Massage Therapy and Dance: The Benefits for the Mind and Body of Dancers
Updated: Dec 10, 2021
To many people, getting a massage is seen as an extravagant splurge, or something you treat yourself to on a special occasion. However, Massage Therapy is a practical and necessary form of maintenance for any person. Because it is beneficial for those who sit at their desk all day to those who work in manual labor, to those who have a mentally demanding job, just imagine how crucial it is for dancers who use their bodies strenuously day in and day out to receive bodywork.
Over the years, I searched for something to help my body and mind in sustaining the high caliber of dancing competitively for 15 years then into college, and the professional realm. The strain of dancing up to 7 days a week, ten hours a day, relearning body patterns, being a full-time student, and becoming more aware of the body’s ever-changing nature lends itself to a great deal of stress. After trying to navigate all of these things, even for a short time, it became clear that it was not sustainable without some form of a self-care regimen and physical upkeep along the way. This is how I came to be a Massage Therapist.
After graduating from CSULB with a BA in Dance Science and a BFA in Dance, I wanted to continue with a career that uses and honors the body in a holistic and sustainable way.
I had received a few massages while I was dancing in high school and college, but never consistently. I liked how I would feel during and after the sessions and found that they relieved a great deal of stress and tension in my body and mind. Just taking an hour or 90 minutes out of my busy schedule to tend to myself helped relieve these tensions, small ailments, and create a sense of overall relaxation.
Massage Therapy has a plethora of benefits for all bodies: reducing stress and muscle tension, lowering blood pressure, and promoting lymphatic drainage, just to name a few.
The time of the session alone provides dancers with a space for recuperation after a long day or week in the studio. Days off and rest are not always a top priority in a dancer’s busy schedule, but it is one of the most important things for a long career. Reducing muscle tension and stress helps the musculature of the body and the fascia to recalibrate so dancers can work within their most functional and anatomically sound alignment. Lymphatic Drainage helps the body rid itself of built-up toxins from intense and repetitive training.
Receiving a massage also gives dancers an intimate insight into their own body patterns. Where do you feel most sore? Where do you hold your tension? What are you resistant to letting go of? This body knowledge helps dancers foster more genuine and compassionate relationships with their own bodies. Getting in touch with our bodies allows growth in our dance practice.
I have always known that dance will be a part of my life and have always been passionate about creating healthier relationships with bodies and practices. Massage is a way I can share body knowledge, give back to the dance community, and move my own body beyond the studio.
To help bridge the gap between dancers and massage therapy, I offer a 20% discount for individuals in the dance community, because I know first hand that the funds are not always there as a dance artist. I hope to bring relaxation and rejuvenation to our dance community and encourage dancers to take the time to take care of themselves in a holistic way.
For more information or to book a session (in the greater LA area) email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Find Alex on Instagram: @arixmovementandmassage