Health & Wellness: Massage

One of the best things you can do for your body and mind is to get a massage on a regular basis. A variety of massages are available now in businesses, clinics, hospitals, airports and of course, on the playa! Finding a therapist that works for you is important.

As a certified massage therapist, I know it is important to go with what my client’s body is requiring instead of what “I think” they need. Deeper is not always better. I ask questions to learn more about their body. It’s important to tell your massage therapist any specific needs or concerns you may have.

Here are a few of the most common types of massage:

  • Swedish massage. This is a gentle yet firm form of massage that uses long strokes, kneading, deep circular movements that bring you to a very relaxed place physically and mentally.
  • Deep tissue massage. This massage technique uses slower, more-forceful strokes to target the deeper layers of muscle and connective tissue, commonly to help with muscle damage from injuries. It’s important that the massage therapist warms up your tissues first before working deeper muscles.
  • Sports massage. This is similar to Swedish massage, but it’s geared toward people involved in sport activities to help prevent or treat injuries.
  • Trigger point massage. This massage focuses on areas of tight muscle fibers that can form in your muscles after injuries or overuse.

When I am stressed and tired; feeling like my nerves are fried, what I enjoy is a firm Swedish massage. Nothing too deep or trigger point that I will need to breathe all the way through to release the “discomfort” the massage may be creating, yet deep enough to move out the lymph; aid me in letting go and relaxing my nervous system. Massage helps my body feel more in alignment after sitting at a desk at the computer all day.

Luckily for us on the Banderas Bay, we enjoy a wide variety of massage therapists at very reasonable average rate of 350 pesos per hour with several choices. Beach massage, our local massage therapists in smaller spas, and the higher end spa massage that usually have more training under their belts. While it is our intention as massage therapists to help you to feel better, it is also possible to cause more damage without the proper training when it comes to past or current injuries.

When you have a specific issue it’s best to find a trained and skilled therapist. Otherwise, a weekly “fluff and buff” massage is perfect to keep one in alignment and feeling their optimum health. A skilled massage therapist will usually use more than one style of massage techniques during your massage for different areas of your body.

Other benefits from massage include:
Anxiety, Digestive Disorders, Fibromyalgia, Tension Headaches, Insomnia related to stress, Myofascial Pain Syndrome (connective tissues), Soft Tissue strains or injuries, Sports Injuries, Temporomandibular joint pain (jaw pain).  Massage also produces feelings of caring, comfort and connection for those who are not in a relationship or touched often.

Massage Risks: There are also risks of getting a massage that are important to know. Massage may not be in your highest interest if you have: Bleeding disorders or taking blood thinning medication, any Burns or healing wounds on the skin, Deep Vein Thrombosis (blood clots), Bone Fractures, Severe Osteoporosis or severe Thrombocytopenia (low blood platelet count). It’s always important to discuss massage options with your doctor, especially if you have cancer or unexplained pain.

If at any time you feel discomfort or burning pain you should tell your therapist immediately. This is bruising the tissues. To aid in the flushing of toxins from your system it is wise to drink plenty of water before your massage, and after! This will decrease soreness and, if you do have a lot of toxin buildup, will help you to move them out.  InJoy!