By Leena S. Guptha, DO, MBA, BCTMB, PCOM Academic Dean of Graduate Studies
Think about your average day. Do you sit for long periods of time at a desk or behind the wheel of car? It’s what I call the Daily Grind—and it often affects us in ways we do not expect. When you really stop to think about it, it is no surprise that many of us visit our massage therapists with frequent complaints of back pain, discomfort, and dysfunction!
Many studies show a relationship between sitting and back pain. In fact, occupations involving the driving of cars and trucks have been implicated as high-risk for the development of low back pain. High rates of neck pain have been observed even among everyday drivers. Most of the evidence is related to the lumbar spine, but in practice, massage therapists often see the neck and upper back affected by static posture, stress, and tension as well—consequences of our daily desk job, road trips, stress, and more (Guptha, 1989).
Many Americans have the common misconception that massage is just a luxurious way to relax, and while that may be true for some, those that work the monotonous grind behind a desk or the wheel of car may be missing out on the real benefits. With as little as one regularly-scheduled massage per week, massage therapy can provide all of us with proven techniques to help ease our back and neck pain, reduce anxiety, increase circulation in tense muscles, and even relieve headache pain. Booking an appointment with your certified massage therapist on a regular basis empowers you, the client, to heal and rebalance both your mind and body. With the effects of improved circulation, reduced stress, eased back and neck pain, increased range of motion, among many other proven benefits, who could resist?
As time goes on, and our “daily grind” continues right on schedule, our limited physical activity comes with its own consequences. Poor posture, decreased circulation, and muscle tension are just a few of them. Often they happen without us even realizing it, so it is important to take note of aches and pains when and where they happen. Most importantly, be sure to talk with your massage therapist about what you are experiencing. Massage therapy is about more than proven health benefits—it is also a conversation to help you get the most out of your experience, both for the mind and body.
Massage therapy can help:
- Promote tissue regeneration
- Ease stress
- Boost your immune system
- Ease neck and back pain
- Reduce headache pain
- And much more!
Whether the goal of your visit is relaxation, rehabilitation, or rejuvenation, rest assured that when you choose a certified massage therapist, you are a connecting with a skilled and knowledgeable practitioner who is committed to excellence in their chosen profession.
Be sure to stop by again soon and share your experiences with us. We love hearing how massage therapy works for you!
Leena S. Guptha is the Academic Dean of Graduate Studies at Pacific College of Oriental Medicine and a graduate of the British College of Osteopathic Medicine. Leena’s interests stem from her osteopathic research on the ergonomics of driving and back pain. She has also received advanced education in massage therapy and integrative health and held a variety of academic leadership positions. She is a former president of the American Massage Therapy Association, past Chair of the National Certification Board for Massage and Bodywork, and has nearly three decades of clinical practice. Her life mission is to see holistic therapies integrated into primary care with equal access for all.