One of the most vital lessons I learned in my 30s is the importance of self-care. The term has become a buzzword in recent years, encouraging people to do what it takes to preserve their mental health. While pampering is pushed to the forefront of the self-care movement, the true definition is prioritizing your happiness and well-being to balance your lifestyle. Some may head to the gym to stay fit, while others might indulge in a night of sweets and dancing with their friends. In other words, whatever healthily feeds your soul – do that.
For many, massage therapy is their go-to form of self-care. With the wear and tear of everyday life, it’s good to have a specialist work out the muscular kinks that form in your body. Licensed massage therapist Djeams Paul started his career eight years ago after realizing his gift as a healer. “According to my grandmother, I was born a healer. She gets all the credit for planting that seed. Out of 23 grandchildren, she’d specifically ask for me to massage her bad knees. She believed I possessed a gift partly because I was born a twin. In Haitian culture, it’s believed that twins are blessings, blessed with the ability to heal and bring the family good fortune,” Paul says in an exclusive interview with HelloBeautiful.
After graduating from Brooklyn College with a B.S. in Exercise Science, Paul embarked on what he thought would be his new life. “I had aspirations of becoming a gym teacher and coaching a high school or college team. Sadly, at that time, schools were cutting their gym programs. After graduating, finding a job wasn’t easy, and I had to start making money, so I decided I’d be a personal trainer for income until I figured things out. Unfortunately, I wasn’t content with personal training. I didn’t feel like I was making a big enough impact in my clients’ lives. I came up with a plan that I would enroll in the Swedish Institute to be a massage therapist. I figured this would help build more rapport and allow me to be more involved in the overall health of my clients,” he continues.
Massage therapy is the self-care stress reliever you didn’t know you needed
Shortly after becoming a massage therapist, Paul started his business, StressKnotNYC, in 2018. Recognizing that self-care alleviates stress, the Brooklyn native knew that this kind of therapy would be his way of revitalizing the well-being of his clients. “Stress is inevitable; getting sick from it is not. We deal with the stressors of life daily. So investing in our health and wellness should always be a priority. Your body is yours to cherish and maintain. Regular massages are a sign that you value life and are willing to take the extra steps to maintain good health,” Paul explains.
Massage therapy has a plethora of benefits to the body, and there are a variety of techniques that are used to address problem areas. Paul specializes in deep relaxation. “Massage reduces pain, it improves blood circulation, and it reduces stress. The real question is, what ailments does massage not help with? I use a combination of different techniques, Swedish, deep tissue, shiatsu, and sports massage, tailored to the client on my table,” he says.
With all the benefits of massage therapy, Paul feels a strong disconnect between the Black community and how they use the tool for self-care. Most people seek a therapist after they’ve strained or pulled a muscle, but active sessions can serve as preventative care. Also, a good massage can reduce stress levels.
“Ever notice how much heavier the world looks on the shoulders of the people in our communities vs. those in the more affluent neighborhoods? Can you see how different life looks on the faces of the people walking down Pitkin Ave vs. those walking down Central Park West? There’s a severe need for the Black community to understand the importance of self-care and how much of a detriment it is to ignore. The bottom line is that self-care improves physical, mental, and spiritual health, boosts confidence, and improves the overall quality of life,” he concludes.
As we conclude National Self-Care Awareness month, we encourage you to take advantage of the many ways to pour back into your mind, body, and soul. If you’re in need of a traveling massage therapist to rub the stress knots away (see what I did there?), then I encourage you to visit StressKnotNYC.com.
Brooklyn Massage Therapist Is Helping Women Prioritize Self-Care Through Massage Therapy was originally published on hellobeautiful.com