I'm not talking about health coverage or insurance policies. I'm talking about how YOU take care, or don't take care, of YOU.
Is your health important to you or do other people, events or "things" take first place and you fit YOU in where you can? Do you have an old injury that keeps talking and you know what needs to be done, but just can't find the time?
The other day I was wandering down the alleys of my mind and considering all the ways we see people when they come in the door...
For a good portion of clients, we perform emergency services - they come in when they are hurting and in pain and looking for immediate relief. Stress might have taken over and their body can't function under the load. The pain killers aren't working and it just won't "go away". I think James Cameron was the one that said, "Hope is not a strategy". It also doesn't work too well on muscle spasms or nerve pain either.
If we aren't performing emergency services, many times we are assisting with crisis management. Someone has a pain or injury and maybe is even seeing a physical therapist until the pain or problem is gone. Then they stop the exercises and we don't see them until the next crisis.
We have a good portion of clients that have felt how much the massage helped and are learning about taking consistent care of their body. These are usually clients with a chronic issues, trying to keep them at bay and avoid having a crisis.
We have a growing population of clients that come in for preventative bodywork. These folks see their health and wellness as the foundation of their life and know they can't do their best or be their best if they are in pain. They usually are the ones smiling when they walk in and floating out the door after their session.
Maintenance and Prevention can sometimes be the same thing. Many older clients come in, having learned how helpful massage can be in functioning physically and many younger clients are coming in because they feel how much massage helps them manage their active and/or stressful lives.
During this time of year, many of us are considering our health. How we approach it can be key to our happiness and wellness down the road. It is my own belief that the better we take care of ourselves, the better we can care for others and be in the world.
As an admirer of Martin Luther King, I believe he would agree that to be a good peace keeper and caring for our corner of the world, includes ourselves. Be kind to YOU, take care of YOU, love YOU and you will have more to give. Anger and violence will be less a part of your life if you fill it with compassion, peace and love for yourself first and it will flow more easily to others.
You didn't sleep well. You feel achy, out of sorts, snifflely with a scratchy and sore throat, maybe you have a headache and your chest feels tight. Sounds like a massage should be the perfect solution, right?
Your immune system is already working overtime to fight off what ever bug got you. Massage can be beneficial in stimulating an increase in immune response but if you are already sick, it will be like pouring gas on a fire and can actually make your system overload, thus you will feel worse. If you are having any sinus issues, laying face down for any length of time will only cause sinuses to be congested and increase nasal drip and coughing.
Massage is best when you are no longer contagious and symptomatic. Maybe you have a lingering cough, but it has been at least 10 days since you felt sick. This is when massage can help loosen up tight areas that had all those aches and pains and when you will feel better. That is when massage can give your system a boost in getting rid of any lingering aches and pains.
Not sure if you should schedule or cancel your appointment? If you are too sick to work, you should NOT get a massage.
Our culture seems to think that "powering" through pain and illness is some kind of greatness. No. It is bad for you and inconsiderate of those around you. Are you really asking a massage therapist to lock themselves in a small, warm room that is the perfect environment for bacteria and virus to grow and expose themselves to whatever you have? When you go to work, school, shop or out and about when you are sick, you are sending out the message that you don't care about anyone but yourself.
I know you don't mean to, but please don't expose me to your cold. I am a self-employed person that can't afford to lose days of work. Your cold might cost me hundreds of dollars, not to mention the discomfort.
Things to Do When You are Sick:
Take a lot of vitamin C
Echinacea is great to take at the first sign of a cold. It stops the virus or bacteria from growing.
Wheat Grass tablets have natural antibiotic qualities
Garlic - any form and lots of it
Astragalus - great for the immune system
Reishi - another immune booster
Zinc - assists immune system
(Sunshine Market has all these and more that can help you fight a cold. I would suggest you talk to Tim, in the supplement department.)
Laugh - it stimulates immune system. Norman Cousins cured himself with it
Look for Youtube videos on self-massage (there are tons of them)
Read that book you've been trying to get to
Have someone buy you tea: we have several that will help...Sniffle Tea, Feel Better, Throat Therapy and more.