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Business Stress Cool Tool #24: Get Massage - Practically Enlightened You

Delete Your Excuses for Not Getting Massage 

I’ve received hundreds of massages. Yet I’m still a bit in awe over the effects. I can go into a session stressed, muscles tight, with a busy brain only to emerge with my breathing slower, my mind stilled, and my body relaxed.

I know you know that stress has detrimental effects. (Disturbed sleep, digestive disturbance, muscle tension, back pain, headaches, depressed immune function…)

And I know you know that massage is a superb relaxer. (Did you know that it can also alleviate insomnia, reduce pain, boost to your immune system, improve your circulation, reduce stress hormones, and more.)

So it surprises me to know plenty of people who are stressed and sore AND who are not getting regular massage.


I hear a lot of reasons for not getting regular massage. Have you ever used any of these?

1. Too busy. If you’re too busy to get a massage, you really need one. Staying too busy is a set up for being less productive and for decreasing wellness.

Getting a massage during a busy time can actually enhance your productivity and creativity.

I recommend a minimum of an hour massage for the chronically busy. But if the thought of an hour away from work puts you into a panic, try chair massage.

In 5-15 minutes you’ll notice that your shoulders are no longer attached to your ears. In an office setting it’s usually easy to get a handful of people together to make it worth a massage therapist’s time to travel to you.

But what if you work solo? There’s still hope for a quick massage break.

  • Some gyms and spas offer chair massage.  Ask around to see who offers this service.
  • Attend events and fairs. Go to your local farmer’s market (pick up some berries while you’re there) and look for a massage booth.
  • Create your own event. Find out the minimum number of people your local massage therapist needs to make an office call. Then invite your self-employed friends over for a weekly chair massage party

2. Can’t afford it. First, look at the value you’ll be getting. An hour massage gives me hours of productive, focused time. It increases my joy, my presence.

But if for you the going rate feels too high, check around for deals.

  • You can sign up to be on the mailing lists of deal sites like Groupon. Then you’ll  receive info about local deals. I’ve seen offers as low as $25 hr.
  • Some massage therapists offer specials that you can inquire about. I just got an email for a $100 for 3-massage deal.
  • Then there are massage school clinics that offer a lower rate. You can get a massage at Oregon School of Massage student clinic for $35 hour.
  • Some massage therapists will barter for services. Got a skill you can trade? Make an offer.

3.    Not sure where to go.  Ask for referrals. Ask your friends and colleagues. But before you ask who they see, get clear about what you want from your massage.

My favorite place won’t necessarily be your favorite place.  Ask your buddies why they like or don’t like the massage therapists they’ve seen. Then choose the one that feels like the best match.

4. Don’t’ like to be touched. (or touched by strangers.) Massage might not be for you. I’ve met people for whom the idea of getting a massage is uncomfortable. If the idea is unappealing for you, honoring that makes sense.

But I’ve also met people who’ve had a bad experience with massage or who are hesitant to disrobe or let a stranger touch them. Here are some tips if you fall into those categories.

  • If you don’t want to disrobe, try a style of massage where you leave your clothes on.  Shiatsu, Thai, and reflexology are three options.
  • Know that there are people who specialize in clients who are uncomfortable with touch or disrobing.
  • Ask questions before scheduling to see if their philosophy fits with what you want.

Your therapist should always, always respect your boundaries and comfort zone. As I said, I’ve met people who were not fans of massage. But with the right therapist and right technique some of them have been converted. You might just become a convert as well.

And you?

When was your last massage? If you get massage, why? What are the benefits that draw you? And if you don’t get massage, what’s your reason?