Each year on Father’s Day, children young and grown take the opportunity to thank their dads for the support and sacrifice they have given for so many years. Massage is a gift that goes above and beyond the usual dinner out or package of golf balls.
Here are three reasons why massage is the best gift to give Dad on Father’s Day.
1. Give Dad Some Stress Relief
During a Swedish massage session, which is the most common type of massage, the therapist will check in to make sure the amount of pressure is OK, and Dad will be covered with a sheet or blanket to protect his modesty.
The therapist will apply oil or lotion, and use gentle, sweeping strokes and kneading to find and release Dad’s tight spots or simply help him deeply relax.
A massage session could include the fragrance of essential oils such as lavender or orange, a heated blanket, flickering candles and soft instrumental music, which combine to create a pampering environment.
A Father’s Day massage session provides stress relief, relaxation, pain relief and deep nurturance: Studies show massage therapy boosts the release of the feel-good hormones oxytocin, serotonin and dopamine, all of which increase feelings of contentment.
2. Give Dad a Mini Vacation
Remember how Dad took the family on car trips or vacations to Disneyland? Therapeutic massage returns the favor.
Spa-type add-ons like a foot scrub, hot stones or facial massage, which are offered by many massage therapists in private practice, will leave Dad feeling like the king he is.
You can choose a therapist who specializes in a massage technique like reflexology to add specific benefits to a massage session.
“We have a lot of information from reflexology about how the feet affect the whole body, and the feet also absorb a lot from their environment,” said Jenn Dazey, N.D., a naturopathic physician who teaches at Bastyr University, in Seattle, Washington. “A foot massage from a specialist who can use the reflexology points and also use a medicinal oil would be a very deep kind of therapy.”
Other techniques that might appeal to Dad are sports massage, myofascial release or craniosacral therapy.
When you call a massage therapist, ask if he is trained in a specific technique, or offers add-ons like aromatherapy, reflexology, hot stones, warm packs, facial massage or foot-and-hand treatments. Or you might want to choose a Swedish massage.
Have fun choosing a session you think your dad will enjoy and benefit from.
3. Give Dad a Gift That’s Easy to Get
A professional massage therapist will have a website or Facebook page, and will offer gift cards or gift certificates for sale. Even if your gift is last-minute, you can go online to download a certificate for Father’s Day, or pick up the phone and order a certificate from a local massage therapist.
Your dad can use his gift certificate any day of the year—not just on Father’s Day.
If your dad lives in another city or state, you can find a massage therapist registered with a national company like Spafinder or Massagebook and simply download and email the certificate to your dad.
Karen Menehan is MASSAGE Magazine’s editor in chief. Her recent articles for massagemag.com include “Can Massage Help Combat the Opioid Epidemic?” and “Massage Therapist Appointed to NCCIH Advisory Council.”