It’s the wee one’s birthday in a few days, and we bought her a new desk. Unfortunately, I spent half a day yesterday assembling it. If you’re like me, you’ll know what came next: I’m so sore, I can barely move today. Which is hardly surprising, as I spend so much time sitting down in front of a monitor, typing away, that my back and arms are stiff more often than not.

What has helped is the 6-month Shiatsu course I took as a student and the occasional therapeutic massage I indulge in every now and then. While the latter requires the help of a professional, the former I can perform on myself. Hence the idea of a post on the benefits of self-massage for writers!

Writer suffering from a headache| From the blog of Nicholas C. Rossis, author of science fiction, the Pearseus epic fantasy series and children's books

Why do you need a massage?

Regardless of the form of massage, its use improves skin condition, blood circulation, and muscular tone (depending on the objective of the massage). Specialized therapeutic massage may even promote joint or organ healing. Massage is perceived not just as a curative process, but also as a means of relaxation and rest.

Many people, myself included, incorporate massage into their vacation agenda when traveling to another country in order to completely enjoy and recharge their trip. My personal favorite is The Whole Works in Edinburgh, which I used to frequent even as a student, but you should also visit Spa Abu Dhabi or Spa Dubai if you fly to a country like the UAE, where the quality of all services is at the best level. Massage salons in the UAE employ only highly qualified specialists with special licenses and offer a wide range of methods for mending the complete body from fingers to hair tips.

If you lack the opportunity to fly to the UAE and attend a massage parlor Abu Dhabi, or if you don’t have a massage parlor in your country, you can practice self-massage at home.

What is self-massage?

Self-massage is a method of relaxation and healing that involves doing specific movements on your own body. You don’t need a professional massage therapist to tone your body, ease weariness, recharge your batteries, or boost your sense of well-being. Self-massage is done independently, both for the full body and for specific locations. You can use one of several devices to help you with this, from a handheld massager to a seat cushion/massager combo or a Shiatsu electric massager with heat.

While self-massage has long been known to offer numerous health benefits, research suggests that it offers a variety of additional effects that are highly beneficial in writing, such as enhancing memory, improving attention, activating the imagination, and more.

Benefits of self-massage for writers

Every profession has its specific challenges. If you work in one specialty for a long time they leave their mark on a person. It’s no surprise, then, that the writing profession comes with its own worldview and a set of necessary qualities:

  • A writer’s eye is the ability to notice important little things; details that make up a situation, an image, or a life. This is the ability to observe and draw conclusions and notice what others don’t pay attention to.
  • The writer’s thinking is the ability to pass through what is seen, heard, and felt, and to follow cause-and-effect relationships and draw conclusions. From a situation seen to an interesting phrase heard, a writer can describe the experience gained and find the right words.
  • A writer can also work when we don’t want to. I’m a full-time SEO copywriter but I also write my own books. This can be hard at times, since I already have a main job to which I devote both energy and time. But it is necessary to accustom yourself to working in your free hours.
  • A writer needs the ability to organize ourselves.
  • Working on any story requires a lot of time. Simply writing the first draft can take from a month to several years.
  • Finally, we need psychological stability and resistance to stress, because writers have a lot of stress associated with creativity, from a feeling of stagnation in the plot to comments from critics and more.

Each of these qualities can be developed and improved with the help of self-massage!

Self-massage helps with sleep quality

Self-massage stimulates the brain’s entry of unique delta waves, which are responsible for quick and deep sleep. This means you can get better and rest! Quality sleep is a key requirement for writers in order to notice crucial details, select words, and, as a result, develop their writing vision and creative thinking.

Self-massage enhances concentration and aids decision-making

The ability to concentrate and make decisions in developing a plot is very important in writing. Self-massage helps you relax and immerse yourself in the world of literature.

Self-massage enhances memory

To make a book as realistic as possible, writers must recall events they witnessed and try to remember the entire context: sensations, visual images, sound, taste, and scents. Only then can we describe in full everything we saw and put it into our books. Self-massage promotes blood circulation, which improves cerebral circulation. The brain then receives enough oxygen and nutrients to function properly and create memories.

Self-massage relieves headaches

A writer’s job requires a lot of sitting. I suffer from frequent headaches as a result of pinched nerve endings in the neck caused by prolonged sitting, unpleasant posture, or bad posture. Self-massage can help with this issue.

Self-massage relieves tension

Given how stressful our work can be, it’s good to know that self-massage alters the electrical activity of the brain, boosts the parasympathetic nervous system, and decreases cortisol levels, thus lowering the writer’s stress level dramatically.

So, how about you? What tricks do you use to cope with the challenges of being a full-time (or even part-time) writer?