Rachel Richards

licensed massage therapist

east village, nyc

News: March 2016

Do you take massage in sickness and in health?

A person comes to me in pain. We assess and treat the condition until the pain is gone. The person leaves my office feeling great but doesn't book another session. I reach out to him several times, asking him to come back for a follow up appointment, but he declines because he has no pain. A year later, he sends me an email. He has sustained a new injury, more severe than the last, and he would like to come in for treatment. It happens all the time.

Massage therapy is a tried and true treatment for a myriad of pain complaints. But that doesn't mean massage therapy should end once the pain is gone. Quite the opposite. One reason to continue massage treatment is that very often pain symptoms subside before the damaged tissue is fully healed, causing it to be highly susceptible to reinjury.

But what about when the pain is gone and the tissue is restored? All too often, we don't take proper care of our bodies when we are healthy. We tend to forget we ever had pain and return to our old patterns, unwittingly putting ourselves at high risk of future pain and injury. Massage therapy, like exercise, healthy eating habits, good hygiene, and proper hydration, is an essential component of optimal health, wellness, and longevity. Going for regular massage sessions prevents future pain and injuries. If injuries do occur, they will likely be milder and easier to overcome for those who have made massage a life-long habit.

We don't stop exercising once we've reached our fitness goal. We continue to exercise to maintain our strength and flexibility. Your body won't stay fit on its own. Similarly, an athlete doesn't only practice her sport during the season. She practices all year long, using the off-season to get as fit as possible in order to best prepare her body and mind for competition. We don't wait until we're filthy to shower, we don't wait until we have a cavity to start brushing our teeth, we don't wait until the dust in our homes is five inches thick to start cleaning, and we don't wait until our car stops in the middle of the street to refill the gas tank. So why wait until you're in pain to get massage?

The two big excuses I hear for not getting massage regularly are "I don't have the time," and "I don't want to spend the money." Let's think about this. If your schedule is so full that you can't take an hour for yourself once a week or even once a month, you can be pretty sure your overwhelming schedule will eventually be interrupted by illness or injury.

As for the cost, massage is not a luxury or a privilege, it is an investment in your health and well-being. (Click here for a list of 25 massage therapy health benefits supported by research.) Think of all the things you spend money on: Starbucks, alcohol, soda, junk food, cable, eating out, movies, and that's just to name a few. Check out some interesting statistics. This adds up to way more than the price of massage therapy, and most are damaging to your health. You'd be doing yourself a world of good by cutting back on a few lattes or cocktails and using the money that saves you on a healthier body and mind, and a higher quality of life.

So no more excuses. Pain or no pain, now is the time to make a life-long commitment to caring for yourself. We only get one body. Keeping it healthy and happy means a better life for you, and a greater capacity to give to those around you. Make massage therapy a habit and be the best you that you can be!

One pose to relieve back, neck, and shoulder pain, alleviate stress, and deepen the breath

Child's pose is one of my favorites because its benefits are multifaceted. This simple exercise can alleviate aches and pain in the back, hips, neck, and shoulders, promote relaxation, and facilitate deep, efficient breathing. Follow along to learn this simple restorative pose, along with some variations to make it feel extra good.


What's new with me ...

Happy spring! This month, we celebrate Sienna's third birthday! Just when I think she couldn't possibly get any sweeter, cuter, funnier, brighter, or more lovable, she does. But please don't call her Sienna. She only answers to Diego. After all, she is an animal rescuer who swings from a vine, carries a rescue pack, and has her baby jaguar by her side. Click here to see photos of our three-year-old adventurer.

Call or text me today

I'd be happy to answer
any questions you have!


Fill out my online form.

Subscribe to my Youtube channel!

American Massage Therapy Association

Swedish InstituteCertified Myoskeletal TherapistNational Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork

Available now!

Available now!

Did you know?