Meditation, like massage, seeks to achieve a clean slate. Just as quality massage presses “reset” on our muscular tension, circulation, and stress levels, successful meditation leaves our minds clear, open, and ready to focus on the tasks at hand. Though we plan ahead for massages when we schedule appointments, it can be difficult to set aside even small amounts of time for meditation in our daily lives. Fortunately, the similar goals of massage and meditation give us the opportunity to make our massages do “double duty,” should we be willing to approach them with mindfulness and intentionality. Here are five styles of meditation that you can incorporate into your next massage in order to maximize relaxation and rejuvenation:
Mantra meditation is the fixation on and mental repetition of a single word or phrase of your choice. The word or phrase should have meaning to you and represent one of your goals for the session. For instance, you may choose a word like “peace” or “free” if your aim is to gain mental solace from stress or worries. The repetition of this style of meditation helps to relax mind and body alike and restore focus.
Meditation through visualization allows your mind to leave the room while your body remains to be pampered on the massage table. This is how you do it:
Imagine a beautiful scene, such as a tranquil mountain lake. Make sure to incorporate all five of your senses—sight, hearing, touch, taste, and smell—into your imagining. As you continue to dwell on the image, focus in on the details. What kinds of flowers surround the lake? What does the water look like in the sun? Is there a breeze? Allow your visualization to carry your mind into your created place.
3. Present Moment
Meditation on the present moment is designed to expand and contract mental focus and self-awareness. It consists of the following steps:
-To begin, close your eyes and focus only on your breathing. Take deep breaths in, hold them for a second or two, and exhale slowly. Fix your focus on filling and deflating your lungs for a few breaths.
-Then, broaden your focus to the entirety of your body and the sensations that you are feeling. Stretch your awareness from the top of your head to the tips of your fingers and toes. What area is your massage therapist working on now? Feel the massage fully.
-Next, keeping your eyes closed, imagine the room around you. Notice as many sounds and smells as you can. Feel the temperature of the air.
-Finally, allow your awareness to contract—back to your body, and, at last, back to your breathing.
Complete the cycle as many times as you wish.
Meditation via observation requires that you become the observer of your mind. Remove your awareness from your body and focus on the center of your forehead. Watch from that distance the feelings, thoughts, and activities of your mind and body.
Gratitude meditation prompts us to reprioritize our thoughts. To practice it, bring to the forefront of your mind someone for whom you are grateful. Picture his or her smile, eye color, and disposition—imagine as many details as you can. Next, send him or her a message of your gratitude. Do this for as many of your loved ones as you’d like.
Meditation can yield a number of emotional, mental, and physical benefits. It cultivates self-awareness, focus, and positivity and aids in managing the symptoms of conditions such as asthma, cancer, depression, heart disease, high blood pressure, and those associated with anxiety and sleeping disorders. Incorporate meditation into your next massage in order to get the most out of your session.
Elements Massage offers therapeutic massages that make meditation easy. Schedule your next session by calling (602) 412-1619.