Massage is simply good for you, and the benefits are not limited to the great relaxing effects but also for specific things like insomnia and for boosting the immune system to name a few. Now one question I sometimes ask myself is if the benefits of ordinary massage apply to self-massage as well? Well quite frankly I can’t see why not. I’ve also learnt that the better you get at self-massage the more benefits you can reap from the practice.
In this article I’ve decided to do something different, that is, instead of going through the proven benefits associated with normal massage, I’ve decided to list a few reasons why giving yourself a massage is better than getting one from someone else, whether that someone else is a professional or an amateur.
So then, let us begin!
1. You get to know yourself
The number one reason to why self-massage is better than an ordinary massage, in my humble opinion, is that you get to know yourself and your body, intuitively. By using your own hands to probe, touch, feel and massage different parts of the body, you become more sensitive as well as more intuitively aware of yourself. You get to know the physical aspect of yourself so much better. By using and combining self-massaging techniques like feathering, light, deep stroking, kneading and holding you activate the muscles and blood flow to those parts of the body while simultaneously being conscious of those specific active parts. I find this invaluable and irreplaceable as an experience and knowledge.
In comparison, getting a massage from someone else does not give you this increased sense of awareness, you just relax and let go while someone else learns more about the nature and structure of your body. (Which is awesome as well, don’t get me wrong!)
2. You can do it anywhere
Not being limited or bound to a specific place, time or masseuse, you can do self-massage just about anywhere. Obviously the more intricate techniques should be done in the comfort of your own home, but some basic ways like holding can be done on the tram, at work or wherever.
3. Do it as often as you like
Self-massage can be done as you feel is good for you. You don’t need to do call and make appointments, instead just follow your intuition and whatever feels right. If you listen to your body, it will know when it’s time to stop the self-massaging. You’ll find out that resting is just as important as the activation of the muscles or the massaging. I’ve found that a full-body self-massaging session that lasts 20-30 minutes everyday is perfect for me. I do it right before bedtime to unwind from the strain and stress of the whole day, mostly as a intense digital detox. Plus self-massage before bedtime almost always makes me sleep like a log.
4. Self-massage is free
One of the most obvious benefits of self-massage is the fact that, in most cases, it’s completely free. Of course you can benefit from a variety of self-massaging tools, but those aren’t really necessary to get a full and great self-massage session. Self-massage is simply you using your hands. You can also make use of a couple drops of some essential oil to moisten your skin and infuse your body with minerals, and this shouldn’t be too expensive.
5. You can use it for specific purposes and intents
Self-massage can be used to focus in on specific parts of the body, perhaps places in the body where you’re hurting or tense. The beauty of self-massage is that you follow your hands and your instinct. For example if you feel pain in your hips, you can start massaging that part specifically and subsequently all the other surrounding areas to relieve the pain and tensions.
6. Self-love is important
Self-massage is a form of self-love. This may sound strange to some, to love yourself through your hands and sensitivity, but we consider it to be very important to care for your first home, your body. The body is your temple, to keep it strong, healthy and vibrant can be done in a variety of different ways, ranging from nutrition and exercise to meditation and self-massage. On True Relaxations we’ve written most of our articles on the two latter, namely meditation and self-massage.
Self-massage is invaluable for a fully healthy and aware human being. If you wish to know your physical body more while simultaneously actively boosting your immune system, circulation and sleep-quality, self-massage is the way to go.
Daniel Seeker is a wandering dervish and lifelong student of the past, present and future. He realized deep relaxations of the psyche when meditating in his hermit cave on the island of Gotland. His writings are mostly a reflection of that realizaton. Daniel currently studies history and philosophy at Uppsala Universitet, as he is currently writing his B.A. thesis in history which explores how Buddhist, Yogic and Hindu texts were first properly translated and introduced to the western world in the late 18th and 19th century.