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Saturday, 24 March 2012

Massage Therapy

     My friend, who happens to be a registered massage therapist in Amherst, Nova  Scotia "facebook'd" me the other day about the massage therapy business she works for. This got me thinking massage therapy is a huge contributor to overall health and wellness! People often need massage therapy because many of us live sedentary lifestyles which leads to chronic bodily imbalances. Long story short, the more we sit, the less we stretch and move, the worse it is for us as we age! When I asked my friend, Jenna Gould what she thought about massage therapy she said, "massage therapy benefits all ages. While it benefits the injured, the ill and the stressed, the real strength of massage therapy lies in prevention."
     That is a very powerful statement by Mrs. Gould, who went on to inform me about different types of massage therapy. (see for more!) She also told me that people often get regular massages to catch and prevent chronic problems before they happen. Jenna also enlightened me on some of the benefits of massage therapy which include:
-Reduction or elimination of pain
-Improvement of joint mobility
-Improved circulation (great if you are diabetic)
-Improved immune system functioning
-Reduction in depression and anxiety
-An increase in body awareness
-Reduction in over all stress    
      There are an even more extensive list on the benefits of massage therapy and what it can do for certain physical, mental and orthopedic problems. This just proves the significance of massage therapy. It is not just for athletes, people going through rehabilitation and individuals with back problems. Massage therapy is for everyone. It is a preventative tool which can aid and reverse many problems associated with lifestyle choices.  
      So, your thinking, "Ryan you are crazy. It costs ~100 bucks to fill my car, how can I even afford a massage!" Well, I looked into this and some medical plans will cover a certain percentage of the costs around annual massages. In my medical plan through Blue Cross, I can save $25.00 on 12 massage therapy sessions per year. Basically, I could get a massage every month and I would save $300.00/year on massages. I encourage you all to look into your medical plans about these types of savings or talk to your parents if you rely on their medical coverage and see if it can be affordable for you.   
      After diving into this research with Jenna, I am now going out and seeking professional massages (sorry mom, no offense to your awesome back rubs) and utilizing my medical coverage for prevention before I reach my mid forties and have lower back pain (seems to commonly start around that age). If you are already having chronic pain, it is not too late to start getting massage therapy sessions. Intervene now and invest in the well being of your body, no matter how young or old it may feel!

Ryan Fahey
B.A Human Kinetics
CPTN Canada

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