Stress is one of the most prevalent pathologies in this wacky culture of ours. Tons of research show that massage helps improve the markers associated with stress – things like reduced cortisol and prolactin levels, reduced anxiety, increased sense of well-being, etc.
Even without this scientific evidence for the relaxation benefits of massage, most people instinctively understand the benefits of a nice relaxing massage to boost the circulation, calm the racing mind, and recuperate from the vagaries of work, traffic, and modern life in general.
So why do so many people get wound up about someone “wasting” their money on a relaxation massage? Many massage therapists, doctors, physical therapists, and others seem to think that relaxation massage is somehow inferior to clinical and orthopedic massage. I beg to differ. If you’ve got stress, then relaxation is just the ticket to bring you back to a nice healthy condition, and massage is a great way to promote relaxation.
Just to be 100% clear about this: There is absolutely nothing wrong with getting a relaxation massage. I get them all the time myself, and I have many clients who come to me just to chill out and relax. Yes, I do a lot of medical and orthopedic work, and folks benefit a lot from that, but I think they benefit just as much from a good old relaxation massage.
I do my best to make even my therapeutic massage sessions as relaxing as possible. But I also really enjoy an old-fashioned relaxing Swedish/deep tissue massage – whether I’m the practitioner or the recipient.