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5 Ways Massage Improved the Quality of My Life

Guest Post by Stephanie Solheim

It really shouldn't surprise anyone who knows me to read my admission that I am a "hot-mess" kind of mom. I work from home in Holland, Ohio while caring for my two young boys and three giant fluffy dogs. I have a 3-year-old and a two-month-old and I am lucky if I can sleep 5 hours a night. My ability to remember anything has deteriorated to almost nill...the other day I went to the store to buy wipes, but I bought 12 other things...came home with no wipes.


I am not just a wreck mentally, physically I am too. I worked a desk job for 15 years and it really did a number on my neck and shoulders. I had difficult pregnancies with painful hips and lower back issues that would make my feet go numb. I have suffered from migraines since I was a teenager and I struggle with anxiety like many of us do.

I am lucky though. When I was 20 my mother decided to follow her dreams of helping others improve the quality of their lives and became a licensed massage therapist. My mom is Tonya, she is the owner of Massage Therapy Center of Toledo. I would love to tell you how she has personally helped me with my chronic pain and mental health issues.

Massage Has Drastically Lessened My Migraines

I remember so clearly when my migraines started. At the time we lived in Sylvania and I was a sophomore at Northview High School. I would wake up in the middle of the night with terrible pain going through one side of my head and face and down into my neck. It had almost made me feel as though I slept "wrong." I am 36 now and I still get those debilitating migraines. I am fortunate to have medication from my neurologist for when the bad ones occur, but massage has made taking the medication less necessary. Preventative massage keeps my neck and shoulders relaxed so I sleep with less tension. I am not sure of the exact science behind why massage works so well for migraines, I just know that for me, it makes all the difference in the world. Here is a great article about massages and migraines.

Massage Helped Me During Pregnancy

Since we are talking about migraines, one of the worst things for me about pregnancy was that I got more migraines, not less. I also was not able to safely take medication for migraines while pregnant. Massage really helped me manage the pain and tension when I couldn't use a rescue treatment. Like many women, I suffered from back and hip issues while pregnant. Prenatal massage made my sore lumbar and aching hips feel better. It was also a great way to pencil in some "self-care" and relax. Tonya at Massage Therapy Center of Sylvania knows all the great tricks and techniques to make you comfortable on the massage table while pregnant.

Massage Helps Me Avoid Prescription Narcotics and Surgery

In 2009 I was a passenger in the back seat of my friends Jeep while we were rear-ended while stopped at a light on Monroe Street near the Franklin Park Mall in Toledo. My head bounced sideways into the window giving me a big goose-egg and whiplash. I found out later that my first rib had dislocated and was causing issues with my right arm and hand going numb and losing blood flow. Three rounds of physical therapy, four MRIs, a neurologist, a vascular surgeon, and an Osteopathic Sports med doctor were stumped. I tried medications to help with the pain and dealt with side effects and almost had surgery. For me, pain medication was masking the pain and making me feel detached, confused and addicted. It wasn't solving any of the imbalances in my muscles and my body. Fortunately, with a combination of massage therapy and physical therapy at Flower Hospital, I found a way to manage my diagnosis of thoracic outlet syndrome. I am symptom-free today.

My testimonial here is not meant to replace the advice of your doctors or surgeons.

Massage Helps Reduce My Stress

Me? Stressed? I know! What a surprise?

When you have small children you have less sleep, more demands, and a lot more stress. Stress itself is a cause of poor sleep, anxiety, irritability, headaches, fatigue and one I know best, the inability to focus.

...did I mention that I forgot the baby wipes?

Massage incorporates a quiet and healing environment, aromatherapy, soothing music, and a therapist who cares about me. I can disconnect from the outside world without crying babies, a ringing phone and barking dogs who may or may not be eating out of the trash can again.

Massage Gives Me Scheduled “Alone Time”

One thing I’m genuinely starved for is “alone time.” I am constantly surrounded by people. The closest I ever come to time by myself is in the shower or driving to the dentist. This is where massage comes in: No matter what I have going on (barring unforeseen emergencies), I know that I have an hour of time alone once a week. Just thinking of this time when I’m having a rough day is enough to propel me through. What’s more, when I return home in a better mood, everyone wins.

We all lead busy lives in an increasingly busy and stressful world. Whether you are managing chronic pain, mentally tapped out, dealing with your family during the matter what your issues are, just know, you can stop suffering and start seeking relaxing solutions. Book your massage with Tonya today by calling 419-705-4994 or emailing and see the benefits of massage for yourself.

Stephanie lives in Holland with her husband, two adorable boys, three stinky giant doodle dogs, and two fat rats. When she isn't chasing dogs or kids she works as a Marketing and Social Media Manager and professional coffee drinker.

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