Getting a massage is a highly beneficial addition to any holistic self-care routine. But for many, the pampering experience may seem too luxurious and time-consuming, something you save for special events or vacations. Luckily, in-home massage beds are changing this narrative, allowing you to experience the benefits of massage on your time, in your own space.
Find out how to build your own realistic self-care routine, the best at-home practices for mental and physical health, and how to integrate massage therapy into every day.
When you think of self-care, do you picture items like bath bombs or face masks? While it’s certainly relaxing to take a bath and enhance your skincare regimen, we prefer a more expansive view. Instead of being something you engage in when you’ve reached your stress threshold or when you finally have time to treat yourself, self-care should be a prioritized routine built into each day. Thinking of your self-care routine as “holistic” means viewing it as something necessary to all aspects of your well-being: physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual.
Feeding all aspects of your well-being promotes balance in your physical and mental health and helps you be more present to others. According to Julia Balzer Riley, RN, MN, HNC, author of the paper “Holistic self-care: Strategies for initiating a personal assessment”, a study on self-care practices among nurses, a person cannot meet the needs of others or be fully present at work if they are not fully present to themselves first. She explains that holistic self-care attends to the needs of the whole person, and is accessible to anyone who chooses it. “Self-care is a matter of giving oneself permission to take the time, to make the commitment, and to negotiate the roadblocks.”
Other research found that students who practice self-care that addresses “multiple facets of well-being” like physical activity, nutrition, spiritual growth, and interpersonal relations have less stress and higher quality of life.
To devise your own realistic holistic self-care routine, Riley suggests assessing your own personal values, priorities, and responsibilities. What may work for one person may not be feasible for another, but here are some ideas to get started:
From healthy nutrition and hydration to sleep and exercise, taking care of your physical body is crucial to self-care. This is especially true if your work entails sitting at a desk all day, as sedentary lifestyles have been linked to poor health. Getting regular massages is another significant way to positively impact your physical health.
With Ceragem’s in-home massage beds, the CERAGEM V6 and CERAGEM V4, it’s easy to add massage to your daily routine. In fact, it’s recommended to use your massage bed twice a day: once in the morning to set the tone for a relaxing day and once at the end of the day or after work to unwind and ensure restful sleep. Each session lasts around 40 minutes, which is enough time to experience the benefits of improved circulation, tension relief, and less stress without taking up too much of your day.
Offering all-in-one, full-body treatments combining acupressure, deep-tissue massage, stretching, and stone therapy, Ceragem massage beds feature a variety of modes to meet your body’s unique needs. The CERAGEM V6, which is the latest model, is even equipped with patented scanning technology to deliver a customized massage. The bed automatically adjusts to your spinal length and curvature and features air cell massagers for improved circulation and heated rollers to mimic a hot stone massage.
Another key component to holistic self-care is mental health. Making time for reading, journaling, playing a musical instrument, or learning a new skill supports neuroplasticity, defined as the brain’s ability to adapt. These activities can also help you overcome past trauma, which can evoke anxiety and stress. You don’t have to spend long doing these activities; even spending a few minutes journaling at the start or end of the day can help you set intentions or express gratitude for your achievements.
And while getting a massage may seem like something you do for your body, there are a number of mental benefits as well. Research shows that massage lowers the stress hormone cortisol and increases the “happy” hormone serotonin, consequently reducing symptoms of anxiety and depression.
Letting go of toxic emotions makes room for peace, presence, and positivity. Adding practices that support your emotional health to your holistic self-care routine might look like small acts of kindness, catching yourself when being critical or judgemental, or simply paying attention to your moods by conducting momentary check-ins throughout the day. Giving yourself permission to express how you’re feeling is another way to clear away toxic debris from your mental state.
There are also types of massage that can help you release emotions based on the idea that emotional and physical trauma can have long-lasting effects on muscles and joints. This type of therapeutic bodywork aims to release those damaging tensions, both physically and mentally.
Connecting to your spirit can mean different things to different people. For some, taking a walk in nature can be a spiritual experience. For others, sitting silently in meditation is more appealing. Practicing spiritual self-care involves any activity or ritual that helps you connect to your true self. Mindfulness, stillness, reflection, laughter, and connection are all potential starting points. According to this study on the connection between mindfulness and spirituality, researchers found that daily spiritual experiences were “significantly related” to improvement in mental health and quality of life. These spiritual experiences were defined as activities that helped them disengage from “self-centered narratives or distractions” to notice everyday beauty, joy, connection, and awe.
Life is busy, but creating a holistic self-care routine doesn’t have to be time-consuming or complex. When you focus on the four aspects of whole-body health–physical, mental, emotional, spiritual–you have a framework on which to build in a way that works best for you. Maybe you address all four aspects at once with a morning ritual that includes massage (physical), journaling (mental), reflecting on your feelings (emotional), and seated meditation (spiritual), or maybe you spread the activities out over the course of the day. Practicing self-care isn’t a luxury; it’s a necessity, and a desire to do so is a step in the right direction.
Erica Garza is an author and essayist specializing in health and wellness. She has written for TIME, Health, Glamour, Parents, Women’s Health, VICE, and the Telegraph.
National Library of Medicine – Holistic self care: Strategies for initiating a personal assessment
National Library of Medicine – U.S. medical students who engage in self-care report less stress and higher quality of life
Medline Plus – Health Risks of an Inactive Lifestyle
Positive Psychology – What is Neuroplasticity? A Psychologist Explains
National Library of Medicine – Changes in spirituality partly explain health-related quality of life outcomes after Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction