being. It is an hour where I can relax and unwind, something I have always struggled to actually do!
You don’t need to have an active job like me to benefit from a massage. One of the most common causes of pain and tension in the upper back and shoulders is sitting at a desk all day!
As Ali says –
Massage can help:
- Balance the hormonal system. Very often cortisol (related to stress) is very high and it’s been proven that massage can reduce cortisol by up to 50%.
- Boost serotonin – the happy drug.
- Relieve muscular tension and help the body to relax.
I highly recommend getting in touch with Ali of Musclewrx if you too feel you could benefit from massage. You can contact her through her Facebook page.