Massage Benefits As Decoded
There are so many amazing benefits one can holistically derive from having a massage – physically, mentally and emotionally. Hence, it is not surprising that some of these massage benefits have been clinically approved. And with more awareness, the popularity of massage has also been on the rise in the wellness industry in today’s increasingly hectic and highly-stressed lifestyle.
There are of course many types of massages, each with its own unique technique and variations of the more universal techniques to achieve a desired outcome or experience. These massages have evolved over time and across various territories. It is not that massage is a recent phenomenon as its origin had been well documented in many ancient texts as far back as some of the oldest human civilizations in China, Egypt and India.
So what can you expect from a good professional or even a casual massage from a loved one.
Here, we have identified 29 of them and categorised them under physical, mental and emotional benefits. There are so much material written on these benefits and this is just a brief take on each one of them. And there are still other benefits not specified here.
Physical Benefits of A Massage
1. Massage De-stresses and Relaxes the Body
A massage de-stresses and relaxes, which invariable shift the body to a less tensed and rest-and-recovery mode. This effect will usually lingers long after the massage is over. It allows the body to get into a natural rhythm to relax, reset and restart again. Hence, the need to have a massage on a regular basis to reap its immense benefits.
2. Massage Calms and Soothes Nerves
A massage can have a calming and soothing effect on the whole body. It can calm, soothe or stimulate the nerves depending on the kind of pressure, stroke or length of time to create the intended outcome. By balancing and caring for the health of our nervous system, we improve our general well-being.
3. Massage Stimulates Release of Mood-Enhancing Endorphins
Massage therapy can help to release endorphins in your body, helping you to feel happy, energized, and at ease. This also means that the hormone will help to reduce anxiety, stress and pain.
4. Massage Boosts Respiratory System
Massage works to boost your respiratory system to deepen and stabilise your breathing patterns. This will benefit your lungs and muscles which aid in slowing your respiration, promoting relaxation.
5. Massage Reduces Heart Rate & Blood Pressure
The relaxation of muscles from a massage causes vasodilation – the blood vessels widen to reduce blood pressure and heart rate. This is one of the primary goals of a Swedish massage, which is one of the most popular and well-known massages in the world.
6. Massage Increases Blood and Lymph Circulation
A massage can help to increase the level of oxygen in the blood, decreasing muscle toxins, improving blood and lymph circulation, and easing built-up tension. Hence, the long-term effects of a massage therapy is more than just skin-deep with its chain of reaction.
7. Massage Increases Red Blood Cell Count
As part of a chain reaction, a massage increases the body’s oxygen carrying red blood cell count helping to bring even more oxygen to your body’s cells.
8. Massage Stretches and Strengthens Connective Tissue
Massage is therapeutic by relieving tension in connective tissue, which connects organs, muscles, and nerves together. This is vital in improving the physical health and functions of the body.
9. Massage Increases Tissue Metabolism
A massage can enhance the interchange of nutritive substances between blood and tissue cells that comes with healthy circulation and allows muscles to burn more calories.
10. Massage Alleviates and Loosens Tired, Aching, Tight & Cramped Muscles
In addition to improved blood flow in the works, a massage stretches and loosens affected muscles and connective tissue, breaking down and preventing further formation of adhesions, freeing range of motion and reducing the dangers of fibrosis.
11. Massage Alleviates Chronic Pain, especially Neck Pain
It has been long contended that a massage works to release tension and stiffness of muscles in the neck, shoulders and back – for an instant, effective relief that lasts longer than any pain medication.
12. Massage Alleviates Swelling
A massage is effective in blocking the production of inflammatory cytokines which stops swelling and inflammation of muscle tissue. Also, by massaging your swollen feet towards your heart with some firm strokes and pressure will move the fluid out of the area to reduce the swelling.
13. Massage Improves Skin & Muscle Tone
Using high-quality oils and creams, you can significantly improve the tone and health of your skin and muscle after just a few massage sessions. Hence, a massage can be both a beautifying and rejuvenating experience.
