The Bright Side Blog

It’s called massage “therapy” for a reason

It’s called massage “therapy” for a reason

As we think about Mother’s Day, the big question is what does mom really want? Flowers are always nice. Her favorite treats will always be appreciated (because, chocolate). But here’s the real deal: moms face nonstop days with too many things to do for everyone but her. That’s why we love giving moms gifts of self-care, like a massage. It forces her (sorry/not sorry) to get the pampering — and healing — she deserves.

Not sure if a massage is right for you or your mom? We turned to our own Dyan to help us understand why massage is more than “just” an hour of relaxation.

Benefits of a massage

For Dyan, massage is a must-have to help her muscles recover, especially when she’s training hard. She’s a fan of reflexology for her feet and deep tissue massage for her entire body. The benefits of massage go beyond relaxation because it helps reduce stress and pain, and improves circulation — and even our immune system.

And research studies have found massage therapy to be beneficial for those who have fibromyalgia, low back pain, soft tissue strains, and sprains. In fact, athletic trainers and professional teams, like the Tennessee Titans, are integrating it into their training programs.

The right massage for you

There are dozens of different types of massage therapy, which might seem overwhelming if it’s your first time. Finding the right massage for you takes a bit of sleuthing. Dyan advises taking time to think about what your mom might want and what she would be comfortable with before booking an appointment. A good way to do this is by reading about the types offered by the therapist or spa. For instance, a deep tissue massage uses more pressure and slow strokes. For Dyan, a good deep tissue massage feels like foam rolling, an at-home DIY alternative. On the other hand, Swedish massage is all about relaxing, thanks to its calming circular motions and long, flowing strokes.

Is your mom squeamish about someone touching her? She might like a therapeutic hot stone massage, which uses heated stones to improve blood flow and reduce muscle tension.

Massage etiquette

Dyan encourages everyone, especially first-timers, to speak up. You need to tell the massage therapist if something hurts or doesn’t feel good to you. Don’t be shy about asking them not to touch your shoulder because you’ve strained it. And if they haven’t explained which clothes you should remove, ask them directly. Remind your mom to speak up to make the most of the appointment so she gets the most out of it.

Whether the mom in your life is a daily rider or a weekend warrior, we think therapeutic massages can help her feel her best so she’s ready for whatever comes her way.

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