So many things have been a surprise about and during Covid. The surge in Real Estate for one, the reduction in workforce, and the lack of a desire to return.
I guess the world really doesn't need one more article based on either speculation or polling, but I thought I could offer one reason as I have observed in my clients pre and post Covid. In a word its burnout, or job dissatisfaction.
During the imposed lockdown, people got into new habits, had time to reflect, and saw that life could be about more than just work. I have traveled to quite a few countries and I thing Americans have by and large the longest work days / work weeks and the poorest work/life balance. The Puritan work ethic still haunts us, despite being a county largely now made up of non Puritan immigrants. Further the tools we have created and rely upon; the cellphone, the laptop, email, text means that instead of helping us being more productive, they have shackled us to a 24/7 work week expectation. Maybe you know someone who send you a work email at 2 am, on a Saturday. Maybe you are that person, or the one who actually responds. People can't turn it off. I see it every day in my practice. People suffering from burnout or that have no work/life balance.
I myself suffer and resist this every day. Because it is in my nature to work hard, I often feel guilty when I am not working but the truth is I do it anyway, I purposefully leave my phone behind for stretches, take retreat trips and just turn it all off. It is important to compartmentalize.....and make time for everything. At the top of that list should be make time for yourself. And that includes massage. Massage may not be for every person, but chances are if you are here, and reading this, you enjoy massage and its benefits on the mind as well as the body. This is what I do. I don't really do Deep Tissue (spoiler: it's not a thing), I am pretty forgetful when it comes to anatomical names....but what I do offer is profound relaxation, a sense of overall well being and a holistic approach to restoring some balance to my clients.
Whether people can afford to stay home or re adjust their lives is not something for this article. Whether they can I don't know. One thing about the Pandemic is that is was the Great Unequalizer of our time. If you were struggling before, chances are you are still struggling and possibly worse. If you were invested, or had a middle class salary, the Pandemic has possibly left you a bit flush. Just Google how much wealth was created since March 2020 for JUST the richest 3 Americans.
What I do know is regardless of whether they want to, people crave more, and may insist on it in the future: More time off, more benefits, more rewarding tasks.
Getting back to massage and self care - this is what I will say. Over and over and over again. Get a massage, then book another, and another. IT IS NOT A LUXURY, it is a necessity. A $6,000 stove is a luxury, not a necessity and plenty of people feel they can live without one. Investing that money in yourself could provide monthly bodywork for 5 years!
There are so many reasons to seek out bodywork. One of the most common, and saddest is when client's tell me it's the only hour they have that is undisturbed.
Modern life is stressful. It is filled with modern challenges. And it is short. That is certainly one thing that Covid highlighted. We were not designed to all simply be cogs in Adam Smith's wheel. The world is quickly barrelling toward a time when robots and machines will fulfill most tasks and the workforce will continue to diminish, leaving only menial jobs - its already happening. Then what?
I love what I do, and got into this work because I needed to find this balance for myself some years ago. Nothing here is new or groundbreaking info. its all been said before, but I needed to create a new post and this was on my mind.
Lat words? Eat sensibly, get rest, read a book, take a walk in nature and add regular bodywork to your self care regimen.
I look forward to seeing you
Should I get a massage during Covid????
Is it safe to get a massage during Covid? Yes. Let me start with the answer and work backwards, in case you don't like to read alot :)
I have been wanting to write this post for a while. The pandemic has been extremely hard on Massage Therapy. When Covid restrictions hit, we all shut down, for me it was from March 2020 until about September/October of 2020, and even when returning, I only saw one client per day; no couples massage etc. We were all scared and unertain. After all, even more so than restaurants, a massage takes place in a small confined spaced. We are in a room for an hour or more, what could sound more dangerous?
And the irony is that because of Covid isolation, massage, human contact and touch was needed more than ever. So what to make of things? Well fast forward one year, and this is what we know: People are hyper aware of Covid vs in the beginning when no one knew anything. People are masking. People are sanitizing. People are in general avoiding large crowds of strangers. People are getting vaccinated by the millions. The most vulnerable and the super spreaders sadly have passed away in large numbers. I myself lost a cousin in the first few weeks and it was beyond horrible. In short the world is adjusting to a new normal.
I don't envision a day when the government or scientists will issue an "all clear" or "its over" type of announcement. I envision more that we will roll into a period where masks are "recommended." In Japan, a densely populated country, citizens have been wearing masks long before Covid.
So what is it that makes massage so safe? Nothing really. It is a calculated risk. But the empirical evidence over the past 6 months suggest it is no more dangerous than not getting a massage. And there are huge benefits....to your immune system, to your mind, to your sense of well being. There is no statistical evidence to suggest massage contact poses any greater danger than any other activity outside the home. It is a numbers game and a measured risk. I cannot recommend that you go get a massage but I can say that more than ever I think it is needed and if you feel like you could benefit, then I would consider making an appointment and simply enjoying the experience.
In my own practice as I said, I am vaccinated, I see half the number of clients I used to see to spread out the space in between. We perform extra sanitation measures. We are masked when you come in and leave. Masking while on the table I have found to be largely unnecessary so it is your personal choice. I do wear a mask.
Covid has robbed us of much of the rhythms and simple pleasures of daily life. Covid is here like an unwelcome relative its not going anywhere. Everyone is doing their best and it is time, I believe to start to return to activities like massage. Of course things could change; a new strain, or different outbreaks, in which case the world may have to hunker down again. Until then, please consider returning to your favorite massage therapist if you have been thinking about it. Ask questions of their practices, feel safe and enjoy being human again.
This is one therapists opinion. I am not a scientist nor am I giving medical advice, It is simply my personal opinion.
A Really Good Massage Blog
I write about things that I myself need to be mindful of. ways in which I would like to improve. It is not from the perspective of preaching - but rather writing helps me work out what I myself need to do - we are all in this together.