8 reasons that you should treat yourself to a massage

Everyone knows that having a massage can be very relaxing, also a huge range of health and well-being benefits that can be delivered through the ancient art of massage.

Let’s count down eight reasons that you should treat yourself to a massage right now:

1. Reduce stress

A good massage will result in a feeling of deep relaxation. Massage has been shown to lower heart rate and blood pressure and to relax muscles. During a massage the brain releases endorphins, the neurotransmitters that produce feelings of well-being, while the stress hormones – adrenalin, cortisol and nor-epinephrine – are reduced. A massage fights stress on a physiological level, benefiting both mind and body.

2. Boost your immune system

Even if you’re not ill or feeling stressed, a massage can help you feel better, help you cope better with stress and boost your immune system. The reduction of stress plays a vital part in fighting off many physical and emotional conditions. 

3. Improve mental alertness

Stress relief can improve vitality and state of mind. The all round feeling of well-being that comes from a good massage includes better focus, concentration, and increased mental alertness. When the body and mind are relaxed, levels of mental clarity and alertness increase.

4. Improve your circulation

Improved blood flow is a well documented benefit of massage therapy. Massage strokes activate the nervous system and enhance circulation. The pressure of massage moves blood through congested areas and the release of pressure causes new blood to flow in. This pulling and squeezing also helps to flush lactic acid from the muscles and aids the circulation of lymph fluid that carries metabolic waste away from muscles and internal organs. Oxygen flow to the heart and brain is improved, as well as cell growth, organ function and blood pressure.

5. Improve your skin tone

Massage can increase the production of sebum, natural oils produced by your skin. This improves skin suppleness and can help soften and moisturise dry skin. Superficial scar tissue can also be aided by massage, and increased nutrition to the cells in the skin and improved circulation can encourage cell regeneration. Regular, specific and vigorous massage that stimulates circulation and improves lymph flow, will also aid in the removal of fat deposits such as cellulite.

6. Soothe aching muscles

Studies of the benefits of massage demonstrate that as well as reducing stress, it is also a beneficial treatment for the reduction of pain and muscle tension. Massage is thought to reduce cytokines – proteins associated with inflammation and pain. Inflammation is reduced and the growth of new mitochondria (known as the powerhouses of the cell) in skeletal muscle is encouraged.

7. Improve joint flexibility

The direct pressure of massage affects muscles and connective tissues in the body, which is good news for people who suffer from conditions such as arthritis. Massage helps to relieve stored muscle tension, so stiffness in muscles, ligaments and tendons is lessened and flexibility of the joints is promoted, which results in increased mobility.

8. Promote better sleep

The relaxation induced by massage aids in the treatment of sleep disorders. A common cause of insomnia is stress, which is eased by regular massage. Research indicates that massage can help people to spend more time in deep sleep, the quality sleep which is important for good health. Serotonin and the sleep-inducing hormone melatonin are increased through massage, both of these help the body reset its natural sleep rhythm.

The safe, friendly touch of another human can be very therapeutic. A wide range of physical, mental and emotional conditions can be helped by massage, including short term mood and long term behaviour.

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