12 Reasons Everyone Needs a Monthly Massage
Living an active and healthy lifestyle surely has its benefits as it promotes a clean and well-balanced living, especially for busy people with jam-packed schedules. While some may find it hard to squeeze in a bit of “me time,” remember that doing so helps you de-stress and relax, things that can easily be overlooked and taken for granted.
Making an effort to make time for your body to unwind, regenerate, and recharge is a very vital aspect of life. It lets your body heal itself and thus prepare your body as you face a very busy and a very active lifestyle yet again. Allowing your body to rest even for a short while is guaranteed to do wonders for your bodily functions and systems.
One of the most popular ways to get your much-deserved rest and relaxation is via a full body massage, a relaxation method which is fast becoming popular among people across a wide age range. Whether you’re a young professional who loves the daily grind of the urban jungle or a middle-aged executive who leads a tightly-packed lifestyle with a dynamic family life, a monthly massage could do you a lot of good. Old people who need to take care of themselves are even more in need of regular massage sessions to help prevent various illnesses from affecting their already fragile body.
As a method in itself, massages are fairly practical, since all it takes is at least an hour and your body and mind will wake up refreshed and well rested. Aside from that, a monthly massage has other amazing benefits for your body.
1. Mood and Mental Health Improvement
One of the benefits of massage is the overall improvement of your mood. It has become almost customary for some people to go for a full body massage at the end of an especially tiring and stressful day. Research shows that indulging in a body massage may help relieve anxiety and even depression. According to a study made by the Touch Research Institute at the University of Miami School of Medicine, one of the benefits of massage is its ability to reduce levels of cortisol –a well-known stress hormone– by over 53%. It also increases your body’s dopamine and serotonin levels, which your body releases when you’re happy or relaxed.
2. Prevention and Relief of Migraine-Induced Headaches
The benefits of massage can go as far as preventing and relieving headaches, particularly migraine-induced ones. Excessive stress and extreme lack of sleep could trigger a migraine attack. The Annals of Behavioral Medicine published a study where they noted that respondents who received regular full body massages sleep better. They also had fewer occurrences of migraine headaches as opposed to the respondents who did not have a full body massage. The effects of the said full body massage lasted up to three weeks. Experts highly recommend people who regularly experience migraine headaches to go for a full body massage at least once a month to minimize their migraine episodes.
3. Minimize High Blood Pressure
It is unsafe for people with high blood pressure to further engage in highly stressful daily activities. Sustained high levels of stress could lead to either a stroke or a heart attack if not well supervised. This is why it is very interesting to note that one of the benefits of massage includes better maintenance of blood pressure. A study published in the Biological Research for Nursing journal had people with high blood pressure go through a 10-minute body massage three times a week. Those who had the 10-minute massage therapy had considerably lower levels of blood pressure compared to those who did not have any kind of massage therapy.
4. Alleviating Back-Related Problems
A lot of people who seek the service of a masseuse are usually those who suffer from back problems. Common complaints can range from the simplest crick in the back or other factors, such as recovery from an accident. A lot of people might think that going to a masseuse to help alleviate back pain might seem like a baseless claim, but there are studies to back up this particular claim. Annals of Internal Medicine published another study showing the benefits of massage in people suffering from back pain. Those who got a full body massage found it to be more effective in alleviating back pain than other types of therapy, such as acupuncture. Additionally, those who went in for regular massage sessions were able to reduce their intake of painkillers by up to 36%.
5. Post-Surgery Rehabilitation
The rehabilitation period after any kind of surgical operation is an essential aspect to ensuring that your body will be able to fully regenerate and regain control of its functions after the procedure. One of the unknown benefits of massage is its ability to help in your body’s recovery by assisting in the improvement of flexibility and joint movement, blood circulation, and muscle use. Studies also show that a full body massage could help boost tissue growth and minimize post-surgery swelling.
6. Boost Body Flexibility
For athletes and sports professionals, getting a regular body massage is a great way to maintain their body’s level of flexibility. But this is not exclusively applicable to athletes. Improving flexibility can do wonders to your body. This is especially beneficial for older people who want to increase their range of motion to slow down the progression of various conditions that are often a result of old age. A body massage can help retain flexibility by working on the muscles and connective tissue. It also works by stimulating the body’s production of natural lubricants in the joints.
