Massage: a journey in 90 minutes or less
Massage therapist Josianne Raymond tells us how a massage can take us on a journey in less than 90 minutes!
It can take a very small amount of time to escape to a completely different place when receiving a massage therapy treatment. With the help of massage therapist Josianne Raymond, we explain how your body reacts to the treatment and why you feel like you’re away on a journey when receiving a massage.
The effects of massages on the body
Our body is originally designed to react with stress when facing a short-term situation where danger or survival is involved. Today, we’ve become sensitive to all forms of stress due not only to external causes, but also to psychological or emotional reasons. A massage engages all the body systems and organs, allowing relaxation; it is therefore easier to just let go and enjoy a state of lightness and live in the moment. In practical terms, the nervous system is the one producing mental ease and physical well-being through the stimulation of thousands of nerve endings in the parasympathetic system. As the nervous system is connected to the brain, we can immediately make the link with a state of stress.
The sympathetic nervous system is used in situations of emergency as well as stress. First, the breathing and the blood pressure accelerate to obtain more oxygen and carry it to the muscles more quickly. Those muscles contract, the glands secrete adrenalin to support them, and the digestive system slows down to save energy.
Once stress dissipates, the parasympathetic system takes over. The latter controls the normal functioning of the body by reducing the respiration and blood pressure rates, relaxing the muscles and starting the digestion again.
We are more and more in contact with stress, which has become part of daily life for most of us. As stress is not the ideal state for our body to perform well, a massage can be very beneficial, bringing the body back to a “normal” state which is the opposite of stress.
A massage enables escapism
We are constantly solicited and we always have to find solutions to various issues; we therefore rarely take the time to relax. Taking time for ourselves by meditating, practicing yoga, or getting a massage enables relaxation. With better awareness of our own bodies, it is easier to respect ourselves and not go beyond our limits, or at least know where our limits are.
To enjoy your massage and relax fully, it is essential to ease your mind. Planning your massage as you would plan a professional meeting allows you to be in a better condition to relax and enjoy the experience. The body unconsciously expects this moment of treatment. For example, arriving at least 15 to 30 minutes prior to the appointment has a relaxing effect even before lying down on the massage table. Moreover, it is important to trust your therapist. If you don’t feel at ease, relaxing will be more difficult. So do not hesitate to tell your therapist about your needs and preferences. If he or she is a certified member of a recognized association (at Bota Bota, all our massage therapists are professionally recognized), the therapist has the required skills for this profession. His or her aim is to give his or her best, listen to your needs, and respect you.
An exercise to put in practice during your next massage
During your next massage, when the therapist gives you some time alone to make yourself comfortable in the room, I suggest you try the following exercise:
- Breathe in through the nose slowly and deeply;
- When your lungs are at full capacity, breathe out through the mouth faster and louder until all the air is out;
- Repeat 3 to 6 times to notice the difference;
- Every time you breathe out, just let go, feel your body go deeper into the mattress and feel all your tense muscles stretch and relax.
Enjoy your massage and…bon voyage!