Massage sometimes can get a bad rap as being only for women and not something that strong, professional and rugged men can benefit from. The truth of the matter is, though, that real men know that massage can be the secret weapon for successful careers, family life and sports competitions.
“Any guy who has played any level of sports or training knows how important massage is to reducing injuries, relieving muscle aches and pains, and helping to repair muscle strains and damage,” said James McLeroy, massage therapist at Elements Mission Viejo Gateway Center.
Get into the game of life by working hard, playing hard and making massage a part of your masculine lifestyle.
Real Men: Live to Compete
Massage can be a real game-changer for men both professionally and competitively. To stay on top of the game in your career, massage increases circulation throughout your body, helping increase mental acuity and alertness. Massage also can help you get a leg up in sports competitions by helping you work through injuries and physical ailments such as tendonitis, muscle strains and tension.
“When you are in the same position every day at work, muscle memory takes over and your muscles think that your daily position is how they are supposed to be all the time,” McLeroy said. “Your muscles end up staying in a contracted state, which can cut off circulation and blood flow to your muscles. The benefit of massage is it retrains your muscles to be in a more relaxed state.”
Just as you have to train your muscles to compete in an endurance event, you have to continually retrain your muscles to relax and repair for the best performance results and mental strength.
Real Men: Don’t Get Sucker Punched by Stress
A stereotypical "real man" is cool, calm and collected in the face of adversity and when presented with a work or life challenge. But, when you dig deeper past the surface, you will find that men carry the weight of a lot of life’s stresses. Working late to close a big deal, accumulating thousands of frequent flyer miles traveling for business trips, coaching your kid’s little league team, being there for your spouse and squeezing in time at the gym can all be sources of stress for men in today’s society.
“In our fast-paced society in America, we suffer from more stress than the majority of other countries,” McLeroy said. “Our stress shows itself in the muscles between the shoulder blades. So, I focus on this area during a massage to help relieve my clients’ stress and muscle pains.”
Stress can cripple your mood and attitude by making you feel irritable and tired. While blowing off steam with a high-intensity bike ride or punching bag session can lighten your mood, it also can be helpful to slow down, take a break and relax. Don’t let stress sideswipe you with negative feelings. Instead, knock out the opponent with the power of massage.
“Studies have shown that one hour of massage can equal up to four hours of sleep, leaving you feeling more rested after a massage. And your endorphin levels are more stable,” McLeroy said. “Massage is great for stress reduction. It gives you one hour to completely empty your mind and just zone out.”
Real Men: Make it a Habit
Humans are creatures of habit and men are no exception. If you make it a habit to bottle up all of your stress and ignore nagging aches and pains in your muscles, your body will eventually break down. If you want to stay active in the fast lane of life, then you have to schedule regular pit stops to refuel and re-energize your mind and body.
Your speedster sports car or rugged off-road Jeep both need regular oil changes and maintenance appointments for the best performance, just as you need regular maintenance appointments to keep your mind and body running strong. You get your vehicle’s oil changed every few thousand miles to flush out the gunk and grime that accumulates after hundreds of hours on the road. After hundred of hours of working in an office, competing on a field or meeting with customers, your body needs to flush out all of the toxins and stress that builds up from your daily activities. Make it a habit to schedule regular massage sessions to maintain a fine-tuned mind and body.
It is time to trade in your stressed-out and muscle-tension lifestyle for a more relaxed, high-performing one. When you are in a less stressful state of mind, you can be there more for the important people in your life and deal better with the curve balls you are thrown in your career and family life.