Massages are known to ease pain and help with inflammation, while also reducing feelings of stress and anxiety. While it can be seen as an indulgent treat, there are many benefits to treating your body to a massage.
Studies have found that on average, the people who experienced a massage had lower levels of anxiety than those who did not. While there is little research to support this, a popular explanation is that massage therapy can lower the level of cortisol (the hormone responsible for the fight or flight response) in the body. A massage can help reduce feelings of anxiety associated with traumatic events or troubling circumstances.
Soothe tension headaches
Headaches are caused by tension and a massage aims to relieve tension in the body. Thai massages are commonly thought to relieve chronic tension headaches – this involves pressure being applied along a specific area of the body to target the pain.
To alleviate the symptoms associated with these headaches, it is suggested that getting a massage twice a week, for four weeks can help. These massages focus on the shoulders, the upper back, the neck, the back and the middle of the head and forehead.
Reduce symptoms of depression
Research has shown that those who have received a massage had a lower level of depression than 73 per cent of those who did not. A massage can boost the natural serotonin levels in the body and can encourage the release of dopamine and oxytocin.
Lower blood pressure
It is believed that massage therapy can temporarily reduce blood pressure. It can trigger the body’s parasympathetic nervous system, which can help the body return to a state of balance and emotional ease after a stressful or traumatic situation.
It is suggested that nearly 50 million adults suffer from sleep deprivation. Lack of sleep can upset the body’s natural chemistry, making us more vulnerable to a weaker immune system, inflammation and a weaker pain threshold. Research suggests that a massage can promote a deeper, less disturbed sleep routine, especially in those who suffer from chronic conditions such as fibromyalgia.
A massage can promote the stimulation of body’s ability to rest and relax, giving the person a better chance of experiencing a deep sleep.