Massage and Stress
At some point in your life you may have felt betrayed by someone you cared about and used the expression of being “stabbed in the back” or you may have an acquaintance you’ve referred to as a “pain in the neck”, at some point you may have felt that you “have the weight of the world on your shoulders.” These are more than just expressions. The back is also known as a “storehouse for stress, grief, sorrow, fear, and most of all betrayal”. These emotions can present as muscle pain, muscle stiffness, or general discomfort of the back muscles. The neck is said to contain some of the most emotional muscles of the whole body and can hold in past traumas, in which can be presented as pain, stiffness, lack of range of motion in the neck. Our shoulder muscles can take on what burdens us and once again present in muscle pain, stiffness, or general discomfort.
However, at the same time, we must consider that pain or discomfort we are feeling in our back could be from poor posture, our neck could be stiff or painful because we sit at a computer eight hours a day or slept incorrectly. Our shoulders could feel heavy from that purse we carry or a new exercise routine. Even when our physical discomfort is due to a physical ailment, it can affect our emotional well-being by making us grumpy, frustrated, exhausted and so forth.
One of the things I love about being a massage therapist is that it allows me to be a vessel in healing not only the physical body but the emotional and spiritual body, as well. One of the first questions I like to ask the client before we begin a massage session is “how is your body feeling today”, but another important question I’ve started asking clients is “how is your mood today”? These inquiries allow me an insight into what your body may need and will enable me to tailor your session more personally, which means choosing techniques and pressure that will be the most beneficial to your specific needs. It may also mean adding in some deep breathing, aromatherapy, silenced or vocalized meditation. When our emotional self is not doing well, neither is our physical self and vice versa.
Abby Davis, LMT
Source: The Body Heals Itself by Emily A. Francis copyright 2017