100 things massage is better than

This is post 100 on my blog!  Thanks for reading along and for the encouraging words to continue with it.

If you haven’t picked up on this by now, I think massage is great.  I began thinking of things that massage is better than.  So here, in no particular order (or maybe there is an order, for you secret code-breakers out there) is –

100 things that massage is better than.

1- It’s better than a sharp stick in the eye.  This is an old hillbilly saying, courtesy of my dad.

2- It’s better than being stuck in traffic.

3- It’s better than not getting a good night’s sleep.

4- It’s better than having a disease named after you.

5- It’s better than letting a repetitive activity cause you pain.  Massage can work as maintenance and put muscles back in their proper place.

6- It’s better than turning your phone on silent, then forgetting where you put it, so you can’t call it and hear it go off.

7- It’s better than having your muscles tied up in knots.

8- It’s better than getting a flat tire in the rain.

9- It’s better than not being able to find your glasses.

10- It’s better than having a headache.  Massage provides relief from tension headaches to migraines.

11- It’s better than having an inane song stuck in your head.

12- It’s better than working on your taxes.

13- It’s better than having dry skin.  Massage helps gives you softer and more moisturized skin.

14- It’s better than watching scary movies on Friday the 13th during a full moon in a creepy house all by yourself.

15- It’s better than letting a little problem develop into a big one.  Massage can keep small problems in their place.  Big problems develop by ignoring them when they are small.

16- It’s better than being under so much pressure that volcanoes are jealous of you.

17- It’s better than having your tongue stuck to a frozen pole like the kid in “A Christmas Story”.

18- It’s better than getting sunburned.  Especially on your feet.  That’s so annoying.

19- It’s better to smile than to scowl.  Massage lets you remember where you left your smile.

20- It’s better than a stiff neck.

21- It’s better than changing diapers.

22- It’s better than waiting in line, especially in the express line behind people who have too many items.

23- It’s better to breathe deeply than short, shallow breaths.  Deep breathing helps you relax and slow down.  You can do this anytime and anywhere.  Well maybe not while under water or being chased by an angry rhino.

24- It’s better than feeling like you have no energy.  Massage can help you feel good so you want to do more.

25- It’s better than not being aware of your body.  You feel better after a massage, so you begin to notice when something starts to hurt.  A small change can prevent future painful problems.

26- It’s better than somebody telling you the ending of a movie that you want to see.

27- It’s better than feeling like a piece of uncooked spaghetti – all stiff and inflexible.  Wouldn’t it be better to feel like a cooked piece, all loose and limber?  Massage can do that without stuffing you in a pot of boiling water.

28- It’s better than having a paper cut.

29- It’s better to sing than snarl.  Even if you just sing to yourself, sing.

30- It’s better than having jaw pain.

31-It’s better than being on the wrong side of the bathroom door.

32- It’s better than political commercials.  Even politicians don’t like them.  The crime rate would go down if that’s all prisoners got to watch on TV and listen to.

33- It’s better to feel like you can move fluidly and gracefully than to feel stiff and clumsy.

34- It’s better than holding a grudge.  Is it that big of a deal?  Can you let it go and feel better?

35- It’s better than being wound up tight.  Loosen up your body and mind and feel the freedom of movement, energy, and thought.

36- It’s better than not getting the joke people around you are laughing at.  It’s OK, some of them didn’t get it either.

37- It’s better than that recurring weird dream.  You know the one.

38- It’s better than shoes that are too tight.

39- It’s better than feeling anxiety.  Massage helps calm everything down.

40- It’s better than having a sore shoulder.  Or two sore shoulders.

41- It’s better than going to the dark side.

42- It’s better than breaking the shoestrings in every shoe you own on the same day and the only footwear you have are diving flippers.

43- It’s better than waking up in pain.  That’s a crummy way to start your day.

44- It’s better than a late rush assignment on Friday that makes you work on the weekend.

45- It’s better than trying to carry the weight of responsibilities all of the time.  Massage gives you a time to put them down for a while.  When you pick them up again, they may not seem so heavy.

46- It’s better than having to rhyme everything you say.

47- It’s better than having a bad habit.  Massage can make you feel better and want to do better.

48- It’s better than a camping trip in a thunderstorm.

49- It’s better than having arthritis pain.

