After a tiring day at work or a month-long backpack trip, the only thing that’s on your mind is to get home, wash up, hop into pajamas and relax. Maybe even get a hot spa or an aromatherapy massage. Does it sound inviting? Who wouldn’t love to have one after a long tiring day!
Massages can be done on different parts of your body. A head massage - to relieve headaches, neck massage – to help you relax, shoulder and back massage or even a whole body massage. Some doctors prefer massage therapy as a part of their treatment process.
Here are the ways a massage can be beneficial to you.
1. Relaxes Muscles
Muscles build tension just from using them. In some cases, tension accumulates and results in pain and spasms. Strenuous workouts, long periods of exertion and lack of proper exercise may cause that. Sleep does help the muscles to unwind but they might remain tight. That’s where a massage can help. It loosens them up and helps to improve blood flow. That in return will push out lactic acids out of the muscles that cause pain and tightness in the first place (source).
2. Improves Circulation
If you often suffer from having cold feet or cold hands, it might be a good indication that your blood circulation is slow. First of all, being cold isn’t fun. Secondly, it might even be painful. Especially if you live in a country with harsher winters and have to deal with snow on daily basis. That’s where a massage can come to be useful. It helps to activate your muscles causing capillaries to expand. That in turn brings more blood to your muscles and the surface of your skin. Since the blood is warm, it truly helps you to warm up and feel a little bit more relaxed. Fast blood circulation is also important for nutrient exchange. Thus, it directly impacts the health of your muscle.
3. Reduces pain
Massaging is an age-old treatment to relieve pain and promote healing. It helps the stiff muscles to relax thereby allowing proper circulation of blood and oxygen through the painful areas. That promotes healing. Massaging releases a hormone called endorphins. These pain-killer hormones boost dopamine and serotonin levels which help the body eradicate pain. It is good for those with arthritis, back injuries, migraines and fibromyalgia, lupus, and sports injuries. Headaches can easily be relieved with a facial massage since it’s mostly caused by the tension in the front part of the head. It could also surface from the neck, thus use a neck massager to deal with your headache next time.
4. Relieves Stress
Let’s be honest. We get stressed out. Work pressure, family responsibilities and competition at all walks of life can truly affect us. Whether you’re a student, a mother or just an employee, stress is something you’ll have to deal with. That in return causes a lack of sleep and concentration, low energy levels and depression. Massaging is an excellent energy booster. It has a therapeutic aspect to it. Studies show that massage decreases cortisol levels and increases serotonin and dopamine levels. High cortisol concentration indicates high levels of stress, serotonin and dopamine, on the other hand, contribute towards feeling well and happy. Thus, a good massage can truly change a day and improve your mood.
5. Improves Posture
When was the last time you went out and played a sport or stretched those stiff muscles? Nowadays we tend to spend a lot of time in front of computer. Continuous sitting, awkward working habits, and the lack of exercise can cause a bad posture. The main problem with a bad posture is that it causes a myriad of other problems. We’re talking about increased pressure on nerves, accumulation of body liquids that then cause inflammation. That in return causes pain, stiffens muscles and negatively impacts your life.
Massaging turns out to be very powerful right here. If you went to see a chiropractor to get adjusted, you’d first get a massage to warm up your muscles and get rid of lactic acids. In order to improve the posture, you first need to relax your muscles and release the built up tension. Why? Because only then you can start re-adjusting joints.
Massages are not only meant for healthy people. They are also considered an alternative treatment for those who suffer from health problems, or have undergone surgeries. Massaging can be beneficial even for a newborn. Make sure to use essential oils to improve the quality of it. An aromatherapy massage is a must after a hectic week.
Do you visit a masseuse or have a home massager? What’s your preferable massage routine? Do share your own thoughts on how you feel about massages!