Using Massage to Help Grieve

The loss of a loved one can be a devastating occurrence in life. When it comes to grieving, receiving a massage can feel like the last thing you’d want to do. Today, I’d like to share with you why that is an erroneous way of thinking.
It may seem counterintuitive, but when you have suffered a loss leaving you in heartbreak embracing self-care is one of the best disciplines you can hold on to. It is tempting to drown in destructive habits, allowing yourself to be numbed from the pain. However coping mechanisms do not always have to be destructive. Receiving a massage while enduring the grieving process can help you cope with your loss.
Although you may not feel it the moment you walk into your massage session, your muscles have collected tension. This is a natural result of any kind of stress, in this case it can be emotional and mental. If you were close to the deceased, you’ve been occupied handling legal matters, funeral arrangements and comforting others. All of this new activity has left you disconnected from your body. Fortunately, if your massage therapist is trained in visual assessment and has good palpation skills, they can locate the areas of muscular tension for you.
Massage is a healing therapy because human touch is deeply comforting I recommend that the techniques are ones that heighten relaxation. Stubborn muscle tension can still be focused on but in a more subtle way. A massage that is results-oriented or sports related, a treatment where verbal feedback is necessary or perhaps much engagement is required may not be the best course of action.
Speaking to your massage therapist before the session begins and letting them know how you feel is crucial to the success of the session. It’s not that your therapist wants to intrude in your personal life but the massage may have to be modified to help you. Everyone responds to emotional pain differently. Perhaps you may want to be completely quiet throughout the massage, perhaps there will be moments where you will want to cry. If this happens, let the tears flow. It is the body’s way of releasing pent up stress.
Some of the physical benefits of massage is the release of endorphins in the brain, it will soothe your nervous system which in turn will help you feel relaxed mentally. On an emotional level, it is a great comfort that someone is nurturing and caring for you during this difficult time. Although some massage therapist focus on medical or therapeutic conditions we do not neglect the basic need to care for our clients in each stage in their life.
My hope is that you will not push aside your healthy habits during your time of grief. Holding onto practices that enhance your wellbeing may very well lead you into a quicker recovery. If you know someone that is to distraught to care for themselves or is unsure of which massage therapist to trust during such a vulnerable time, I’d like to ask that you help them schedule a massage. It will help them along the road to healing on many levels.
Michelle Orchid Rodriguez is a wellness lifestyle blogger and a Licensed Massage Therapist. Her mission is to promote a higher quality of life through healthy living. She is the founder and CEO of Lumina Massage Inc., a Miami-based specialty massage company that focuses on neuromuscular therapy and prenatal bodywork. 

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