Going to get a massage is a treat for most people. It is something that only happens once or twice a year, if even that. Either most of us don’t have the time for that hour of relaxation, or we don’t even think of getting a massage in our stressful, hectic lives. But have you ever thought that massage might not just be for relaxation? Have you ever thought of the other, hidden benefits of a massage? There are so many different types of massages and each has their own set of benefits to keep your body and mind healthy.
Some of the most common types of Massage
Swedish: This massage is probably the most well known out of all the massage types. The Swedish uses long, gliding strokes and friction to help the body and mind relax and unwind, while also improving circulation and blood flow.
Deep Tissue: Our bodies have layer upon layer of muscles. The deep tissue massage is a firm technique that targets those buried muscles and knotted areas that are caused by everyday life, injuries and even poor postural habits.
Lymphatic: This is a soothing, gentle treatment that focuses on improving the lymphatic fluid throughout the body, which is a fluid made of white blood cells, and also draining excess fluids. By draining these excess fluids, it strengthens immunity and also relaxes achy muscles.
Hot Stones: Combining deep, sustained heat and deep pressure, hot stones relax stubbornly tight muscles and breaks up knotted areas. This relaxes pain, any numbness and even muscle stiffness.
Reflexology: Reflexology is an ancient healing modality that offers deep relaxation. This includes squeezing or pressing on certain pressure points on the feet that corresponds to specific organs and other body parts.
What are the Main Benefits of Massage?
Induce Relaxation: With any massage, the main purpose is to relax the mind and body. The atmosphere in any spa reflects peace with relaxing music and lower lighting. While the actual massage relaxes soft tissue (muscle, connective tissue, tendons, and ligaments.) It also increases blood and lymph circulation. With all of these ingredients combined, the heart rate and breathing slows, blood pressure lowers, stress hormone production decreases, and finally the muscles relax.
To Ease Pain: Muscles get damaged or overly used a lot. Working at a computer will cause tightness in the shoulders and neck, forming painful knots. Massage works out those painful knots and can also help with muscles stiffness and spasms. It can also help manage migraine pain by getting a scalp and shoulder massage.
Improve Sleep: The delta brain waves, which are connected with deep sleep, are increased. The cortisol is also reduced while serotonin levels are increased, which helps with falling asleep and staying asleep through the night.
To Speed Up Muscle Recovery: Muscles that are massaged after a sports event or exercise have fewer damaged fibers and no white blood cells. This means that the body didn’t have to work as hard to repair the muscle damage after being exercised. Research has shown that muscles that are massaged after exercise recovered 60% of their strength, while muscles that are not massaged only recovered about 14% of their strength.
Written by: Colbi Judd
Why Massages Are Great For Your Health (Infographic) www.mindbodygreen.com