Massage can be extremely beneficial anytime but especially during a time of quarantine and social distancing. The comfort of touch is hard wired into us humans whether it be hug, high-five, or a simple pat on the back. Whenever we receive contact in comforting ways our brains are flooded with dopamine, serotonin, and oxytocin. These feel-good hormones help regulate our mood and make us feel calmer and happier. When we are not able to have this contact on a regular basis our brains tend to suffer from the lack of these chemicals resulting in depression, anxiety and stress.
“Tiffany Field, the director of the Touch Research Institute at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, has been studying the psychology of touch for more than three decades, focusing mainly on the effects of massage. What she and others have shown is that anything that moves the skin with a bit of pressure—hugging, holding hands, massage—stimulates pressure receptors beneath the skin. Those receptors then send electrical signals to the vagus nerve, a superhighway of the nervous system with thoroughfares leading to nearly every organ of the body and a direct line into the brainstem, which automatically regulates breathing, blood pressure, and heart rate.” -Yeager
Self-massage can help alleviate some of social distancing blues by activating the receptors of the skin. This can include rolling a tennis or golf ball under your feet or using a foam roller on the back.
Living through a pandemic can be very stressful so it’s only natural to crave a soothing massage to help ease the tension. Hiring a professional massage therapist could be the very thing you need to catch your second wind but with Covid-19 restrictions lessening while we are entering a third wave and Covid-19 cases on the rise is it safe? Does the risk outweigh the reward? Experts say “If you are high-risk or are frequently in contact with someone who is high-risk, it’s best to minimize close contact with other people as best as you can.”
If that is not a concern then it’s simply a matter of taking proper precautions. Your massage therapist and you should both be wearing a mask at all times. Do not go to your appointment if you are not feeling well. Be sure your therapist is changing sheets and disinfecting all surfaces. Try to pick a location that minimizes your exposure to others as much as possible.
TLC Massage and Energywork is a small spa that follows The American Massage Therapy Association Guidelines for massage therapists and clients. If you want to take advantage of the benefits of a professional massage in a secure environment check us out at www.tlcmassageandenergywork.com.