50- It’s better than not being able to turn your head.  Turning your whole body to look to the side doesn’t count.

51- It’s better than being boring.  Get a massage to feel good, then go do something!

52- It’s better than losing your car keys.  Or house keys.  Or piano keys.

53- It’s better than feeling unproductive.  Get rid of some pain and stress and get more done.

54- It’s better than hitting a skunk with your car.  Or with anything really.

55- It’s better than being deprived of touch.  Touch is a basic human need and many people don’t get enough in their daily lives.  Massage is a safe way to receive the touch you may be lacking.

56- It’s better than dwelling on your problems.  Massage helps clear your mind and allow solutions in.

57- It’s better than having bad posture.  Getting loosened up helps you have good posture.

58- It’s better than finding out somebody ate the last piece of chocolate or the last cookie.

59- It’s better than having your shoulders up by your ears.  Let them go back down where they belong.  They like it better there.

60- It’s better than back pain.  No, bending your back is not overrated.

61- It’s better than having howler monkeys who have an ongoing argument with a pack of coyotes take up residence outside your bedroom window every night.

62- It’s better than getting a computer virus.

63- It’s better than finishing shoveling your driveway in the winter then have the snow plow push more snow in.

64- It’s better than somebody always correcting your grammar.  The grammar police are not allowed in the massage room with you.

65- It’s better than feeling stressed.  Stress makes everything harder.

66- It’s better than having a picture of you turn into an internet meme.

67- It’s better than a mosquito buzzing in your ear when you are about to fall asleep.

68- It’s better than losing the TV remote.  Even worse if it is political commercial season.

69- It’s better than needing to take pills for pain regularly.  Even if you own stock in the pill companies.

70- It’s better than foot pain.  Foot massage can help all parts of your legs, and even your hips and back feel better.

71- It’s better than feeling grumpy and crotchety.  Relieve some stress and try acting with kindness and you will probably get some back.

72- It’s better than being attacked by pirates.  I bet those guys would feel better if they got a massage.

73- It’s better than giving up on a dream or a goal.  Feel better and try again!

74- It’s better than thinking you wrote something important in invisible ink but it wasn’t.

75- It’s better than not being listened to.  When you come in I will give you my full attention the whole time.  Nothing else is as important to me as you are.  You came in for a reason.  You deserve to be heard and get the service you need.

76- It’s better than having a whistle in your nose, a frog in your throat, and the hiccups all at the same time.

77- It’s better than having poison ivy.  A lot.

78- It’s better than trying to read the fine print in a contract, or reading the license agreements from computer software.

79- It’s better than being in a foul mood.  In just an hour your day can turn around.

80- It’s better than calf pain.  From your leg, not a small cow, although I guess a small cow could hurt you, so it’s better than that too.

81- It’s better than trying to remember all of your computer passwords.

82- It’s better than college tuition, or student loan bills.

83- It’s better than living in the past or worried about the future.  Massage helps you be in the present.

84- It’s better than having everything you own covered in glitter.

85- It’s better than thinking that nobody cares about you.  Although we may not be close friends or even see each other outside of your appointments, you are important to me.

86- It’s better than living with regret.  What is it that you really want?  Go for it!

87- It’s better than having your mind feel fogged up.  I always feel like I can think much more clearly after a massage.

88- It’s better than going back to work sore after weekend home project or sports adventures.

89- It’s better than accidentally sending that email you wrote to get your anger out.

90- It’s better than hip and leg pain.

91- It’s better than walking barefoot across a floor covered in Lego pieces.  In the dark.

92- It’s better than pulling weeds from your garden.

93- It’s better than watching TV.  Unless maybe it’s Bugs Bunny.  He’s hard to beat.  You can find those online after your massage though.

94- It’s better than your cereal getting all soggy or your eggs getting cold.

95- It’s better than living with chronic pain.  Massage can’t cure everything but it can make daily living better and give you a way to manage it.

96- It’s better than always trying to be perfect.  Come on, nobody can do that.  The people you care about aren’t perfect and don’t expect you to be either.

97- It’s better than a bad haircut.

98- It’s better than having to do something for somebody.  Anybody.  It gives you an entire hour, all to yourself, that you are responsibility free.

99- It’s better than keeping a poor body image.  Massage lets your body feel good which makes it easier to have a better image.

