2 Your Health: Self-Care—Everyone Is Telling You to Do It … Why?

Heidi Overman, Licensed Massage Therapist, #MT-24997

Self-Care: You hear about self-care and how important it is, but do you know what they are talking about and why everyone is constantly talking about it?

I come from an age of hard work, a time when you don’t stop and smell the roses, take a hike, meditate, or get a massage. Those things were luxuries. Taking care of myself meant that I would fall asleep to reading a book or eat an orange if I felt a cold coming on. There was no scheduling of a yoga class or getting a facial or making sure my muscles were flexible and healthy. I had to take care of everyone else!

So why is everyone so fixated on self-care now?

Deterioration. Deterioration of our minds, our bodies, our souls, and our energy.

We have learned through watching prior generations that aging is sometimes not the most pleasant, but we all have to go through it. At about age 40, we really start feeling it and thinking about retirement. So, we plan. We find a financial advisor; Start really making sure our teeth are in good shape; we go to our regular doctor checkups and think, “Hey … I’m doing pretty good!” I still have an insanely stressful job, I sit in traffic, I’m stressed about paying the bills or maybe family issues … but I just need to get to retirement, and I’ll be good!

However, we forget one very important thing: wear and tear on our bodies, our minds, and our spirit. By the time we get to age 65, our low backs are killing us, our knees are barely hanging on, and we can’t remember why we walked into a room. That world cruise is not looking as exciting, because it’s painful to walk, and all your retirement savings is going toward doctor bills and pain management. This is not how you envisioned retirement.

So, what can you do right now to improve your energy levels? Your stress levels? Your mind? Your concentration? Your body? Self-care. Even if you are 60, 70, 80, or 90. It’s never too late to start!

Regular meditation, acupuncture, tai chi, massage, and yoga can help calm your sympathetic nervous system. This is your fight or flight reaction. When your sympathetic nervous system is constantly on high, it affects your brain, your muscles, your digestive system, your immune system, your nervous system, and more. It slowly makes it harder and harder for them to work properly over time. Taking time to stop, reflect and properly take yourself out of “the grind” is so important.

Regular bodywork, massage, exercise, hiking, walking, and movement can help break those muscle patterns that cause injury. Pulls, strains, and torn muscles all can be minimized and even preventable injuries.

Self-care is about maximizing your best years. It’s about knowing that the aging process is not always kind to us, but you can at least manage it by taking care of yourself.

If you are interested in a therapeutic massage, please call me for an appointment at 520-771-1514. My website is www.mymendingplace.com and I’m located at MEND Therapeutic Massage and Restorative Skincare at 15920 N. Oracle Road, Ste. 170, in Tucson, next to the Golden Goose Thrift Shop.