As a massage therapist, I've had clients with so many different jobs come into my office. One thing I can tell you is that no matter what you do for a living, everyone's job is hard on their body.
The CDC recommends that adults from ages 18 to 64 years old get at least 2.5 hours of moderate aerobic exercise per week. (Greater benefits can be gained by working out for longer or at a higher intensity and including strength training in your routine.) Sometimes it can feel overwhelming to fit even that amount of exercise into a busy schedule. But exercise is important because it means a break in your physical routine -- and so can massage.
Whether it's physical labor, child care, sitting at a computer, standing at a counter, or even giving massage, doing the same activity for many hours a day, week, year will eventually result in your body getting stuck in certain patterns. While these patterns might make you more efficient at your job, they are not good for the long-term health of your musculoskeletal system. Human bodies are made to move, and to move in a variety of diverse ways, not just do the same thing over and over.
Massage therapy can serve as both prevention and treatment for dysfunctional patterns that otherwise get locked into the muscles, joints, and fascia. Massage promotes flexibility and relaxation throughout the whole body. Certain modalities are designed specifically to release contracted muscles or break up fascial restrictions. However, in addition to the immediate hands-on benefits, massage therapy has the added plus of helping many clients become more aware of their own bodies. I can't tell you the number of times a client has said, "Wow, I didn't even know I was sore there until you put some pressure on it!"
Sometimes we’re not conscious of what’s going on in our own bodies until someone else helps bring our attention to it. Massage might not be able to fix every chronic ache and strain, but we can help encourage our clients’ natural healing process through increased awareness of their own bodies and movement patterns.