100- It’s better than reading a long list of things on a blog post.

What do you think massage is better than?  Leave a comment or tell me on your next visit.

Barry is a licensed massage therapist at Main Street Massage in Hudson Ohio.  You can learn more at www.Hudson.MassageTherapy.com

 

 

Advertisements

Massage and Bumper Cars

Most of us have been to an amusement park and driven the bumper cars.  It’s a fun activity that doesn’t provide much threat of danger.

You know when you get in the car that you are going to get hit – probably many times.  There are too many other cars that are driving all over to avoid being hit ever.  It’s not a race and there are no lanes that drivers are supposed to stay in.  You can be driving along minding your own business when suddenly somebody hits you from the side or behind.  We can usually see the head-on ones coming and try to miss them.  Your friends or family may gang up on you, or complete strangers hit you.

So you get bumped a few times.  Even getting hit by somebody going full speed doesn’t hurt since the cars have padding and seat belts.  The hits are not a personal attack.  The ride is designed so you are going to get hit and to allow you to hit other cars.

Life can be like bumper cars.  You are working and living your life and suddenly a stressful situation hits you from the side.  Somebody from behind comes up and gives you additional responsibilities that you didn’t see coming.  Problems come at you from family, friends, health, work, and society.  You can’t see them all coming and prepare, and you can’t avoid them all.

Pains that started out small grow into major ones gradually.  The occasional headache becomes a daily one.  The twinge in your neck now makes it hard to turn your head.  An incident from exercise or activity that you thought would go away doesn’t, and instead has decided to move in for a long visit.

Massage can help with the bumper car syndrome.  It gives you some safe time for yourself when nothing is going to hit you unexpectedly.  It helps you realize that you need to expect some bumps along the way.  The bumps in life can hit much harder than bumper cars and we are not always buckled up and prepared for the hits.

Along with reducing stress, massage can also help with the physical pains from the collisions of life.  The tension in your muscles is reduced, allowing you to move much more freely and easier.  Some headaches are muscle related, so relieving that tension helps to keep the headache from coming back.  Muscles get tight and shortened from inactivity and need some relief.  Muscles that get overused from activity need relief to let them work properly.

Bumper cars are fun once in a while, but it wouldn’t be fun if that is how we got around all the time.  Massage is a great way to deal with the bumps that hit us along the way.

Barry is a licensed Massage Therapist at Main Street Massage in Hudson, Ohio.  Find out more about him, his business, and massage at www.HudsonMassageTherapy.com

 

Massage and the magic wand

If you could wave a magic wand and all of your pain were gone – what would your life be like?  What would you do that you don’t do now?  What would you do more of?  What would you do less of (sitting and taking pain pills maybe?).  Use your imagination and picture yourself doing the things you would like to do.  Go down memory lane and think of what you used to do that you enjoyed but don’t do anymore.  Have you grown accustomed to the pain you have, thinking it’s just something you have to live with?

What if you were having a bad, really bad day?  What if in one hour you could have a completely different outlook on life?  How about of instead of continuing with a rotten day, the rest of your day were now terrific?  You would feel better, and your friends, family, and coworkers would also be grateful.

What if you didn’t have to take so many pills for pain?  What if you didn’t have a recurring headache?  What would it be like to get out of bed and not think about what part of your body is hurting?  What if your muscles didn’t feel wound up tight and instead you could move freely, fluidly, and gracefully?  OK, so some of us are not that graceful – but I am more graceful when I feel better.

What if – you didn’t have a knot in your back; that you could bend down easily; that you could turn your neck without turning your whole body?  What if you got a really good night’s sleep?  Do you remember what it feels like to not wake up in pain?

Sometimes we have a problem or an issue that is befuddling us and try as we might we just can’t crack it.  What if in just one hour your mind were open to new possibilities and solutions started coming to you?  The solutions were there the whole time but couldn’t find their way through the tangled labyrinth of your stressed mind.  They are so obvious and simple you wonder why you didn’t see them before.  What if with new clarity your productivity and creativity soared?

What if these things were available – and getting them felt so good as well?  Massage is a time just for you.  You can relax on a comfortable, warm massage table.  You can let your responsibilities go and let your mind drift.  Tell me what pain you have and then let me take care of you.  I’ll use my training, skills, and knowledge to help you feel like yourself again.

