With all the stress that people face today, massage therapy can be a powerful tool to help improve their health and well-being.
Even in ancient times, massage therapy was practiced in most cultures, including Chinese, Ancient Greeks, Egyptians, and Indians, to help relieve pain. Many believed in its healing powers and ability to treat certain diseases and heal injuries.
What is Massage Therapy?
Massage therapy is intended to manipulate the muscles and connective tissues using different techniques to enhance functions, promote relaxation and well-being, and aid in the healing process. It has different types with various purposes, but all of which are therapeutic in nature because it involves the largest organ of the body: the skin. What makes them different from each other are their goals and techniques like holding, moving, and applying pressure to the tendons, muscles, ligaments, and fascia.
Fortunately, massage is widely offered nowadays, even in airports and gyms. If you’ve been regularly visiting a massage center, you probably tried many of its types. For first-timers, here are some of the topmost massage type they offer:
- Swedish massage therapy
- Aromatherapy massage
- Hot stone massage
- Deep tissue massage
- Shiatsu massage
- Thai massage
- Pregnancy massage
- Sports Massage
Top Benefits of Massage
1. Relaxation and Manages Anxiety and Depression
One of the immediate benefits of massage is relaxation and calm since it encourages the release of brain chemicals called endorphins, which are responsible for producing feelings of well-being. In addition, the levels of stress hormones such as cortisol, adrenaline, and norepinephrine are reduced. As a result, you feel happier, less stressed, with lower blood pressure. Swedish massage is usually the most recommended type for relaxation. It involves muscle kneading and rolling, long, sweeping strokes, and friction.
2. Relieves and Eases Pain
At one point in your life, you have probably experienced back pain. Next time you feel it, consider visiting a wellness spa. Massage will decrease stiffness and pain in your back and increase your range of motion. In fact, it has similar results to other effective treatments like medications, acupuncture, yoga, and other exercises.
If you live in San Rafael, California, you might want to check out Bodywise Massage. They offer a wide range of services, including Deep Tissue, Swedish, Reflexology, Lomi Lomi, Acupressure, Table Thai, Lymphatic Drainage, Sports Therapy, and many more. It’s where you can try an exciting outdoor massage experience in a beautiful and tranquil wellness garden full of playful birds, various native and exotic plants, and falling water. Another is an indoor open-air massage where you will be receiving your massage in an “open-air” room with no ceiling and door for improved ventilation.
3. Improves Sleep
If you have insomnia, massage is a drug-free, smart, and healthy option to overcome it. Serotonin plays an important role in mood, body behavior, body temperature, and sleep. According to a study, individuals who receive regular massage experienced an increase in serotonin levels and a decrease in long-term pain. Although further research is needed, the existing evidence is enough to recommend regular massage to the sleep-deprived.
4. Boosts Mental Clarity
In another study, 26 adults were asked to sit and relax in a massage chair for 15 minutes, twice for 5 weeks. On the first and last days of the study, the subjects performed math computations. At the end of the 5-week period, they showed increased speed and accuracy on math computations due to decreased frontal alpha and beta power, suggesting mental alertness.
5. Boosts Immunity
Research has shown that having a regular massage is good for your immune system as it helps flush toxins, increasing blood flow throughout the body. It also maximizes the activity of white blood cells that help our body combat diseases and possibly aid in the reduction of cortisol. Cortisol is the primary stress hormone, which also increases sugar in the bloodstream.
6. Beats PMS
If you’re one of those many women who suffer from premenstrual syndrome once a month, massage therapy can help alleviate PMS symptoms, including bloating, irritability, cramping, and mood swings.
7. Prolongs Youthful Glow
Whether it’s dry or oily, skin issues result from various reasons. Massage therapy can help improve your skin’s health by increasing circulation. In addition, it aids in the release of tension and relaxes the muscles, minimizing the appearance and development of wrinkles. Most importantly, it stimulates cell regeneration through increased blood flow and waste excretion, leaving your skin feeling smoother and looking younger!
Despite these benefits, keep in mind that massage is not a replacement or substitute for medical care. Be sure to inform your doctor first before undergoing any kind of massage and follow your regular treatment plans if you’re pregnant or have medical conditions such as:
- life-threatening illness
- suspected fractures or broken bones
- cuts, skin rashes, or infections