I finally got around to getting that massage I had bought for myself back in December as a me-to-me Christmas present. I was saving it for a very stressful time, and every time I felt back pains and tightness of the neck I swore, I’m going in for it today! It didn’t quite happen that way because they are a make-an-appointment type of spa and not a drop-on-a-whim kind. So I finally got my appointment and was all set for Sunday at 3pm.
It was a 90 minute, deep tissue massage. They had the relaxing option too, but my back had been bothering me, and since I switched from PPO to HMO for my insurance, the whenever-I-feel-like-it walk-ins to the chiropractor are history, I figured I get the real kind. And real it was.
She worked hard on my tension points both in my upper back and my neck. Tears almost streamed out at times, it was that painful. My muscles are so tense in certain areas, that even though she focused intentionally on them, they still would not give. She recommended stretching, which I’m planning to set a reminder for, because, of course I forget. And drinking lots of water to flush the toxins out; if not they tend to accumulate in the muscles which produces pain.
Chronic pain can be caused by accidents, but more frequently than not it is cause by our own abuse to our bodies, for sustained, long periods of time. That is my case. I eat whatever junk I feel like, do not drink enough water and am constantly dehydrated, I exercise and don’t stretch either before or after, and hold things in: emotions, stress, worries, you name it. It’s a surprise my body hasn’t said “enough already” sooner.
She also explained that the carpal tunnel syndrome I have (I was diagnosed years ago, when I was working with infants and carrying chubs-chubs sitting on forearms all day) could also be caused by the tension in my upper back. The muscles run down the arm and the tension above can stream down to the wrists.
She also discovered a tension point in my left leg, which really hurts when pressed. I always thought that pain was caused by varicose veins, which I have thanks to inheritance from my mom’s side. But as it turns out, it’s not that, it’s muscle tension caused by stress.
So needless to say, I need to stretch and drink more water. She also recommended bath salts, so after the massage I stopped by Walgreens and got a big bag of Epsom Salts from Dr Teal’s. I went home and took a long, hot bath with salts, and afterward laid in bed reading and updating my journal. Blissful. Now if only I could keep it up!
Hopefully my changes in daily routine will help, and also trying to get massages more often would be awesome. The results from the massage are akin to those from a workout, in the sense that the muscles are getting moved around, the blood circulating through them, and the toxins being released. The day after pain, is also quite similar. My back is so tender today, that just running my palm on it feels uncomfortable.
We will see how it goes, but I am determined to take better care of my body. And hopefully summer will be a great season for it!