Growing up, I viewed massage therapy as a luxury. It was something well-to-do people did, people who could afford to dish out $100 plus twice a month and still have enough money to care for their basic needs. Coming from a family of seven, that wasn’t an option for us. My siblings and I were satisfied with back rubs from our parents, and our parents were content with getting their backs walked on by us.
The first time I saw value in massage was during a summer program that involved me walking around with a heavy pack all day long. I had killer back, neck, and shoulder pain to the point where even standing was a burden (sound familiar?). A friend, hearing of my discomfort, offered to help me out. I gratefully sank into a chair and relaxed while she proceeded to knead, press, shake, and perform all kinds of techniques to relieve my pain. It hurt so good.
I was surprised to find that, a little while after she finished, my achy body wasn’t so…achy. Who would have thought that something that I considered to be an expensive accessory could relieve my pain? I figured there was something to this whole massage business.
Still, I thought it was unaffordable. The reality was that I did not regard my health and well-being as a priority (saving up for school will do that to you). Although the aches and pains crept back into my life, I never made an effort to invest in this aspect of my health. I thought pain was pain and it was there to stay. Such is life.
Fast forward a couple of years. By this time, I was knee-deep in pursuing my passion for bringing health and healing to others. Already a health coach and personal trainer, I was in the process of getting an education in massage. Ironically, I had yet to receive a professional treatment. Excited to impart this mode of healing to others, I still overlooked myself. Finally, a few days before leaving home for my hands-on training in another state, my dear parents gifted me with my first massage treatment.
You could say that I went from zero to sixty over the next couple of months of massage school. From rarely (read: never) getting a massage, I found myself receiving one (or multiple) treatments almost every day. It was glorious.
I experienced headaches that vanished, backaches that disappeared, and closer camaraderie with my classmates that I attribute to multiple boosts in happy hormones—another benefit of massage. I was optimistic about the future and ready to take on the world. Life was great!
Now, you may still be thinking, “Yeah, that’s fantastic, Kacie. Goodie for you! But I still have bills to pay and kids to feed. There’s no way I can afford getting a massage more often than once or twice a year…or lifetime.”
Believe me, I get it. I have a question for you: Do you believe that you are worth it? Professional massage is more than just a gift we get from a spouse on our 50th anniversary (but it’s great if you got that!). I have discovered that massage can be an integral part of
self-care, ensuring that we are functioning at our best so we can be there to pay the bills and feed the kids. It helps us to stay in tune with our mind and body. From receiving much-needed stress relief to remedying aches and pains, this aspect of self-care can lead us to better health. Caring for yourself is just as important as caring for your loved ones.
“Okay, fine,” you say, “I’ll admit that I would love a massage once in a while. But I can’t afford it. What do you say to that?” I would say this: I’m in the same boat. As a massage therapist myself, I am not exactly rolling in dough (just laundry, mostly). But I’m beginning to feel the strain that comes with helping others. I know that I need to take care of myself so that I can be there for you guys. So, with that being said, here are three things you and I can do to make regular massage a reality in our lives.
Repurpose your money.
Like my grandparents always tell me, “Set aside a little for a rainy day.” Instead of buying that $5.99 carton of vegan ice cream that I really (really) don’t need right now, I can take what I would have spent on that (and other junk food) and set it aside for my monthly massage. Sure, it’ll take some self-control. However, when I compare the long-term benefits of massage to the short-term reward (and long-term setback) of buying unnecessary items, the decision becomes easier to make.
Look out for monthly specials.
Massage is valuable and it is a noble and beneficial venture to support therapists in their work. While I’m sure we’re all willing to pay full price for their services, it’s okay to seek out specials and discounts too. As you begin to build up your self-care savings, be on the lookout for ways to save.
Start a self-care savings envelope.
Let’s say you want to schedule a $60 massage in two months. Starting this month, you can tuck a little bit away from each paycheck and put it towards that session. Once you have enough money, book your massage! You have control over how much you save and how soon you want it. For example, to reach your $60 goal, you can choose to tuck away $30 from each check for a month or $15 for two months. This method is a great way to exercise the art of patience. It will also give you something to look forward to!
I hope these tips have your wheels turning! At Beautiful Minds Wellness, we are committed to providing quality treatment, ensuring that you experience care in a safe, friendly environment. Still not sure about massage? Schedule a ten-minute chair massage to get a glimpse of what it can do for you. If you like what you see, you can book a full-length massage to receive even more healing!