Gratitude: A Useful Practice To Complement Massage Therapy
As a massage therapist, people often ask me for self-healing techniques they can use at home to help.
Today, I am going to share a practice that will help you heal yourself in mind, body and soul.
This practice is gratitude. I am going to talk about gratitude because I feel it is a useful way to help aid in our own mental, physical or emotional stress and pain.
How Massage and Gratitude Complement Each Other
When working with clients, I consider all the elements that go into cultivating a holistic health approach.
Health and healing complement each other, as do massage therapy and gratitude. When we integrate gratitude into our daily lives, it makes massage therapy treatments more beneficial.
All the techniques used in massage therapy allow the therapist to provide space for the client to engage more deeply in thankfulness. They are complementary practices that balance the body, mind and soul.
When we integrate mindful gratitude into our lives, the massage therapy treatments we have can help fully release the stress, tension, and pain we are holding within the layers of our mind, body and soul.
What Is Gratitude?
Gratitude is the practice of being thankful and the willingness to show appreciation for what we are and have. It is this feeling of being grateful for what we are and have that allows us to feel more profound levels of mental, physical and emotional freedom, kindness, health and happiness.
Gratitude is strongly and consistently associated with greater happiness.
Gratitude helps people feel more positive emotions, relish good experiences, improve their health, deal with adversity, and build stronger relationships.
Gratitude can help counteract depression, aches and pains, as well as improve sleep and cultivate better cardiovascular health.
It is a practice of focusing on being thankful for the people, places and things in our lives to achieve more happiness, less stress and more satisfaction with our lives.
It also helps with personal growth and self-acceptance.
You can be thankful anytime you would like to because this is an exercise for the soul even with its many physical and mental benefits such as reducing stress, anxiety, and body pain, much like the benefits of an effective massage therapy treatment.
How To Be Grateful
Similar to meditation, gratitude can also be easily implemented into our daily routines to allow space to check in with the state of our mind, body and soul.
The first thing you want to keep in mind when being thankful is your environment. You will want to find a quiet space to avoid being distracted.
Secondly, get into a comfortable position where you can feel calm and focus on who and what you are grateful for. You can do this practice standing, lying down or sitting on the bed, floor, pillow or chair. What’s important is that you feel comfortable.
When you wake up in the morning and before you sleep at night, say thank you.
Thank you for your freedom.
Thank you for kindness.
Thank you for health.
Thank you for happiness.
Thank you for the fresh air.
Thank you for the clean water.
Thank you for nourishing food.
Say thank you for your family members, friends, colleagues, and prosperity.
Say thank you for forgiveness, trust, hope, wisdom, love and peace.
Say thank you in advance for what’s already yours.
You can put extra stress or emphasis on the words that express these feelings of gratitude, such as “thanks,” “thank,” “appreciate,” “thankful,” and “grateful.”
Here are a few simple ways to deliberately cultivate the attitude of gratitude.
Celebrate minor accomplishments. Be thankful for what you have rather than dwelling on what you don’t have.
Share the love you have. Tell the people in your life something you appreciate about them, tell yourself too.
Practice being more kind. Volunteer, hold the door for a stranger or simply smile more, and you will probably feel better as kindness and giving are directly connected to gratitude.
Capture your gratitude. Keep a daily gratitude journal using an old fashioned notebook or high tech app.
Gratitude makes us nicer, more trusting, more social, and more appreciative. As a result, it helps us make more friends and deepens our existing relationships.
Expressing gratitude improves mental, physical and relational well-being.
Being grateful also impacts the overall experience of happiness, and these effects tend to be long-lasting.
Gratitude is used by individuals who choose to focus their attention on the positive things in their lives.
The practice of gratitude increases your dopamine production, which encourages your brain to seek our more of the same, which means the more you are grateful for, the more you will find to be grateful for.
Observe the way the being thankful for people, places, and things feel in your mind, body and soul. The key is to accept everything as you make your thankful statements to yourself or others.
Gratitude and Massage Therapy
So, Gratitude and Massage Therapy complement one another as adopting an attitude of gratitude can measurably improve your overall well-being.
It will enhance your psychological health. Gratitude can increase happiness and reduce depression and strengthen resiliency.
It will Improve your physical health. Grateful people often experience reduced blood pressure, less chronic pain, increased energy, even longer lives.
It will boost self-esteem. People who purposely express more gratitude report higher self-esteem than those who don’t.
It will Increase empathy. Thankful people are more likely to help others. Improved social behaviour also links to greater happiness.
It will enhance your sleep. People who capture grateful thoughts before bed sleep better than those who don’t.
Gratitude rewires our brains, kickstarting the production of dopamine and serotonin.
Like anti-depressants, these feel-good neurotransmitters activate the bliss center of the brain, creating a feeling of happiness and contentment.
This appears to be self-perpetuating; with regular practice, you can train your prefrontal cortex to appreciate better and retain positive experiences.
Massage Therapy is a gateway to gratitude as the therapist holds space for the client to be calm and secure while they breathe and smile to connect with themselves and provide a baseline for daily practice.
As a massage therapy client, the goal is to feel as relaxed as possible so both you and the therapist can observe how your body is feeling and where it is holding to help release the pain and tension while the therapist is working with the tissue and staying within the pain tolerance of the clients’ tissue.
Gratitude encourages the client to accept the state of the mind, body and soul in the moment to help determine what the therapist can and will provide to help alleviate the current level of pain and tension.
What Do You Think?
Have you tried your own gratitude practice
Do you find it complements massage therapy treatment?
Either way, let me know by leaving a comment below.