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John W. Travis, M.D. & Regina Sara Ryan
 
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  Home  > Personal Wellness  > Wellness and Massage

Wellness and Massage

Our everyday language is filled with references to the sense of touch. Besides the act of physical stimulation of the skin, we use the word touch" to mean communication at a deep level - "Your words touched me"; correspondence or contact at a casual level - "Do keep in touch"; and the experience of just about every emotion - "How touching." We are fortunate to be living at a time in which some expressions of touch are being liberated. While certain walk-in massage parlors may still remain suspect, the offering of massage therapy at reputable health clubs, gyms, and hotels and the growing popularity of books on massage and new schools for the training of massage therapists indicate an increasing acceptance of this practice.* Massage is nonfattening, and if you do it yourself, it's free! Some of its benefits include:

  • Relief of pain and tension
  • Improvement of muscle tone
  • Maintenance of a healthy complexion
  • Release of emotional blockages caused by trauma and repression
  • Increased blood flow and electrical energy, to "wake up" deadened parts of the body
  • Foreplay for sexual intercourse or sensual arousal
  • General balancing of the right and left and the upper and lower parts of the body

And it's so simple to do. You put your hands on and start moving them. Lotions, varied techniques, and training can certainly enhance the experience, but they can also lead you to believe that you need them to do it "right." This is just not true. The only rule that applies is to listen to the feedback from your own body, or ask your partner if he or she likes what you are doing. If it feels good - do it. The more you can quiet the chatter and judgment in your mind and allow your hands to move intuitively, the more creative, relaxed, and enjoyable the results will be.

Give yourself permission to receive and administer pleasure, if for no other reason than that it is a proven method of increasing overall health.


* For a list of schools, see American Massage Therapy Association at www.amtamassage.org/schools/list.org


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