Most people would agree a massage makes them feel good. But many probably don’t realize exactly how good a regular massage is for their overall health. How about if they knew massage could improve performance, aid recovery, prevent and eliminate injuries, reduce stress and even enhance metabolism and circulation!
Hairstylists, barbers, colorists, and assistants in the hair industry, all seem to face the same health challenges. The pain can present itself in pain from shoulder to hand, back pain and/or leg pain – not to mention developing varicose veins, due to the long hours of standing on hard floors. Ask yourself:
- How many hours a week are you standing on hard concrete floors?
- How much pressure are you putting on your body while shampooing, coloring or cutting?
- While standing, do you favor one leg – placing the majority of weight on that side? How’s that Hip and low back feeling?
- Do you wear properly-fitted, supportive shoes? Do your feet hurt after a work shift?
- Are you taking time to stretch during the day – in between clients?
Are you aware that recent surveys report that over 70% of hairstylists report that they deal with pain all of the time? Many of them noted that their pain is in their shoulder & arms, or low back and legs.
Prevention is key to reducing or eliminating the muscular health problems associated with the hair industry. Massage has been proven to help reduce or eliminate muscle pain!
It may simply look like a lot of pressing and kneading on skin, but massage is actually a scientific process. The reason you feel different after a massage is because it is healing and invigorating tired, aching or injured muscles. Massage increases blood and lymph circulation. Lymph is a fluid that rids body tissues of waste, is dependent on the squeezing effect of muscles. An active person has better lymph flow than an inactive person. However, stimulation from vigorous activity can lead to increased waste, which can negate the benefit. This is where massage has a huge advantage. Massage can dramatically aid lymph movement, which together with blood, supplies nutrients and oxygen and rids wastes and toxins. It is easy to understand why good circulation is so important to our health and why massage can be so beneficial just for this purpose. But that is not all massage is good for, it has many other benefits, Including:
- Increase the blood’s oxygen capacity by 10-15%
- Help loosen contracted, shortened muscles and stimulate weak, flaccid muscles. This muscle “balancing” can even help posture and promote more efficient movement;
- Speed recovery from exercise-induced fatigue;
- Increase production of gastric juices, saliva and urine;
- Increase excretion of nitrogen, inorganic phosphorus, and sodium chloride (salt). This suggests that the metabolic rate increases;
- Balance the nervous system by soothing or stimulating it, depending on which effect is needed;
- Improves function of the oil and sweat glands that lubricate, clean and cool the skin. Though, inflexible skin can become softer and more supple;
- Indirectly or directly stimulating nerves the supply internal organs can dilate the organs’ blood vessels, improving blood supply.
If you are suffering with lower back pain and leg pain, arm and hand pain or neck pain, I may be able to help you. Many of my patients who are hairstylists, have eliminated pain and muscle spasms just by getting on a regular massage schedule.
Getting a massage can do you a world of good. And getting a massage frequently can do even more. This is the beauty of bodywork. Taking part in this form of regularly scheduled self-care can play a huge part in how healthy you’ll be and how youthful you’ll remain with each passing year. Budgeting time and money for bodywork at consistent intervals is truly an investment in your health. And remember: just because massage feels like a pampering treat doesn’t mean it is any less therapeutic. Consider massage appointments a necessary piece of your health and wellness plan, and work with your therapist to establish a treatment schedule that best meets your needs.