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Is Massage a Luxury

Updated: Feb 10, 2023

If you're a fan of massage chances are you've run into someone selling you a membership or package, and it's not uncommon to hear these salespeople or massage therapists say something to the effect of "massage is not a luxury", I'd like to take some time unpacking this statement. As a massage therapist I have a ton of experience receiving and giving massage for all types of aches and pains, and I have experience with different treatment plans like monthly, biweekly, or just a couple times a year massage with or without additional treatment from a personal trainer, chiropractor, physical therapist, or other pain specialist. Even if you're just getting your toes wet with massage therapy you might leave feeling great after that first session but still consider massage therapy as more of a luxurious treat every once and a while. So what's the truth? Is massage a luxury or is it a long kept secret for pain and stress management?

The short answer is yes, massage therapy is a luxury. You aren't going to fall apart if you no show or cancel your appointment and there aren't any real consequences to not getting frequent massage. So why do people say massage is not a luxury? While there are some bad eggs that are just trying to make a buck, most massage therapists just want you to see results and get back to living your life. We can't really help people significantly off of our table, and chances are someone in pain is a lot more likely to show up to their relaxing massage that leaves them feeling better than go to the gym, eat healthy, and get quality sleep. While massage cant replace the habits that keep us healthy and out of pain long term it can act as a pretty strong band-aid keeping the "wound" from growing out of control. If we were to hypothetically tally up the stresses in our lives week by week into a final score we may be able to see at x score we've got back pain(6/10) or a headache(4/10) for example, but with a massage scheduled into those weeks we might be able to mitigate that score so that the pain only feels like (4/10) and (2/10) respectively. Our job, lifestyle, kids, environment all have an effect on how we feel and many of those factors either can't change or are completely out of our control. Most of us can free up that 1-3 hour time slot for a massage every couple of weeks or months much easier than starting a new diet, optimizing sleep, and a workout plan. On top of massage being easier than a "true fix" you have access to a professional that can encourage you to work on those good habits, hold you accountable, and get you started in the right direction.

There's this connotation with the word "luxury" that makes it sound superficial or only for the wealthy, but there is a difference in designer clothing and luxury cars than a service that supports your health and wellness. A smart phone is a luxury that is so valuable people will spend upwards of a thousand dollars on one every year to stay up to date with the latest features. If you're reading this article you are privileged and you can afford luxuries in your life, so it's really up to you to make space for massage to be one of those luxuries. That right there is why massage therapists say massage is not a luxury because they want you to place more value on massage than other luxuries with a less substantial objective benefit.

Additionally, massage therapists can go through extensive specialized continuing education giving them unique abilities. Instead of a fluff and buff Swedish massage they offer the "real" deep tissue massage, or maybe they do myofascial release, trigger point therapy, or maybe they only do prenatal massage, or post-op manual lymphatic drainage the list goes on. Point being that even if you love massage and have had many massages some massage therapists have a unique skill set that might give you more consistent results than the once in a while cookie cutter massage and their services just aren't comparable.

Hopefully after reading this article you have a better understanding on massage as a luxury and a good idea on how to use massage for pain and stress management. You may not need massage to get rid of those nagging headaches post car accident but they may be a pivotal gateway to getting you back to functioning. Give massage a try! Book now on my website.


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