Today I had a nice long massage. This therapy is a no brainer. I have been seeing the same massage therapist for more than 20 years. I know I benefit from her massages. I see Johanna Peterson at MassageWorks for Health in Mt Laurel. It is a simple office in a strip mall. No rich ladies in oversized robes staring me down. Just a relaxing small office, Johanna an I.
We had a really good conversation about massage today. This is what we came up with. You can go to most any massage therapist and get a mechanical textbook massage. It’s nice but is it therapeutic physically and spiritually? Did I just say spiritually? Yes. A good massage is both. It’s like the difference between a quick “pat on your back hug”and a “wrap your arms around and snuggle in” hug. One is mechanical and the other touches your heart. Johanna always touches my heart.
We agreed that a good massage is an intimate thing. Not in a sexual way but in a vulnerable, tactile, letting down your guard kind of way. She doesn’t practice any set style of massage. She just uses techniques that she know from experience work and tries to spend time on the parts that need her attention. After a massage you should feel as mentally relaxed as you are physically relaxed.

She told me that a good massage causes the release of oxytocin in both the client and the practitioner. We know oxytocin bonds a mother and child, but did you know it also reduces anxiety, increases trust, increases wound healing and counteracts Cortisol, the stress hormone?  No wonder I feel so close to her. Plus, she is just an incredibly sweet, gentle and spiritual person.

Pain in my hands, back and feet: a little better.
Stress: Better

Mood: a little better

I also walked for an hour today.That helps stress and mood too.

Verdict: Massage is a wonderful thing with the right practitioner. Results usually only last 1-2 days but I will take what I can get.

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