14. Massage Decreases Muscle Deterioration
While massage cannot directly build muscle, it helps to reduce pain and optimise cellular circulation and nutrition for maximum muscle tone. This will help to prevent atrophy or muscle deterioration as long as possible.
15. Massage Reduces Tension Headaches
It is always comforting to know that a massage focusing on the neck, shoulders and head, can ease the pain and discomfort arising from a migraine or tension headache.
16. Massage Speeds Recovery from Injury
By improving blood circulation and in relaxing muscles, a massage enables the body to deliver more oxygen and nutrients to the tissues and vital organs. This allows the recovering injured area to be more flexible and heal faster.
17. Massage Improves Flexibility and Range of Motion
A regular massage working on muscles, connective tissues, tendons, ligaments, and joints, can enhance flexibility and range of motion, keep your joints more fluid and make them less injury-prone.
18. Massage Improves Posture
With regular massages, the body posture will naturally and slowly improve as the spine and muscles around it become more flexible and supple. This will also holistically promote easier breathing and less tension throughout the body.
19. Massage Speeds Elimination of Metabolic Waste
A massage using long deep strokes stimulates the lymphatic system to help increase the removal of bodily waste and toxins for improved well-being and even skin complexion.
20. Massage Strengthens the Immune System
A massage will holistically help to strengthen the immune system (the body’s ability to naturally protect itself against infections, pathogen and bacteria. A resilient and more relaxed body is always less vulnerable to illness and injury.
Mental Benefits of A Massage
21. Massage Reduces Mental Stress
A relaxing massage is one of the best therapies to help one let go of anxious and fearful thoughts in the reduction of mental stress. It works methodically to manage the fight-or-flight response, which tends to be in overdrive mode in people with anxiety disorders.
22. Massage Promotes Restful and Quality Sleep
A pampering massage will induce relaxation and uplift your mood. Going to bed with relaxed and loosened muscles promotes restful and quality sleep so that you will feel energized in the morning!
23. Massage Improves Mental Concentration
A massage works to release tension in your body, which in turn increases the blood flow to your brain, carrying with it more oxygen and nutrients, allowing you to concentrate better.
24. Massage Improves Productivity
Studies have shown that even a 15-minute massage can help to reduce your stress to improve your job performance by increasing mental alertness and focus. Not to mention the wonders an hour-long body massage can do on a regular basis.
25. Massage Induces Mental Relaxation & Creativity
A massage may not make you smarter but it does induce mental relaxation which certainly enhances capacity for calm thinking and even creativity while heightening mental alertness.
Emotional Benefits of A Massage
26. Massage Reduces Anxiety and Eases Symptoms of Depression
Massage has been shown to reduce the level of cortisol, the stress hormone. This aids the body’s ability to reduce emotional anxiety and eases the symptoms of depression.
27. Massage Enhances Self-Image
A massage can help you appreciate your body in a new and positive light and has the profound potential to boost one’s self-image, self-connection and self-care. So indulge and reward yourself regularly with a massage.
28. Massage Provides a Feeling of Emotional Well-Being
Over the long-term, the positive accumulated benefits of a massage can increase a person’s range of motion, boost the immune system and provide an heightened sense of emotional well-being.
29. Massage Nurtures and Stimulates Emotional Growth
We always find our spirits uplifted or in a positive emotional mood after a massage. This can help to nurture and stimulate one’s emotional growth, even from as early as a baby.
Experience the Benefits of A Massage
As a last note, with any therapy, of which massage is definitely one, they are side-effects and limitations. Fortunately, these are usually limited and relatively minor. These common effects may include headaches, increased discomfort, fatigue, dizziness, nausea, soreness and even bruising.
Hence, anyone with pre-disposed illness or any other bodily or physical ailments, should consult a medical doctor before indulging in a massage. But do not be surprised that for certain conditions, a doctor may encourage you to include regular massages as part of your wellness program.
Whatever it is, the best way to take advantage of all these amazing benefits, is to experience a massage yourself and to have it on a regular basis, if you can. You do not need any other proof and motivation if it works for you.
The best part of course, is that a massage is always such a pampering experience as you renew, recharge and rejuvenate yourself – body, mind and soul.
Watch our Many Benefits of A Massage video.
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