7. Improve Sleep Cycle
Ask anyone who regularly undergoes a full body massage session and they will always say how they immediately fall asleep during every massage session. As the massage relaxes your body and reduces your stress level, your body usually becomes relaxed enough for you to fall asleep. This is not surprising, as one of the more commonly known benefits of massage is its ability to improve sleep patterns in a lot of people. A massage is also useful for cancer patients who are undergoing chemotherapy or radiation therapy. It helps them relax more and easily fall asleep, which can be pretty hard to come by while undergoing cancer treatment.
8. Strengthen the Immune System
If you think about it, your body’s immune system is a highly unlikely system that could benefit from a regular monthly massage. However, the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine published a study in 2010 that proved otherwise. Those who had regular body massages were healthier. They also have better count of natural killer cells, which protects your body from diseases, as opposed to those who did not have regular massages. Moreover, a body massage can also be very helpful for HIV patients, as it helps in further boosting their immunity systems.
9. Reduce Posture-Related Stress
A lot of working professionals tend to live a very sedentary lifestyle. This is mostly due to hours and hours of sitting in front of a computer with very minimal physical activity. This can lead to problems with posture and even posture-related stress. A common symptom of posture-related stress is a dull pain in either the shoulders or the neck. If you don’t deal with postural stress during its early stages, it could get worse and manifest as either a weak spot or a constant pain in the lower back. One way you can combat this is via a body massage. Regular body massage sessions can help your body relieve and ultimately prevent internal imbalances caused by prolonged sitting down. If you’re too busy to go the gym and engage in added physical activity, then getting a massage will be an ideal alternative for you to keep yourself healthy.
10. Relieve Fibromyalgia Symptoms
Some of the lesser known benefits of massage include its ability to curb the symptoms of Fibromyalgia. The American College of Rheumatology defines Fibromyalgia as a chronic muscle condition whose symptoms usually include fatigue, muscle pain, and muscle tenderness. These symptoms can get even worse if you also suffer from stress and lack of sleep. Fortunately, there is a great treatment alternative for these symptoms. Many patients are getting Fibromyalgia massages, a specialized massage session, and are enjoying the benefits of massage. Studies show that these massages could help minimize muscle pain, muscle spasms, and the overall discomfort patients with Fibromyalgia often experience. The National Fibromyalgia Association has furthermore endorsed Fibromyalgia massage as one of the condition’s most effective treatments after 40% of patients integrated this specialized massage method into their treatment plan.
11. Curb Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is a condition that affects the forearm, wrists, and hands. If you have this condition, the median nerve, which connects the forearm and the hand, becomes trapped within the wrist. When left unattended, it can be very painful and could affect your grip. You may have difficulty gripping small objects and forming a fist with your palms. Moreover, you may need to undergo surgery to fully relieve the median nerve. Symptoms usually include a tingling, burning sensation or prolonged numbness in the palm and fingers. Aside from a surgical procedure, this condition can also be treated via a series of medications and even wrist braces. But a study published in the Journal of Bodywork and Movement has revealed that massage can actually be helpful when it comes to alleviating the symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. One of the benefits of massage for patients who underwent regular massages is the reduction of pain in the affected area. The study also showed signs of improvement with regards to their gripping ability.
12. Nerve Pain Syndrome Relief
As mentioned earlier, one of the common benefits of massage includes muscle relaxation. It is somewhat unsurprising to know that a regular body massage can help reduce muscle tension, which affects nerves and cause nerve pain syndrome. In addition, a full body massage could help reduce nerve pain due to a slipped disc. This is because a massage helps in unraveling the tissue surrounding the concerned area, thereby enabling the herniated disc to move closer towards its point of origin.
Other benefits of massage include relief from pre-menstrual syndrome in females, a healthier digestive tract, and enhanced alertness levels. Moreover, a lot of medical conditions can be prevented if not alleviated just by undergoing a full body massage every month. Some of these conditions include anemia, cystic fibrosis, multiple sclerosis, and autoimmune disorders, to name a few. This is because massages are generally known to reduce the amount of stress hormones in the body and can also help maintain your body’s normal blood glucose levels.