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If the New Year has got you facing a list of resolutions that include various ways to improve your health and general well-being, you might be wondering just how to meet all your goals. Start small, focus on one goal at a time, work daily to form healthier habits; that’s all very good advice. But one thing that people seem to have trouble doing, even with the best intentions, is committing to something new long-term.

I suggest you consider adding regular massage therapy sessions to your plan. There are proven health benefits from receiving massage, including general relaxation, improved sleep quality, and relief from conditions like lower back pain. But even more brilliant – there will be someone to keep you committed to your plan. Getting a massage can help you focus on your health and wellness with every session. Your therapist will remind you to book your appointment as a regular part of your routine. You might end up realizing just how quickly that month went by when you see your massage appointment coming up … and associate this one lifestyle change with all the others you are working on bringing into being in your life.

Further, most health professionals are visited sparingly or only when something is wrong, perhaps reinforcing the idea of dread when it comes to health decisions. Massage therapy, however, is most beneficial when it is received with regularity, and receiving a massage brings with it only positive associations: relax, recharge, listen to your body and nurture it. Of course, every appointment with your therapist will require you to review your medical history, and even a monthly look at how you’re doing overall will help keep you on track with your other health goals. You may even remind yourself to schedule that much needed visit with another provider after a massage session because the session focuses on you and how you’re feeling. Also beneficial to you is that few people see and feel your body as thoroughly and as regularly as your massage therapist. They may notice something that would otherwise have gone unnoticed for a while, such as a change in a mole or a limitation in range of motion in a joint. While massage therapists are not qualified to diagnose any medical condition, they may notice something out of the usual and refer you to your doctor for further evaluation.

With healthcare costs climbing annually, the best approach to maintaining and improving your health is by following substantiated wellness and prevention guidelines. Key ideas include proper nutrition, regular exercise, getting enough sleep, learning to relax, and visiting your healthcare providers as needed. Making lifestyle changes may be difficult, but they can help you ensure that you are doing everything you can to be your best you. Your massage therapist may at first seem like an unlikely source of support and inspiration, but they can be an excellent and qualified partner in your journey to achieve your goals for healthy living.

Start making your health and wellness a priority today. You deserve an amazing massage!

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