Updated: Jul 13, 2021
Massage is not just a luxury, it’s a catalyst for good health
Once upon a time, massages were thought to be a luxury. If you had a massage you were either away on vacation, at a spa, or really quite wealthy and enjoying the trappings of an upper class lifestyle. These days, thankfully, things have changed and we are becoming more and more aware of the major health benefits attached to having regular massages.
Massage is no longer considered to be a frivolous treatment when money is free; it is now something which we consider to be vital for our overall health and well-being. You’ll find most health clinics, wellness centres, spas, and sports centers offer a variety of massages, from shoulder massages to full on Swedish body massages.
If you’re still a little on the fence about whether you should be looking to have regular massages, let’s check out five reasons why massage is vitally important for your health and overall well-being:
1. Massage Can Help Reduce Stress Levels
We all know that stress in not a good thing. When your body is stressed and overwhelmed with everything you have on your to do list, it releases unhealthy amounts of the stress hormone, cortisol. This is responsible for a wide range of unpleasant side effects such as disrupted sleep pattern, low mood, lack of focus, irritability, and even weight gain.
Studies show that regular massages can actually help to reduce the amount of cortisol flying around the body, alleviating those side effects, and also bringing about a sense of calm and relaxation, which is vital to our mental health and well-being. It’s probably not ever going to be the case that you can completely kick stress out of your life, but you should certainly be working to reduce your stress levels. Massage can be incorporated into that stress busting routine, with fantastic results to show for it.
2. Massage Can Lower Blood Pressure Levels
In addition to reducing your cortisol levels, research also shows that regular massage can lower blood pressure, and therefore reduce blood pressure-related conditions and complications. It is thought that receiving massages on a regular basis can reduce systolic and diastolic blood pressure, which is the top number and the bottom number on your blood pressure reading. Research suggests that lower blood pressure reduces your chances of developing heart disease, stroke, heart attack, and even kidney failure.
3. Massage Can Help to Reduce Anxiety, Depression, and General Low Mood
Regular massage has also been shown to help with symptoms of low mood, anxiety, and depression. Massage cannot take away depression on its own, but when used as part of a treatment regimen, it can be very successful. Massage is also fantastic for helping with anxiety because it helps to relax and focus the mind by bringing you back into the present, away from the racing, sometimes scary thoughts that can transpire during anxiety attacks and distress. Just like exercise is renowned for helping with such mental health issues, massage can help with the reduction of cortisol in the body as a whole, as well as an increase in dopamine.
4. Massage Helps to Increase Flexibility and Strength
If you regularly suffer from chronic pain such as arthritis, regular massage can help reduce or even eliminate that pain. Research shows that massage relaxes muscles, takes away built up tension, increases flexibility, and can help to improve general posture. Massage can also help eliminate headaches as many tension headaches are a result of bad posture.
Massage increases circulation of nutrients to the muscles which helps to strength them and allows the body to recover faster from any injuries and issues. It also allows painkilling endorphins to be released into the blood stream. This increases dopamine, a well known relaxation hormone, which helps to reduce pain and encourages healing.
5. Massage Helps to Improve Circulation
Having good circulation is not just about not having cold hands and feet. It is about giving the body, including all the major organs, the nourishment they need to do their good work: keeping you healthy. Massage has been shown to boost circulation, as well as helping to release any blockages in areas of the body that might have become congested over time. Waste products are easily moved and allowed to be drained away via the body’s natural systems, which helps to boost your immune system.Put simply, good circulation is vital for good health, and massage can help to achieve that.