This is my first ever blog post and I have rewritten it more times than I care to remember, as I’m somewhat of a perfectionist* and can overanalyse things. These characteristics aren’t necessarily a bad thing but they’re not always very helpful. What I was trying to put into words was the reason behind this blog and why I became a massage therapist. In a nutshell, it was to manage my anxiety.
I feel like I have been on a bizarre journey since I came home in 2012 after a year of travelling and it’s led to me finding my own calm sanctuary in massage. Through this blog, I not only want to highlight the benefits of massage but I also want to explore and discover other ways of living a healthy and positive life. I will share more of my own experiences and topics that will be of benefit to other people, who also seek to live a more holistic lifestyle.
A few years ago I became ill and spent a week in hospital. It was quite a distressing experience due to a variety of reasons, all of which could have been avoided. Consequently, I had quite severe anxiety for some time after. When I first started having symptoms of anxiety I didn’t even realise what it was. I thought I was just ‘weird’ and couldn’t understand why I felt the way I did. A month after being discharged from hospital I returned to work but I didn’t feel like me anymore – I was constantly on edge. I could feel my heart pumping in my chest and would regularly check my pulse (which annoyingly I still do to this day), which unsurprisingly would be beating at a fast rate. This in turn made me more anxious and made my heart beat faster. This was the start of a vicious cycle that continued for a long time. I was also overcome with fatigue. I would sit at my desk in the morning and dread the seven-hour wait for 5pm to come round. I felt like I couldn’t inhale enough air and generally felt rather shit. I couldn’t see any light at the end of the tunnel and the weeks and months of feeling like this felt like years. I watched the lives of my friends roll on but I felt like my life was on pause.
It took a year for me to regain my strength and energy levels. After feeling the way I did for such a long time I wanted to do something positive, which would not only help other people who had been through a similar experience, but also to help me focus my mind on something else. I’ve learnt that distraction is the key to managing anxious thoughts.
I threw myself into studying massage and qualified as a body and sports massage therapist. The courses were a lot more intense than I had imagined but as I’ve always had an interest in the human body, I thoroughly enjoyed learning about anatomy and physiology. It also helped me to understand better how the body reacts to stress and the physical consequences that can be experienced.
It might sound odd to say, but massaging other people helps me to relax and it’s why I love doing it. The only time I really relax is when I’m focused on helping someone else to unwind and switch off. The smell of essential oils, soft lighting, calming music and the slow, sweeping movements of massage almost send me into a trance-like state.
What started primarily as an activity to help me relax soon turned into a service needed by many people also seeking support with their overall wellbeing. As I started to massage more clients, I was taken aback by the number of people in need of support with their mental wellbeing. I thought my experience following illness was unique and isolating, but in fact stress and anxiety are widespread concerns. I think this is a sad reflection on the world we’re living in, but I do believe that through certain lifestyle choices we can all find ways to manage our challenges.
I’m thankful that I discovered a skill that I enjoy just as much as my clients. I believe I have started an ongoing journey in the discovery and understanding of wellness. There are endless methods and techniques that can help us all look after our physical and emotional wellbeing. I look forward to expanding my knowledge in the years to come and sharing all that I learn through Inner Wellness Massage.
*Perfection doesn’t exist. Having finally realised this, life has been much more enjoyable.
Inner Wellness Massage Blog
Welcome to my wellness blog! This is where I will share all things health and wellbeing. I hope to encourage others to prioritise their own health while I continuously work to better my own.
Disclaimer: the views and experiences shared are my own and information based on health-related topics has been researched. While this blog promotes and encourages a healthy lifestyle, I am not a doctor and the content is not intended as medical advice. Always seek help from a medical professional if you are concerned about your health.