Do Massage & Meditation Go Hand in Hand?
When you get a massage is your mind too taken up by the events of the day or those coming up? Can you slip away into relaxation and let the stress melt away? Or are you somewhere in between?
That time away from your busy schedule can be used to prepare yourself for a big meeting, find relief from the pain of the knots being slowly worked out of your muscles. You may even find yourself dozing off as you relax to the calming music, sensations, and warmth a massage can provide, especially in a massage chair when you can choose the exact features of your massage on demand.
While these are all great options, we also highly suggest attempting to meditate during your next massage session so that you can heal yourself not only physically but also mentally and emotionally as well.
What is Meditation?
Meditation dates back to around 1500 BCE and according to the Meriam-Webster dictionary, meditation is the act of thinking deeply or focusing one’s mind for some time, to think deeply or carefully.
The beauty of meditation is that it is totally up to you to chose what meditation is and how you practice it. Deep breathing, focusing thinking, letting yourself be still for a moment. They are all parts of the practice of meditation. There are several benefits associated with mediation that have been recorded by various sources. They can include increased attention span, better immunity, assisting with fighting disease, better metabolism, and better sleep at night.
It has even been known to improve brain function, boost mood and happiness, help you to connect and appreciate life more, minimize stress and aging, and allow you to make the most of your day. When you’re relaxing in your chair, regardless of the program you choose, slowly start to let your worries and stresses fall away. Don’t think about work and the tasks that await you, forget about loads of laundry sitting in the hamper, your to-do list can wait, and now is the time to slip into a calming meditation while you enjoy a massage.
One of the bonuses of using a massage chair is that they are often built featuring Bluetooth speakers that you can use to listing to your music or a guided meditation that can help walk you through the time in the chair. Using calming music can aid in silencing your mind and meditating. It can all help you to let go of forced thoughts and clear your mind of chatter.
Think of it this way. Why not let your mind relax at the same time your muscles do? You owe it to yourself.
According to an article by the American Massage Therapy Association practicing mindful meditation can produce changes in the area of the brain that is related to memory, empathy, and stress.
Mindfulness is a mindset of being totally observant and present in the current moment and fully accepting of your thoughts, feelings, and current experiences. Get Some Headspace, by Andy Puddicombe, teaches readers what it means to be mindful and how to achieve it yourself. It discusses how meditation and the achievement of mindfulness can help to bring clarity to the mind as well as a natural state of awareness, “which is free of any bias or judgment.” As the book states.
Benefits of Mindfulness
Why should someone meditate or seek mindfulness? When you train your mind through meditation and create a calm state of consciousness, it holds a host of benefits as you’ve seen. Also, being mindful can help you to have a clear mind throughout your day during work, special events, stressful times, and more.
Improve your quality of sleep, enhance personal relationships, increase your brain function, and more by just taking a step toward being more mindful.
How to approach, practice, and implement mindfulness via meditation is a personal journey and does take time to master. As you’re working to be more mindful allow your mind and body to think and feel however it naturally does. Don’t work to control your thoughts and feelings just recognize and accept them.
Try sitting for just a few minutes and focus on one physical sensation, whether that be a pleasant one or potentially some discomfort. When you think of being in your massage chair this can be a very good time to practice mindfulness, especially if you can use a setting where the chair focuses on one area of your body.
Meditation is now much more mainstream than it has ever been, and we all know the value of mindfulness and being present as a regular practice. Many don’t realize just how much meditation can be capable of enhancing an experience for us. Massage is a fantastic example of this- a practice that can be greatly improved by incorporating meditation.
For some, turning your brain off during a massage is a simple thing, but for others, it can be challenging to calm the mind enough to truly enjoy the experience. This is when the idea of meditating when receiving a massage can be a huge help. Frequently called a mindful massage, this experience is simply staying present and focused during your massage and letting go of active thoughts. There are several ways meditation can improve your massage experience, and here, we’ve decided to expand on a few of them.
Meditation helps balance your emotional state. It relieves stress when used to its fullest and can help you prioritize what’s important to you and your life and what you can let go of. It’s common to allow your mind to wander and tend to worry about things we can’t control. When you meditate, you train your mind to work differently by allowing your mind to move away from negative thoughts freely without holding on to them.
So, how can you go about meditation and being more mindful during a massage therapy session?
Here’s what to do:
- When a particular thought, image, or body sensation comes forward in your mind, just observe it without getting attached to it. Know it as either talk, body, or image.
- Regard these thoughts coming in, thank your mind for thinking them, and then let them go.
It can be easy to fixate on a certain thought, especially when it might be one we struggle with, but don’t let your mind get pulled into it. Take a deep breath and re-focus on the exhale, and let the thought pass as you breathe out.
