Love it or hate it, there’s no denying everyone feels better after a good massage. Whether you’ve been carrying around tension in your neck and shoulders or simply needed some me-time and a chance to check out, there are no limits to the benefits a good massage can provide.
Whether you’re craving a massage from a trained professional, someone you love and trust, or are learning some self-massage techniques for on-the-go pain and stress relief, you simply can’t beat the benefits of massage.
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How does massage work?
Before we go into the benefits of massage, it’s worth taking some time to consider what a massage is and how it works. After all, we’ve probably all had someone offer us a “massage” that felt more like a beating or a shoulder rub that could have been more effective using feathers!
During massage, the soft tissues of the body are “systematically and strategically” manipulated. This body manipulation helps produce a relaxed state and can reduce pain, discomfort, anxiety, and fatigue, among other benefits.
There are lots of different types and techniques used by massage therapists, and most will focus on just one or two to produce your desired results. From relaxing body massages to heated therapy such as Lava Shells and thermaBliss Stones, the best type of massage for you will depend on your preferences and the reasons you’re considering a massage in the first place.
Can massage treat disorders?
Massages are fantastic for aiding with many physical conditions, but they can also help ease numerous mental conditions, including depression and anxiety. According to expert research, massage therapy may be highly beneficial in helping people treat and manage the following conditions:
- Chronic pain
- Delayed onset muscle soreness
- Soft tissue injuries
- High blood pressure
- And many more.
There’s even speculation that massage can be beneficial in helping cancer patients manage their condition and help people manage other life-threatening conditions.
Top 10 Benefits of massage
Now we know some of the disorders and conditions massage can help treat, we wanted to look at how massage can help.
These top 10 benefits are sure to have you craving a massage like never before… And you can feel completely guilt-free getting one!
1. Reduce stress
Many people love to take a day at the spa as a form of self-care and a chance to unwind. Getting a massage can help you feel instantly relaxed and pampered, reducing stress not just in the moment but for days and even weeks after.
If you suffer from anxiety, you’ll find that massage can ease multiple anxiety symptoms, helping you feel incredible and more capable of dealing with your everyday life.
2. Improve flexibility
During massage therapy, the muscles and soft tissue are manipulated and stretched. This can be fantastic for inflexible individuals or anyone looking to boost their flexibility. As the muscles are warmed, relaxed, and loosened, you’re likely to find an increased range of movement following a massage.
3. Boost the immune system
Massages can actually help the body’s natural immune system work harder and more effectively. It works by increasing circulation, oxygenation, and blood flow around the body, while also stimulating the production and efficiency of white blood cells - responsible for fighting infections.
In addition, massage also decreases cortisol levels in the body and stimulates the lymph nodes to “recharge” the body’s natural defence system.
4. Help reduce pain
Certain types of massage have been specifically developed to reduce pain and encourage healing in the body – such as sports massage – but any massage can be invaluable for anything from treating a problem area to helping people manage chronic pain.
If your pain is caused by tight muscles, knots, or trigger points, a massage therapist may well be able to identify and work these kinks out. However, massage can also go further and help with pain caused by hypersensitivity and much more.
5. Improve sleep quality and ease
Sleep problems are commonly caused by stress, the inability to relax or shut down, and numerous physical aspects. The benefits of massage frequently deal with most of the issues that might be causing your sleep difficulties, from increasing your feelings of relaxation to reducing pain that might be keeping you awake.
In addition, massage increases the production of serotonin, which is vital for regulating sleep cycles and boosting our mental health.
6. Relieve constipation
If you suffer from stomach issues, including constipation, a stomach massage can be invaluable in relieving discomfort and helping you move your bowels more naturally. In fact, a study from 2016 showed abdominal massages were fantastic for helping people with post-surgery constipation move their bowels and feel better.
7. Lower the heart rate and blood pressure
A low resting heart rate is a common sign of a healthy body. This is because the rhythm of the heartbeat can become more balanced, and each beat can move more blood around the body.
It’s good practice to try and lower your heart rate in daily life, as this keeps your heart and body healthy. Regular massage can also help lower blood pressure and help you live a healthier life.
8. Eliminate toxins
During our everyday lives, we’re constantly collecting toxins that make us feel groggy or generally unwell. These appear in numerous ways, and many toxins are simply created by the body’s cellular metabolism.
If you suffer from stress or anxiety, chances are that your body is producing more acid and toxins than it can naturally eliminate. Massage can be incredibly useful with this, as the stimulation of the body tissues can help dissolve and eliminate excess toxins.
9. Reduce post-surgery or post injury pain or swelling
It’s not uncommon for some form of massage therapy to be recommended to someone who’s suffered a sports injury or needs rehabilitation post-surgery.
The gentle manipulation of the muscles and tissues combined with the state of relaxation generated by a massage can speed up the body’s ability to recover from injury or surgery and may also reduce pain in the meantime.
10. Inspire intimacy
If you’re in a relationship, a massage night can be an excellent way to rekindle that spark and make you both feel good.
As you probably already know, when we touch someone we love, our blood pressure drops and “happy” hormones such as oxytocin are released. Many studies have found that massage within relationships can help increase the mental and physical health of the giver and receiver of the massage… Just one of many small acts of kindness that can make you feel amazing.
Why not make your massage an even more pampering experience by indulging in one of Sensory Retreats wellbeing oils or popping on a self-heating eye mask so that you can truly escape in the moment?
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