Most of us already know that a massage can make you feel good, but the benefits of regular massages extend well beyond making you feel better in the moment; they can be totally life-changing. From reducing your pain to improving your sleep to battling stress, massage benefits reach many critical aspects of your life.
Depending on the type of massage you get, massages can work wonders when it comes to relaxing your muscles, connective tissues, ligaments, tendons, and you, in general. This, in turn, can reduce your heart rate, lower your blood pressure, and decrease the amount of stress your body produces.
Massage can relieve many different types of pain, from chronic back pain to distress from labor to rheumatoid arthritis. In fact, some studies suggest that its pain reduction capabilities are just as effective as medication.
Regular massage can increase what are called delta brain waves—waves in your brain that are linked to deep sleep. Additionally, because massage reduces your cortisol and increases your serotonin, it can make it easier for you to fall asleep and stay asleep.
Manage Anxiety and Depression
That same decrease in cortisol and increase in serotonin can also help relieve symptoms of anxiety and depression by boosting your mood, lowering your blood pressure, and generally making you feel better overall.
Boost Immune System
Massage can stimulate your white blood cells—your body’s way of fighting disease. And some studies suggest that massage produces additional lymphocytes that can even help reduce the severity of chemotherapy symptoms.
Expedite Muscle Recovery
Muscles massaged after exercise recover about 60% of their strength as non-massaged muscles recover only 14% on average. This helps to reduce the stress of exercise on your body, so it doesn’t have to work as hard to repair damaged muscles post-workout.
Still, not everyone is sold on massages. Maybe you had a subpar experience in the past, or perhaps you’ve never tried and don’t know where or how to begin?
If that sounds like you, it helps to know a bit more about different massage techniques.
There are lots of different types of massage you can take advantage of depending on your needs, desires, and comfort-level:
Hot stone massage
With this technique, a practitioner uses smooth, water-heated stones to target and stroke key muscles and sources of stress in the body for total relaxation.
This is a more traditional approach to massage that consists of long strokes, kneading, and friction on the muscles as well as moving the joints to increase flexibility.
Trigger point massage
A more static type of message, this technique follows the meridians of your body to apply deep, focused pressure to relieve knots in your muscles.
Great for runners and athletes, this type of massage targets areas of the body that are stressed from repetitive movement using deep kneading and pointed stroking to relieve tension.
This technique is tailored specifically to pregnant women and comes equipped with a customized table to accommodate baby bellies. It can also be performed with a woman lying on her side.
This method is designed to improve the movement of lymphatic fluid—a fluid containing infection-fighting white blood cells—throughout your body, which could improve your overall immunity.
This is a technique that can be used to enhance any massage with various healing and soothing essential oils including lavender, peppermint, and tea tree oil.
Make time for yourself and your body, book an appointment today for a massage at a Total Woman Gym + Spa near you.