With all the stress that people face these days, massage therapy can be a powerful way to help improve their health and well-being.
Even in ancient times, many cultures practiced massage therapy, including the Chinese, Ancient Greeks, Egyptians, and Indians, to help alleviate 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 utilizing different techniques to improve functions, promote relaxation and well-being, and aid in the recovery process. It has different types with various purposes, but all of which are therapeutic in nature because it involves the biggest organ of the human body: the skin. What makes them distinct from each other are their goals and techniques such as holding, moving, and applying pressure to the tendons, muscles, ligaments, and fascia.
Fortunately, massage is widely offered today, even in gyms and airports. If you’ve been regularly seeing a massage therapist, you probably experienced many of its types. For first-timers, here are the most popular they offer:
- Swedish massage therapy
- Aromatherapy massage
- Hot stone massage
- Deep tissue massage
- Shiatsu massage
- Thai massage
- Pregnancy massage
- Sports Massage
Best Benefits of Massage
1. Relaxation and Manages Stress and Depression
One of the biggest advantages of massage is relaxation because it encourages the release of brain chemicals called endorphins responsible for producing feelings of well-being.
Additionally, the level of stress hormones like cortisol, adrenaline, and norepinephrine are reduced. As a result, you’re feeling happier, less stressed, with reduced blood pressure. Swedish massage is generally the most recommended type for relaxation. It involves muscle kneading and rolling, long, sweeping strokes, and friction.
2. Relieves Pain and Eases Pain
At one point in your life, you have probably already experienced back pain. The next time you are feeling it, consider visiting a massage center. Massage will decrease stiffness and pain in your back and increase your range of motion. In fact, it has similar effects to other effective treatments like medications, acupuncture, yoga, and other exercises.
If you have been dreaming of getting an outdoor massage, you might want to try Bodywise spas. Offered by one of the most recommended wellness centers in San Rafael, California, you can choose from Deep Tissue, Swedish, Reflexology, Lomi Lomi, Acupressure, Table Thai, Lymphatic Drainage, Sports Therapy, and others. Body Wise Massage is also where you can try an exciting outdoor massage experience in a beautiful and tranquil wellness garden full of playful birds, different native and exotic plants, and falling water. Another is an indoor open-air massage wherein you will be getting your massage in an “open-air” room with no ceiling and door for improved ventilation. Click here for more information about Body Wise Massage.
3. Improves Sleep
In case you have insomnia, massage is a drug-free, smart, and healthy choice 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 a rise in serotonin levels and decreased 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 this 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 reduced frontal alpha and beta power, suggesting mental alertness.
5. Boosts Immunity
Research has shown that having a normal massage is excellent for your immune system as it helps flush out toxins, increasing blood circulation through the body. It also maximizes the action of white blood cells that help our body fight diseases and possibly aid in the reduction of cortisol. Cortisol is the primary stress hormone, which also raises sugar in the bloodstream.
6. Beats PMS
If you’re one of those many women who suffer from premenstrual syndrome every month, massage therapy can help relieve PMS symptoms, including bloating, irritability, cramping, and mood swings.
7. Prolongs Youthful Glow
Whether it’s dry or oily, skin problems result from various factors. Massage therapy can help improve your skin’s health by boosting circulation. Plus, it helps release tension and relaxes the muscles, reducing the appearance and development of wrinkles. Most of all, it stimulates cell regeneration through increased blood flow and waste excretion, leaving your skin feeling smoother and looking younger!
Despite all these benefits, remember that massage isn’t a replacement or substitute for medical attention. Keep in mind to inform your doctor first before undergoing any massage and follow your regular treatment plans if you are pregnant or have medical conditions like:
- life-threatening illness
- Cuts, skin rashes, or infections
- suspected fractures or broken bones