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The New You: The many benefits of massage therapy

There are over 80 different types of massage therapies, addressing everything from scar tissue to flushing out toxins.

CLEVELAND — When I think of massages, I usually think of something you experience on a vacation or on a beach. But could it actually help with your wellness? According to Cleveland Clinic Licensed Massage therapist Vickie Bodner, there are actually many medical benefits to massage therapy.

"Massage is very similar to working out and exercising," Bodner explained. "We need blood flow in our muscles to keep them relax and happy. We're moving toxins out the body that's why we ask you to drink a lot of water when you're done with a massage just to flush everything out."

Massage therapy is just one part of the Cleveland Clinic’s wellness program. It was also the part of the program I was looking forward to the most. I soon learned that not every massage is the same. There are over 80 different types of massage therapies.

"There's general relaxation massage usually those are thought about as lighter touch. The deep tissue is working out the muscles. Head massages are awesome. It really feels so good... we also have lymphatic massage which is helpful for illnesses and keeping the body healthy," Bodner explained.

There are also massages that can assist with repairing scar tissue and preparing you for surgery. 

Because so many of us are now working from home, Vickie believes many of us need a massage and may not even realize it.

"The muscles get tight. We are focused on our computers we're sitting there we are just looking and sitting," she said.

As Vickie went to work on me during our recent session, she quickly realized I was no different than most people she sees.

"I found Jason what I found in a lot of people. The neck was tight. The shoulders," she explained.

Most massages therapy sessions last between 30 minutes to an hour and involve low lighting and soothing music in the background. It is all done to help you relax. But before you run out and get a massage – there are a couple of things Vickie says you should consider.

Always ask about their license and how long they have had it. She also recommends asking for references and ensuring they’re ethical.

And most of all - enjoy it.

"I think everybody should have at least one in their life," Bodner said. And I have to admit I agree.

We’re in this together!

If you're interested in learning more, or signing up for a similar program through the Cleveland Clinic, visit: 

https://my.clevelandclinic.org/departments/wellness/integrative

call: 216.448.4325 or email: cilm@ccf.org

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Editor's Note: The below story aired on December 21, 2020