We think of massages as a special treat when we are in pain or are dealing with a lot of stress. But regular massages should really be incorporated in your health routine.
Our stress levels these past two years have been higher than ever. Facing a global pandemic and economic uncertainty has added more chaos in our daily lives. On top of that, balancing work and family has made our heads spin.
Remember, "carrying" stress has a literal, physical meaning. Stress doesn't just stay in your mind. Your body is reacting to it as well, causing all kinds of unnecessary aches and pains.
In fact, stress has been shown to cause insomnia, colds, infections, low libido, chest pain, and more. And you don't have to deal with stress with meds or substance abuse.
That's where massage comes in.
Benefits of Regular Massages
As we said, the benefits of a massage go way beyond relaxation. Here are our favorite reasons to get massages on a regular basis.
Regular massages can help improve circulation, even that of your lymphatic system when you get a lymphatic massage. The gentle pressure on your muscles from a massage like a Swedish can help move blood in and out of your muscles, improving your qi, or energy, as well.
Lowered Stress and Anxiety
Studies have shown that massage therapy has helped relieve stress and anxiety. Massages with moderate pressure are best for this, as they have been shown to reduce cortisol levels (cortisol is a stress hormone). Plus, massages can help releases endorphins -- the feel-good hormones.
Release of Tension Headaches
Speaking of stress, stress can cause a specific type of headache -- tension headaches. Tension headaches Tension type headaches happen when you tighten your head and neck muscles too much, often in stressful times. Massages have been shown to work as drug-free relief for these painful headaches, which brings us to our next topic...
Massages can be a wonderful form of pain relief since it relaxes muscles, joints, and tendons. It can reduce chronic pain, improve post-operative recovery, and improve overall movement of tight areas like your neck. An acupressure massage is sometimes best for specific pains, since it focuses pressure on acupoints in the body. You can think of acupressure as acupuncture without the needles.
Research shows that massages lowers inflammation by creating anti-inflammatory cytokines, which can have the same pain-relieving effects as NSAID pain relievers! This can be great news for anyone suffering from arthritis or other joint pains.
Lowered Blood Pressure
If you are dealing with high blood pressure, massages are a great solution. If you are consistent with massages, it will decrease systolic and diastolic blood pressure, since massage can help your heart push blood out and through your arteries.
Treat Yourself on the Regular!
Remember, you don't need to wait for a special occasion to get a massage, especially if you are in pain or under a lot of stress. Massages can even prevent pain and stress, so get ahead of these ailments by booking regular massages every few weeks (or more often)!