I am sure everyone knows that a massage relaxes the body and mind, but there are lots more benefits to it… more and less common ones. This is not a summary of all the benefits of massage, but a brief collection of the good that can be done with it.
Did you know that a massage can:
- help with anxiety and depression because of the increased blood flow and the level of endorphins (looking up endorphins and their effects you’ll get to read things like: feel good hormone, works similar to morphine, feelings of euphoria, modulation of appetite, release of sex hormones, enhancement of immune response … sounds all great to me), research does not give a time on how long the effects last, but even a lift in your mood might give you the energy and motivation to get out of it again. So if you treat yourself to a massage it could be a de-stress intervention.
- Be a treatment for chronic back pain is probably one of the better known benefits. Apparently being touched is essential for our well-being and helps to sedate our nervous system. Touch is a way of modifying pain signals through the – with sensory receptors packed – skin. Same thing as if you hit your elbow on something and then have to rub it instinctively.
- Help getting a good nights sleep.
- Helps to sooth headaches. An instinctive response to a headache is to rub your temples and in looks like a body massage also helps by decreasing the occurrence of headaches, symptoms of distress and sleep disturbances plus increase your serotonin levels. The explanation to the positive effect could either be a better less interrupted sleep or the increased serotonin levels (this is what many existing headache medications do – just without side effects).
- Muscle repair is helped after an injury or intensive workout by the increased blood flow. Related to that injury can also be prevented (injury prevention) by picking up on little niggles, before they are limiting performance – something like a maintenance massage and a injury treatment.
- during pregnancy and labour massage can help in lots of ways like lymphatic drainage, deep relaxation, stimulation of circulation, helps to avoid varicose veins, improve sleep, pain release most overlapping with normal massage benefits but might have a different importance in pregnancy when the body has to carry extra weight and sleep positions are compromised. Saying that we only do the pregnancy part; so while in labour it is best to recruit your partner or find a doula to support you at the time 🙂
- pre and post sport event massage can help with performance and recovery
Hope you found this interesting with some news in between things you already knew.