The Good Life is Good for You : Why Massage is Medicinal


On behalf of our team, we would like to officially welcome you to the Californiaholics community. Whether you were born and raised in California or just call it home in your heart, you are a Californiaholic. It is our desire to have another venue for sharing life with our fellow Californiaholics. This Californiaholic is not and will never claim to be a writer. A commitment to authoring an official blog sounded too daunting and not my style. So, I consider these entries “Blogitos.” If you took high school Spanish or been in California long enough, you can figure out the made-up Spanglish word. Yup, Californiaholics will be the first to publish “little blogs.”


If you’re anything like the us, you enjoy all which the Golden State has to offer: a positive mindset, fresh produce, outdoor activities, breathtaking landscapes, warm people, famous beaches and everything in between. We believe in working hard and playing even harder. California is known as one of the premier destinations for year round outdoor recreation. An active lifestyle is healthy; however, the stress and strain of exercise takes its toll on one’s body.

I recently met up with a friend, Sheena Lopez, who just happens to be one of the most sought after massage therapists on California’s Central Coast. I was whining about each square inch on my body that was sore from our boot camp class and she offered, “You should come see me for massage work.” I quickly protested, “I’m on a budget; I don’t have money for luxuries right now.” And it was at that point when I was graciously schooled in Massage Therapy 101.


Sheena began by saying, “I love what I do. I’m so passionate about it!” Not only was her passion visible, but also felt as she patiently answered all of my questions about massage therapy. She first emphasized I had been missing out on an effective method for injury prevention and a quicker recovery from our killer workouts. There is nothing more discouraging to an athlete than an injury…especially one which could have been avoided. She explained that, due to continuous exertion, the muscles become dehydrated and compress into an “S” shape.  The therapist breaks up the muscle adhesion (“knot”), and returns it to its long lateral state, which relieves the tightness and pain. And who doesn’t love being pain free?

Even more good news, massage therapy boosts the immune system. And let’s face it, cold and flu season do not exclude those with a gym membership and clean diet. During a massage session, the body goes into the parasympathetic state which allows the body to recover and recharge. In turn, this restful state stimulates the immune system. Next, a massage pushes fresh blood through the body and moves the stagnant blood which has built up toxins. With the toxins released and fresh blood circulated, the body experiences increased energy.  Lopez also explained that the movement of such toxins through the body is the reason therapists encourage their clients to flush out their system with ample water afterward.

In addition to hydration, Sheena provided some other helpful tips for newcomers to massage therapy. If it is your first time having a treatment, have the therapist work on your upper body (back, neck, shoulders) to get used to being touched, and request a deep Swedish style massage. And when do you “tap out” from the pain and ask the therapist to go lighter? Sheena recommends, “If you can’t breathe through it [massage stroke], it’s too deep.” Finally, Lopez says do not let a tight budget keep you from receiving essential massage therapy. She suggests seeking out massage schools for economical treatments as opposed to pricier spas.  For more information on the benefits of massage therapy visit the Mayo Clinic web page:

Wishing everyone good vibes on this Monday!
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