Stress is something that most of us experience from time to time, and while the usual way of coping with stress is indulging in happy hour cocktails, this usually ends up creating more burden on our already-full plates. Not only do we have an endless to-do list, but now we have to tackle it with a hangover – not my idea of stress-relief!
This is where massage comes in very handy: the benefits of massage far outweigh the cost and, the best part is, everyone around you benefits (no more grumpy mornings with pulsing headaches that send your spouse and children running for the hills). When was the last time you received a massage?
The Benefits of Massage
I had the honor and privilege of sitting down with Connie Craven of Renewal Massage. One of the first things I noticed about Connie was her calm demeanor and approachability which made it easy for me to tap into her expertise. Over coffee in Barnes & Noble on Glenstone and Battlefield, she shared with me the many benefits of having your muscles kneaded.
1) Massage Reduces Stress & Improves Your Mood
We already mentioned this above, but when we experience stress for prolonged periods of time our muscles tense up. Many of us forget to “unwind” and let our muscles relax after a long day, week, month or year.
“When stressed, your body produces hormones that increase muscle tension and pain sensitivity,” says Jay Winner, M.D., author of Stress Management Made Simple.
The thing is that many of us forget to stretch after a long day, we may make up an excuse to not go to the gym or feel pressed for time as we juggle work and family. The point is if you’ve had a stressful day, it may be time to consider getting a weekly massage so that tension doesn’t build up and lead to more painful consequences down the road.
2) Massage Helps the Lymphatic System
The lymphatic system is a subsystem of the circulatory system and helps remove toxins from the body. The kicker is we have to move in order to move our lymphatic system. It relies on the contraction of muscles to move lymph throughout the body.
If your lymphatic system is congested, or lymph nodes are swollen this will result in different aches and pains. Your joints could have pain or feel weak and your immune system is compromised because it works directly with your lymphatic system. This can lead to a myriad of issues such as weight gain, digestive disorders, being sick more often, hormonal imbalances, poor circulation, and much more.
3) Massage Helps with Physical Ailments
Arthritis, muscle pains, fibromyalgia, migraine headaches are a few of the things massages can provide temporary relief for.
While there are many more physical and mental benefits of massage, such as aiding in muscle recovering in athletes, insomnia, depression, anxiety and the like, I find it is important to highlight Connie Craven and her many years of experience as a licensed massage therapist.
Connie Craven from Renewal Massage
While Connie has been a licensed massage therapist since 2010, she does more than simply run her own business on S. Brentwood Boulevard, she makes “office-calls” where she brings her massage chair to an organization and provides up to 40-minute massages for the staff. If that isn’t awesome, she is also a certified Compassionate Touch practitioner where she works with people who are in the later stages of their life, including the elderly and infants. Compassionate Touch is a method of providing healthy, respectful and sympathetic touch on the hands, feet, neck and shoulders for clients.
Ms. Craven firmly believes that when a person takes care of themselves everyone else around them benefits. Surprisingly, so many people are busy taking care of others that they forget the most important person in their lives: themselves!
It may feel easy to give to others, but if we don’t take care of ourselves first not only are we setting ourselves up for physical and mental ramifications, but it impacts the quality of service we are able to provide for others.
The World’s Toughest Job?
Since we are on the topic of amazing individuals who have dedicated their lives to serving others, teachers are the stewards and custodians of our future: they nurture, look after and educate our children which is no simple task and requires no small amount of energy.
I used to work in a boutique private preschool, playschool and daycare in Kuala Lumpur, and if a teacher called in sick it was usually my job to fill the position. Even though the classes were only a few hours (8:30 am to 12:30 pm), I daresay that it was the most difficult job I have ever had: not because I didn’t love the children or because I wasn’t fond of teaching. It was a difficult job because I was not used to giving so much energy and attention to a group of littles before. By the end of the day, I would need a nap – a nice long 10-hour nap – I just couldn’t fit it into my schedule!
After having a bit of coffee, Connie and I started talking about giving something back to Springfield’s teachers. This is where Ms. Craven decided to offer a discount to any and all teachers in and around Springfield, Missouri – to show her adoration and appreciation for the keepers of our future!
If you are a teacher and would like to schedule a massage with Connie (with an indefinite 10% discount), all you need to do is text her or email her. Her phone number is (417) 848-2494 and her email is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Remember, when you take care of yourself, everyone around you benefits.
Wishing you all the best!
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