Those in the East are gradually becoming aware of the benefits of massage, a therapeutic modality that has been widely practiced for thousands of years. However, the recent exodus of beneficial modalities from east to west can often be expensive, with some therapists charging over $40 for an hourly session. This is far too costly for most people to afford, and massage is something that should be done on a regular basis and be available for all.
Thankfully, there are ways to avail of the benefits of massage without breaking the bank.
#1 – Do it Yourself
There are hundreds of intelligent self-massage devices on the market. Many of these devices can retail under $100 (less than 2.5 massage sessions at $40 per hour). Take, for example, the Belmint Deep Kneading Shiatsu Foot Massager or the Moji Foot Pro Massager. Both of these devices retail at or under $50 and can give a more intense massage than going to a therapist. They are perfect for general use, for those with foot injuries or flat feet, or for those who walk a lot.
There are also a number of ways to perform your own self-massage without using a machine, and each kind of massage will have different advantages and disadvantages that you will have to evaluate for yourself. The most important is to take some time off and reconnect with the body. Many people find that there are areas of tension in various parts of their bodies that they were previously unaware of. Massage is a direct way of releasing these tensions to free up some energy and focus it towards productive work.
#2 – Yoga
Like the art of massage, Yoga has been around for thousands of years and the two practices are often complementary. The benefits of Yoga are no longer disputed with thousands of positive benefits including lowered blood pressure, alleviation of depression, increased concentration, mobility, coordination, flexibility, etc.
Yoga stretches the tissues and muscles to a degree that is as good as a massage in many instances. Yoga will get to places that massage won’t and vice versa. Massage is orientated towards the release of tension in various points of the body, while Yoga is geared more towards growth, strength, flexibility, and expansion. For best results combine the best of both worlds by making asanas a regular practice and by taking massages afterward.
#3 – A Holistic Lifestyle
The primary reason that massage therapy is enjoyed and sought after by so many people is because it releases stress from various parts of the body. When people stare at computer screens all day long, they often become disconnected from the muscles of the upper back, lower back, eyes, facial muscles, shoulders, neck, and fingers. They have been conditioned to sit and stare incorrectly, hunched over a screen that is too bright. People with hunched backs often have to go for posture therapy (i.e. Yoga) and it feels good when they are introduced to possess such as backbends with a counterbalancing effect.
From a more traditional Ayurvedic and Eastern perspective, negative thoughts and emotions often manifest in inflexibility and stress in certain joints, muscles, and tendons. So it is important to keep calm, balanced, and relaxed so that these energies do no accumulate in the joints. Modern day living practices are conducive to the accumulation of stress. Improper food consumption will also result in stress and inflexibility. Toxins are rampant in the food supply and in the wider environment, devastating the intestinal ecosystem which is one of the most vital components of a healthy lifestyle.
People who are balanced in other aspects of their life are less likely to have built-up stress that needs to be released. These aspects include diet, exercise, relaxation, nature, healthy thoughts, emotions, and strong relationships. However, this is quite rare in the 21st century and people will need to rely on techniques such as Yoga and massage in order to de-stress from daily living.