I am writing to remind you that you are, in fact, an animal. Yes, you have a giant brain and yes, you can fly through the air in a sleek steel tube but that doesn’t change the fact that you are a beast. Your body is essentially the same as it was 200,000 years ago. That’s before planes and cars and desks, before grocery stores, before pavement, but not before massage.Our body evolved in a world where anxiety meant physical danger and physical danger required a chemical response. When we’re stuck in traffic and we’re late to an appointment and the guy behind us is honking and honking even though there’s nowhere to go, our body thinks it’s under attack. Some part of our brain knows fighting that guy or fleeing the car on foot at top speed won’t solve the problem but still, it pumps out adrenaline and cortisol – just in case. And then we sit there pickling.
But if the appointment you’re late for is a massage appointment you’re in luck. Because massage knows how to fix that. Back when we lived in a world that made sense to our bodies, back before traffic jams and pharmaceutical companies, we were body workers and our bodies remember. When we get massage our body understands that it’s safe. It’s not being chased, it doesn’t need to fight or flee and it’s part of a group. It can let someone else stand guard while it relaxes and heals. Literally. Studies show that massage reduces stress hormone levels in our blood and boosts immune function. Our cells know massage. And they need it.