And don’t fret, this is hard for everyone. It’s perfectly normal to have some challenges adapting at first, but after your mind races for a bit, most people experience a slowing down. After you’ve practiced for a while, you’ll enjoy a truly restorative experience when you combine your mediation with a round in your massage chair.
Massage Therapy and Meditation
Exercising meditation and implementing mindfulness encourages mental and physical awareness and acceptance. Body awareness can help you to understand what’s wrong with you at any one time and help you to address it with massage therapy. And in the inverse, enjoying a massage before practicing meditation can prepare your body for the inner-self journey that this mindfulness creates, making it easier to get into the right state of mind by alleviating pain to engineer a more relaxing and comfortable experience. You’ll be so much better able to focus your thoughts instead of dwelling on pain or discomfort.
How can Mindfulness Improve Your Massage Therapy Experience?
The mind-body connection is a strong one. Massage in and of itself allows the body to calm itself in a natural way and the mind is sure to follow. Mindfulness works the same way. The two combined offer a deeply relaxing experience and when you work to slow down your mind with some simple mindfulness exercises as you get a massage, you can dramatically intensify the positive effects of massage for anxiety, depression, and even physical well being. Here is a closer look at the top five benefits.
1) It Can Improve Your Tolerance for Pain
We all know that sometimes a therapeutic, deep tissue massage can be intense when you’re working on a particularly tense area, however, firm pressure is frequently required to break up those adhesions and alleviate muscle tension effectively.
Mindfulness during a massage, as simple as focusing on your breathing, can help you to release that discomfort and find a place of stillness. Use deep, calming breaths to help you send oxygen and nutrients to that painful spot. Breathing into the “pain” can help you to let go of it and allow the massage to do its job. It can even help you to stay working on that area for longer. Your body can truly let go of a great deal of that pain when you focusing on your breathing and remaining calm. After all, it works during labor.
However, it is important to make sure that you don’t push it too hard or do something that might cause you greater harm. If a massage intensity truly feels like it is too much, tone it down or stop.
2) It Provides Increased Relaxation
In addition to those pain-relieving benefits, you’ll also be able to enjoy relaxation so much more and find an enhanced sense of tranquility. This means you can lie back and enjoy the massage, sinking deeper into a state of relaxation.
Our days are busier than ever. We wake up early, jam-pack our days with work, errands, and everything else on our to-do lists, and then collapse on our bed to do it all again the next day. As a result, we get less sleep, are increasingly stressed, and experience even more tension in our bodies. And when we’re under all that pressure a massage can be extremely beneficial, and when you pair it with mindfulness and meditation, you can boost the benefits of massage even more.
3) It Can Help Your Muscles Relax
As your mind quiets your body will also release tension you didan’t know you were holding onto. In fact, let’s try something. Take a deep breath. Yes, right now. As you take that deep breath and then another, unclench your jaw. You didn’t even know you were squeezing it did you. We all do it. When your muscles loosen and relax, the chair can deliver a more effective massage because your muscles are now more malleable. Mindfulness during a massage session can be just as effective as doing yoga stretches prior to working out.
4) You Can Better Perceive Your Aches & Pains
Being mindful during your massage can allow you to focus on the sensation your massage chair is eliciting and notice how your body is responding to it. By truly tuning in to your body you’ll be able to quickly take note of painful spots and deal with them so that you can better relax and enjoy your massages now and in the future.
5) It Can Extend the Benefits of Your Massage
Whenever you notice yourself feeling stressed, tense, or anxious, employ mindfulness and meditation. Take some deep breaths, notice the tension in your body, and release it as you exhale. Practicing this technique often and regularly, especially while enjoying your massage chair, can allow you to combat the stressors around you with a powerful tool everyone will want in their arsenal.
We will always experience stressors in our lives. It’s unfortunately inevitable. What’s important, however, is that we learn to adjust and create a place with we can release our stress. A physical massage session tends to your muscles, tendons, and joints, acting as a natural painkiller. Meditation helps your mind find peace and tranquility. Together, these two techniques allow you to destress and find a place of balance.
Health and wellness complement each other well. They are intricately connected. While alone they are good, together they are great. The same goes for massage and meditation. Complementary practices that can enhance everything each one of them has to offer.
Finished With Your Research?
Ready to try out a chair for yourself? You can look into our chairs, techniques, and other benefits of massage in the Learning Center on our website, and you’ll be able to see the number of other physical benefits that these chairs can provide. Additionally, in the Massage Chair Buying Guide, we talk about which chairs are good for certain desires and needs, and it can help you with your search for a massage chair when you want to incorporate one into your daily routine.
Life is about managing ups and downs, and a massage chair can truly help you with that both physically and mentally. With that in mind, don’t forget about our financing options. We understand that investing in a massage chair is a big decision, and we want to help make that process as easy and stress-free as possible.
If you have any questions about massage chairs or our services, don’t hesitate to reach out. We’re available over the phone or through email at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can even talk with us through the LiveChat on our website.