Updated: Apr 1, 2019
By: Eryn Hays, LMT
For years now, massage has been viewed as a ‘luxury’ that only few have access to. I also (before I became a massage therapist) believed that massage was not accessible to me, especially since I didn’t make the money to go to a spa every week for, what we call now, self care. This belief behind massage is now finally changing and is exactly why I chose to become a massage therapist.
While in college, I was going through a rough time my sophomore year where I didn’t want to leave my room or socialize or anything. Many people believed I was depressed and I should try taking medication, but I knew that that was the wrong route for me. Even in my youth, I was never a huge fan of prescription drugs, I always felt like there had to be some other way to help my ailments. Of course, when I had the flu I would go to the doctor and receive some antibiotics if necessary; however, Western society has become dependent on prescription drugs because they give immediate satisfaction. During this rough period of my life in college, I knew it was going to take a long time before I felt like myself again. As many say, life is more so about the journey then the end goal. So I turned to holistic health methods, which—in the long run—brought me to my career as a massage therapist.
Massage Therapy is healthcare. My instructor and founder of my school, Jill Berkana, repeated this so many times throughout our time together. Massage is healthcare. It was hard to wrap my head around at first, but it really stuck once I left massage school. We all had a choice on what kind of massage we wanted to practice and I knew I wanted to enter the realm of integrative health.
More and more people are starting to invest in their own health through these integrative practices, such as massage or acupuncture or chiropractic work. Integrative health focuses on finding the root of the pain one is feeling rather than just going to the cause of pain and trying to cover it up. Our goal as an integrative health clinic is help prevent further pain from occurring, while also attempting to alleviate the pain that one already has. Massage does exactly that. During my own sessions, I attempt to find the cause of the pain, while also addressing the physical pain the client is feeling. This relief of pain from massage therapy doesn't happen overnight of course, but occurs over a period of time. This is why we call healthcare an investment, because we all want to achieve the goal of living healthier and happier.
Everyone can invest in their own health through these integrative practices. They are becoming more popular and more accessible to people and it is always worth the time. Massage therapy has helped me with many ailments that I didn’t even know I had until I went to massage school. Of course, I still work on them everyday to try and prevent a future injury from occurring, but that is what investing in your health is all about. It’s making sure that you take care of yourself every single day.
Eryn Hays L.M.T., A.M.T.A. member, is certified in Quantum Shiastu, Trigger Point Therapy, Myofascial Release Technique, CranioSacral, and Thai Massage. Her techniques are used in order to help the body release any blockage that might be occurring within the client. Whether this is within the muscular, nervous, or energetic system, her goal is to find the root of the problem and prevent the blockage from reappearing again and to create a whole body health experience.