What if you make an appointment for a massage already?

Massage is not magic, but sometimes the results can feel magical.  If you have an injury or medical condition, massage may be able to help but it can’t cure everything.  See a doctor or other medical professional if needed.  Massage has a lot to offer in just a little time.

If you want, I’ll use a bamboo piece as a magic massage wand and mutter the secret magic massage words.  Then let everything go, enjoy your massage, and walk back out to the world with a new outlook full of new possibilities.

Barry is a licensed Massage Therapist at Main Street Massage in Hudson, Ohio.  Find out more about him, his business, and massage at www.HudsonMassageTherapy.com

Four ways to keep stress away

Even it you’ve kicked stress out, it’s always looking for an opportunity to come back.  Sometimes it’s obvious, like an illness or scrambling to finish a project or getting your taxes done at the last minute.  Many times it’s very subtle, with just a little thing here or there and before you realize it, stress has unpacked its bags and has made itself at home.  It then commences to kink up your neck, keep you awake, disrupt your concentration, and in general make you miserable.

Toss out stress along with those leftovers you can’t identify anymore.  Here are four quick ways to keep stress at bay.

Meditate

Meditation does not have to be about turning your body into a pretzel, chanting, and reaching enlightenment.  It can simply be about creating a moment of stillness in your mind as a way to become more relaxed.  Just one minute, 60 seconds of meditation, can dramatically improve your mood, your productivity and the quality of your day.  Take a minute to do some deep breathing and observe how your mind slows down and things seem a little less urgent and more manageable.

Exercise

It can be tough to make time for exercise when the schedule fills up and tensions get high.  But that’s when it becomes even more important and helps the most. Exercise can relieve the physical symptoms of stress like fatigue, pain, and moodiness as well as giving you an energy boost.  If you can’t make time for daily workouts, try to fit a 5-10 minute walk outside into some part of your day.  A little goes a long way when you need it.

Laughter and Music

Both laughter and music can lower the blood pressure.  In fact, this study in 2011 showed that 3 months of laughter or music therapy resulted in the same drop in blood pressure that could be achieved with a low-salt diet, losing 10 pounds, or taking a blood-pressure-lowering medication.

So cue up the “Who’s on first?” or dance around with your kids while making dinner and work some giggling and humming into your day.

Massage

I’m sure you saw this one coming, but it is true.  Regular massage can improve sleep, relieve headaches, reduce muscle pain, and improve your mood.  Plus, massage feels good.  When you feel good, you play more, laugh more, work more efficiently, and take better care of the people you love.  Schedule a massage now and send stress packing.

Commit to taking care of yourself!  You may be surprised with the results.

Barry is a licensed Massage Therapist at Main Street Massage in Hudson, Ohio.  Find out more about him, his business, and massage at www.HudsonMassageTherapy.com

 

Should you feel guilty getting a massage?

Sometimes when I am talking to a client and discussing how long it has been since their last massage, or when they want to set up their next one, they hesitate before responding.  They tell me that they feel guilty about getting their massage.  It’s not because anything inappropriate happens during their appointment, or that massage itself is a bad thing.  They are people who give of themselves a lot and feel like they could be using this time and money to be doing something for somebody else.

Guilt implies that something wrong has been done.  Perhaps, but not necessarily, something illegal or unethical.  People feel guilty when they believe they have done something that they knew they shouldn’t have.

Massage helps you to be unburdened from stress you have been dealing with.  It helps to relieve the physical pain brought on by stress, overuse of muscles, an injury or a medical condition.  The clamp around your head is loosened and your headache goes away.  You are able to turn your neck or bend your back without screeching pain.  Your mind gets a break and you get a new outlook on the issues you are facing, and solutions come a little easier.

Is there something wrong with any of that?

The people who discuss the idea of feeling guilty are usually those who are caring for others.  They are caring for family members, such as their children or a parent.  Some are helping a friend, a cause, or an organization make it through a difficult time or a big project.

If you are caring for somebody else much is being asked of you.  You are doing a lot of giving.  You can only give so much without the source being replenished.  Make the time to get yourself taken care of.  When you are well you will be able to continue with the care you are providing.  The quality of your care, and your life, will greatly improve.  You may find yourself with increased energy or have more patience and tolerance when you feel good and are not worn down.

