Whether you’re receiving it due to injury, aches and pains, or even just to help maintain overall wellness, one of the most well-known benefits of massage therapy is relaxation. Massage can help relax not only our joints, muscles, bones and physical areas, but also our stressed minds.
At Jenna Baker LMT, we can provide a wide range of relaxing deep tissue massage services to fill all your needs. If relaxation and calm are some of your top priorities for your massage, we can take many steps to help increase these areas. One particular relaxation area that some massage patients enjoy combining with their physical services? Meditation. Let’s look at some of the basics of mediation, why it goes well with massage, and some tips on practicing it during your massage sessions.
Defining Mindfulness and Meditation
You may have heard those in this or similar realms speak about “mindfulness,” and this is an important part of meditation. It refers to a physical, mental and emotional state of being where you are fully focused on the present, free of outside stresses or emotions and fully existing in the now. For many people, this state is one where they can find a break from the high-speed stresses of a given day.
During mindfulness meditation, thoughts related to the past and future will be “observed” as if you were a bystander, then allowed to pass by without engagement. The only thoughts that will be actively engaged with are those of this precise moment.
The connection between the mind and body is a powerful one, one that massage naturally elevates already. By giving it even further additional tools to help slow the mind through meditation, you are raising the capacity for positive effects on things like anxiety, depression, and several areas of physical wellness.
Staying Mindful During Massage
The goal of mindfulness mediation during massage therapy is to keep the mind focused on the touch of your massage therapist. This is a great way to keep your brain in the present – as their hands trace over your tired or aching muscles, you can fully experience the relaxing feelings they bring. When they happen to touch a painful area, don’t try to distract yourself; rather, take a few deep breaths directly into that spot and engage with the moment, then imagine the pain pushing out of your body as you exhale.
For those just trying it for the first time, staying truly mindful during massage can be tough. Here are some basic tips:
When an outside thought or sensation emerges, observe it without attachment while labeling it into one of three categories: Talk, body, image.
Let all those categories simply pass by you like a raft on a flowing river.
Don’t spend too much focus on any one thought – if you catch yourself doing so, take a deep breath and focus on your exhale instead.
Remember that distractions are normal, and your mind will eventually slow down as you train it to do so.
For more on how to integrate meditation into massage, or to learn about any of our deep tissue or injury massage services, contact the staff at Jenna Baker LMT today.