Here’s the rub

Stir crazy.

That about sums up my experience on the cruise I went on.

Now, some of my friends are avid cruisers. But for me, being cooped up in a floating hotel… I couldn’t wait to get off at the next port.

Between the 24-hour buffets and the late-night shenanigans, being on a cruise was less of a vacation for me than a test to see if I could make it through the full 5 days without gaining 10 pounds.

But there was one thing on my cruise that I did enjoy. Something that I don’t do very often…

A massage.

After going through a workout in a near-empty gym, I was left with a sore shoulder and a spa credit burning a hole in my pocket.

Not one for a facial or “salt scrub,” I decided to put my free money towards a sports massage.

And darned if I didn’t feel great afterwards.

Massages are often looked at as nothing but pampering for softies. And with aromatherapy oils and soft music in the background… I can see how people might think that.

But stop and think. When you bump your knee or elbow and it hurts, your first instinct is to rub it.

Your brain knows that touch receptors being “activated” can work wonders on pain.

And studies have also shown that massage stimulates the immune system to wake that up too. People with breast cancer or leukemia have had better results with massage as part of their recovery routines than those who don’t.

Maybe it’s an immune response. Maybe relaxed people heal better. Maybe it increases blood flow, to increase healing inside you.

Scientists don’t know for sure. And it’s hard to design a “gold standard” study about massage benefits. After all, what does a “placebo” look like in a study? You can’t fake whether you’re getting a massage or not…

The downside to massages is they can be expensive. Not everyone gets a freebie like I did. But inexpensive foam rollers can be an effective stand in.

Just do it when nobody’s around.

Unless you want to get some weird looks rolling a day-glow tube over your legs, like you’re a pastry chef, and your thighs are getting set for the oven.

God Bless,

Jeff Reagan

Editor, Patriot Health Alliance

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