Airlines instruct their passengers that in case of an emergency to put their own oxygen mask on first, then to care for others.  It is good and beneficial to take care of yourself.  It doesn’t mean you are selfish, but it lets you recharge and restock your reserves to continue to assist those you care about.  The people you are helping know you occasionally need some time to yourself, so enjoy your massage free from guilt.

Barry is a licensed Massage Therapist at Main Street Massage in Hudson, Ohio.  Find out more about him, his business, and massage at www.HudsonMassageTherapy.com

Find your comfort zone with massage

We all have comfort zones.  They can be really useful by allowing us to do some things out of habit and repetition.  It’s something that we don’t have to consciously think about and one less decision to make.  If we had to think of everything we do each day all day long and decide what to do, we probably wouldn’t make it until lunch time.

For example, think of your typical morning.  You probably get up around the same time, hit the bathroom, get dressed, and eat something before you head off to work.  You can do a lot of these half asleep – because you are.  You may drink the same coffee or juice and eat the same brand and type of breakfast food most days.

Comfort zones can limit us however.  They keep us from trying something new, even if it a good thing.  Stepping outside of our comfort zone makes us, well, uncomfortable.  How long does it take you to try something that your friends are raving about?  Once you do try it and like it, do you find it aggravating that you didn’t do it sooner?  How much have you missed out on because something wasn’t in your comfort zone?

When you think of it, almost everything was new at some point.  All of the products and services you use, benefit from, and enjoy now were once new to you.

Since they are a part of daily life, we usually don’t think about our comfort zones until something changes (eek – they stopped making your favorite flavor!) or they get challenged.

Some people allow pain or stress into their comfort zone.  It happens gradually so it’s not noticed.  After a while, part of your routine is taking pills for headaches and pain and you are not sleeping well.

Some people have not included massage into their comfort zone.  Let’s consider a couple of possibilities on why.

For some it is new.  Maybe they have heard about it from family or friends but since it’s new they are reluctant to try it.  If this is you, do a little research.  Check out some local massage web sites where you’ll find some frequently asked questions.  Talk to your friend and ask them about it.  Since they are a fan of massage and have experienced it they can help you feel more comfortable.  Call a massage therapist and ask some questions.  They understand the issues people have (and it’s usually the same set of questions most people wonder about).  The therapist will be happy to answer your questions and won’t be pushy – that’s just the way most of us are.

Click here to read more about what to expect from your first massage, from my friend Paola.

Some are hesitant because of their body image. Massage therapists understand this.  Most of us have had to deal with our own body issues when we began in massage.  We have learned that bodies are wondrous and amazing creations.  We truly, honestly, genuinely, sincerely, indisputably, unquestionably, 100% do not care what you look like.  You are not here to impress us.  You will be draped the whole time, except for what is being worked on at the moment.  We want you to feel better so you can enjoy your life.  Imagine how much better you would feel with a good night’s sleep, less stress, and relief from headaches and other pains.

Reach your new comfort zone by breaking out of your old one with massage.  It will be a very comfortable one.  You’ll be glad you did.

Barry is a licensed Massage Therapist at Main Street Massage in Hudson, Ohio.  Find out more about him, his business, and massage at www.HudsonMassageTherapy.com

Get a massage you should

How do you think that renowned Jedi master Yoda lived to be 900?  By taking care of himself, including massage, of course.  Let’s channel our inner Yoda and consider some of his sayings.

Why get a massage?  Sleep better you will.  Less pain you will have.  Reduced your stress will be. Feel like yourself again you will.

Pain and stress are important to be kept under control.  Stress is the path to the dark side.  Stress leads to pain.  Pain leads to headaches.  Headaches lead to the dark side.

Evaluate your conditions I will by what you tell me and how it feels to me.  Then use the force I will.  But not too much.  Hurt you I will not.

Important it is to breathe, relax and enjoy the moment.  Don’t be like Luke, about whom Yoda observed “This one a long time have I watched.  All his life has he looked away… to the future, to the horizon.  Never his mind on where he was.  Hmm?  What he was doing.”

If you are thinking that you will try to make an appointment soon, remember – “Try not.  Do or do not.  There is no try”.

