Feeling stiff, sore, or (literally) kinky? You already know that a good rub-down can make a big difference, but new research shows that the benefits of massage are way more than skin deep.
Read on to learn why you should treat yourself to massages on the regular! From mental wellness to boosts in germ-fighting power, some of the benefits might surprise you.
Here are the top 7 ways massages support a healthy, balanced life:
It doesn’t just feel good while it’s happening – a massage activates a “relaxation response” that lasts all the way to bedtime. This means that during and after a massage, your heart rate slows, your breathing regulates, and your blood pressure lowers.
You know the kind of peaceful sleep that follows an intense yoga class? Your body’s relaxation response to massage leaves you with the same feelings, without the sweat.
Relaxes Stiff, ‘Sat-In-A-Chair-All-Day’ Muscles
If you’re like most people, you spend a lot of your day sitting down and your posture isn’t perfect. According to a study by The University of York, massage therapy effectively reduces “postural stress,” the kind of ache that comes from misalignment.
Postural stress often shows up in your shoulders and neck, or your lower back and seat muscles – especially if you work at a desk.
Massage can relieve these pains, by re-aligning your body and balancing out all that time you spend stuck in a chair.
A 2010 study by The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine found that massage boosts patients’ white blood cell count, which plays a big role in defending the body from disease.
People with immune deficiencies, like HIV patients, reported that that massage therapy and stress management really improved their quality-of-life.
Strong immunity makes for strong bodies, and happier, healthier people!
Massage is one of the most tried-and-true anxiety relievers. That’s because massage’s “relaxation response” slows the production of cortisol, your body’s stress hormone.
Less stress in the body translates to less stress in the mind, and less anxiety in your life.
The human touch part of massage also helps, by encouraging people to feel safe and relaxed. That’s why massage is so good for growing babies!
Next time you have a headache, try booking a last-minute massage instead of reaching for the Advil. Research shows that a single session of massage therapy has an immediate effect on relieving headache pain. That’s right – immediate relief.
Regular massage also makes your headaches less severe, and even makes them happen less often.
Boosts Your Mood
One of the greatest things massages can do for you is make you a calmer and happier person. Feeling so good on the outside and inside can truly bring more positivity to your life!
People with biological mood disorders, especially depression, are often prescribed massage therapy as treatment.
A 2005 study from the International Journal of Neuroscience proved that massage therapy indeed has a major impact on mood. Women in the study who had been diagnosed with breast cancer reported being less depressed and less angry once they tried regular massages.
Did you know that massage also relieves PMS?
Along with relieving back and breast pain, massage can help with bloating, water retention, and mood swings that come around you-know-when.
Now you have loads of reasons to book that massage appointment or massage your special someone at home using ayurvedic massage oil.
Let us know in the comments section how you feel about massage and what you do to stay relaxed. We’d love to hear your tips!