There are few things more luxurious than massages. A good session will leave you more relaxed than when you went in, removing all tension within the affected spot. There’s more to massages than their therapeutic quality, however; they come with health benefits you don’t usually see advertised. Read on to find out five added perks you can get when you get a massage.
1. Depression and Anxiety Relief
While a massage won’t cure these disorders, the effects it has on stress and upset can help calm someone dealing with them. The neutral, calm environment alone promotes relaxation, and the welcoming touch of a masseuse provides a safe way to connect. The massage itself reduces stress and raises happiness levels by increasing serotonin, which lowers pain and negative sensations. What’s more is that these emotion-lifting benefits apply to several sources of depression anxiety, from chronic pain to pregnancy concerns to other long-term conditions. To say that massages work best in multiple sessions, it likely won’t hurt to have one if your condition is poor.
2. Better Sleep
If you’ve ever felt peaceful enough to doze off during a massage, there are reasons for that. Thanks to the promotion of relaxation, massages have been shown to help clients sleep better afterwards; it can reduce fatigue and induce better deep sleep for a more rested body. These results work on all ages, infants included. Since sleep is so vital to a number of health factors, regular massaging that improves sleep can be instrumental in keeping worsening conditions at bay. Massages may also play a part in longer periods of rest for those who don’t normally stay asleep long enough.
3. Immunity Boosting
The brain chemicals affecting depression and anxiety play a part in other sicknesses, and regular massages may help ward those off, as well. While they boost serotonin levels, they also decrease hormones that promote aggression and stress, lowering your susceptibility to disease in the process. Issues like the flue and seasonal colds might be easier to fight off, as a result. What’s more is that studies suggest massages may boost white cell count, as well as improving immune functions in HIV-positive individuals. Other areas related to the system are affected, too: circulation and nervous system activity might see a change for the better. A single session can get you stronger than you might realize.
4. Headaches and Migraines
We’ve all experienced a headache at some point or another; some have it worse in the form of migraines. While there are a myriad of ways to treat them, most mightn’t think of massaging them away. Two of the main causes of headaches are stress and tension, which massages have already been shown to treat. Beyond those, a good massage can temporarily relieve pain caused by the headache and potentially reduce the number of migraines occurring in the client. Swedish and head massages appear to be the most effective, and while the data on the migraine-massage connection is still sparse, other massage benefits can nonetheless have a positive impact on one’s migraines. Beware of too much pressure on top of a headache or migraine, however, because blood vessel damage can occur.
5. Cancer Support
While massages fall into a complementary role alongside regular medical treatment, they can still have a beneficial effect on one’s treatment and recovery. It can promote the weakening of symptoms and unwanted side effects, alongside the relaxation and comforting benefits already touted by regular massages. Oncology massages in particular can improve a patient’s quality of life by providing a positive environment in which to heal.
As studies grow more numerous, the health impacts of massages become clearer. Regardless of what ailments you seek to alleviate, though, it’s wise to talk to a doctor about how other symptoms or conditions can be affected by a massage. Once you know how it’ll react with your body, a massage can do more than relieve your muscles and stress: it can get you in a healthier place than you thought was possible.