In this modern world which can be fast paced and frenetic, communication has become so quick and accessible it can demand from us more speed in our routines and duties. As more and more of our day to day social and business lives use digital formats, requiring us to be plugged into technology for a large proportion of the day, these communications often require less personal contact. The place for massage and therapeutic touch within our lives has never been needed more. If we can allow our brains to switch off, slow down and bring awareness back into our bodies, we can relax our vital nervous system and help regulate and promote its healthy functions.
Touch is essential for a healthy life as a human. It has been shown that infants can die not just through lack of food and water but also through lack of human contact and touch. We need touch to help us feel a sense of connectedness with others, it is important for us to have a strong feeling of belonging, identity and self -worth. When there is a lack of physical contact from others we can feel isolated, depressed and unvalued.
A powerful example of positive touch is in hugging, studies have shown the benefit of hugging releases endorphins such as, oxytocin lowering both heart rate and cortisol levels. Cortisol is the hormone responsible for stress, high blood pressure, and heart disease. In addition to releasing Oxytocin, hugs also stimulate our brain to release dopamine, the pleasure hormone that helps us to feel loved and uplifted.
Through therapeutic massage we can experience this same feel good element, raise health awareness and experience many other benefits within a safe and professional space. When introduced within the workplace a short massage session can also allow the worker a chance to become aware of their physical tensions, allowing for corrective changes to their work position and promote good posture awareness. Massage can help to ease a build-up of tension within the body, helping to break the pain/tension/stress cycle that can cause sickness and time off work through common issues such as carpal tunnel, repetitive strain, chronic back, neck and shoulder issues; this can create a positive impact on absenteeism and staff. Following a workplace massage many workers find that they re-enter the workplace feeling refreshed with renewed focus and motivation. This element of therapeutic touch within the workplace can help staff members to feel valued and cared for, and boost morale and motivation to their work and the company.
In some ways massage allows us to come back to basics within our body and mind, allowing more space to breath deeply, giving our body the chance to repair and unwind and experience the essential element of positive human contact that we may be needing.
Sophie Joseph – Massage Therapist