Barry is a licensed Massage Therapist at Main Street Massage in Hudson, Ohio.  Find out more about him, his business, and massage at www.HudsonMassageTherapy.com

How chair massage can help your business

Every year businesses big and small lose valuable productive work time to pain and stress.  This lost time can be sick days (from headaches, pain, or “mental health” days), or simply decreased productivity while at work.  Chair massage offers many benefits for your business.

With chair massage, I come to you.  Your employees don’t need to travel or take a day off work.  They can schedule a time during their work day, get their massage, and get back to work without leaving.  They can return to work feeling refreshed and energized, ready to meet the next challenge.  Employees remain fully clothed and no oil or lotion is needed.

Healthy habits are promoted.  Small adjustments to posture or equipment use can significantly reduce pain from repetitive action, and possibly lower the risk of injury.  Employees can learn to manage their daily stress, which increases company morale.

Chair massage is inexpensive.  The cost can be paid completely by the company, or by each employee, or can be split between them.  The typical session is ten minutes and concentrates on the neck and upper back.  Most people are glad to pay a small amount to get relief from a headache, nagging neck pain, or turn down the stress a few notches.

Your business can enjoy multiple benefits with chair massage.  How does a healthier and more enthusiastic work force sound?  Imagine what your company can accomplish with more productive and happier employees – who are at work more often since they may need fewer sick days.  Creativity is often boosted when stress is reduced.

Are you ready to get started or learn more?  Leave a comment and we can connect.

Barry is a licensed Massage Therapist at Main Street Massage in Hudson, Ohio.  Find out more about him, his business, and massage at www.HudsonMassageTherapy.com

Side effects

I’ve been noticing the ads on television and in print about various medicines.  They discuss their benefits and tell you why you should use them.  Then they zip through quite a few possible side effects.  It can make you think that you would rather deal with the problem you have than to add some new problem (which can be helped with another drug, which has other side effects, and … you get the picture).

Massage can’t fix everything, but it can help a number of things.  It’s a great way to prevent minor problems from growing into major ones.  Stress takes a major toll on your mind and body.  It prevents your body from operating the way it should and sucks the joy from your life.  Pain can cause you to compensate for it and adjust your activities, leading to problems in other muscles.  The tight neck you get can lead to headaches, shoulder pain and back pain.

Massage is all natural.  It’s been done for thousands of years.  I’ll just use some lotion (unscented) to prevent too much friction on your skin.  By reducing the stress and pain, your body can begin healing itself.

Massage does have side effects, but they are all positive.  Among them you will experience pain relief, stress relief, a good night’s sleep, and a boost to your immune system.

It feels so much better than swallowing a pill, getting a shot, or having an avoidable procedure performed.  You may find yourself a happier person, which is a great side effect.

Barry is a licensed Massage Therapist at Main Street Massage in Hudson, Ohio.  Find out more about him, his business, and massage at www.HudsonMassageTherapy.com

Make time for maintenance

All around us we find the need for maintenance to take care of the things we use.

Door hinges begin to squeak.  Shirt buttons begin to feel loose.  The shower drains a little slower.  A few weeds start to pop up in the flower beds.

We take care of those things when they are small and get our attention.  It keeps them working properly and prevents them from becoming a larger problem that we are forced to deal with at an inconvenient time.  We don’t want the door to become stuck (especially the bathroom door), or a button to pop off a shirt at work.

Do the same thing for your body with massage.

The little pains you have don’t get better on their own.  They tend to get worse.

That little neck pain that you are starting to have will make your neck tighter and tighter.  Your normal range of motion can decline, making it difficult or painful to turn your head.  You may start to develop constant headaches since the neck muscles are attached to the back of your head, causing the muscles on your head to get tighter and squeeze it.

An irritating pain in your leg will cause you to compensate for it.  You will change how you walk, stand, sit, and do normal daily activities.  Since you are making other muscles adjust from what they should be doing to avoid pain, those muscles will then begin to hurt.  Foot pain can make you change how you walk and will impact the knee and hip joints along with all of the muscles if both legs and can cause back pain.

We take care of the things we use that are important to us.  We want them to be useful and productive for as long as possible.  Do the same for your body.  Many things we use and take care of can be replaced, but your body is not one of them.

Barry is a licensed Massage Therapist at Main Street Massage in Hudson, Ohio.  Find out more about him, his business, and massage at www.HudsonMassageTherapy.com