Massages used to be a luxury few could afford. They were reserved for fancy spas, and they cost a small fortune. But today, massage therapy is much more widely available, and most people can afford to enjoy it at least once a month.
The fact that massages are so available right now is a rather good thing, as their benefits are great. They can relieve stress, boost your immune system, help treat many injuries, as well as help your mental health. Read on to find out how massages achieve all of these effects and why you should consider including them in your daily life.
Massage Therapy: Definition and Types
A massage is a practice of kneading and rubbing the body with one’s hands or a massager of some kind. There are different types, and each one targets different parts of the body using distinct techniques.
Here are 7 types of massage you should know about:
- Swedish massage (relaxing, good for muscle pain)
- Aromatherapy massage (reduce stress)
- Deep tissue massage (for treating injuries, soreness, and pain)
- Shiatsu massage (reduces anxiety and muscle tension. More info can be found here)
- Thai massage (improves flexibility and circulation)
- Lymphatic massage (improves fluid flow. For more information about this type of massage therapy, this blog post is a good place to start)
- Stone massage (improves circulation)
The Benefits of Massage
As we mentioned above, different types of massage can have different benefits, depending on what they target. But no matter which type you choose, you might feel the benefits after just a few sessions. If you persist and get it regularly, the long term benefits of massage therapy will be guaranteed.
1. Massages Reduce Stress
Nowadays, people live hectic lives, and stress can cause a lot of damage to your health. That damage can lead to serious medical issues down the line. Thus, finding ways to reduce stress and the toll it has on your health and daily life is quite important. Luckily, massages have proven to be a great solution in this case.
Massage therapy decreases insulin and cortisol levels. That, in turn, helps your body produce more relaxing hormones. These hormones help slow your heart rate, improve blood flow and digestion, and calm your breathing. A massage may also help treat other issues related to stress, such as tension headaches and muscle knots.
2. Massages Help Improve Blood Flow
Though all types of massage can help improve your blood flow, lymphatic and deep tissue massages do this the best. The kneading and rubbing of your skin aid the elasticity of your blood vessels. It helps bring more oxygen to all your cells, which then helps blood flow in general.
By helping you relax, massage therapy reduces your blood pressure. That, in turn, gives your arterial blood vessels some space to breathe and helps regulate your circulation. Regular massages will make you more flexible and give you more energy for all your daily activities.
3. Massages Help Improve Digestion
Getting regular massages on your belly can help stimulate your digestive organs. A massage is also a great way to ease nausea and stomach aches, and it allows you to digest food more efficiently. This efficiency helps boost your metabolism. Thus, massage therapy can help treat conditions such as constipation and other digestion issues.
4. Massages Boost Your Immunity
Massage therapy stimulates the production of white cells, and it helps distribute them evenly across your body. White blood cells help remove toxins and metabolic waste, which protects you from bacteria and viruses.
Massages can also help drain any excess fluid from your body. The fluid that accumulates in your body due to blocked blood vessels or lymph nodes can cause swelling, pain, and soreness. Massages help reduce these blockages and improve the overall fluid flow.
5. Massages Prevent Muscle Strains
Massage therapy reduces muscle tension as it increases the production of relaxing hormones. By improving your circulation, massage also makes your muscles more flexible, which makes moving around or exercising easier. Finally, massages also improve the production of joint fluid, which prevents injuries and gives your joints and muscles even more flexibility.
6. Massages Improve Your Posture
A lot of people start going to massage therapy hoping it will help their posture. They are right to do so since massages eliminate restrictions in the tissue around your spine and shoulders.
Back massage benefits will also be great if you spend your days sitting behind a desk and typing away on your laptop. The massages can help reduce the negative effects so much sitting has on your circulation and posture. You should definitely incorporate massages into your lifestyle if your job involves little to no movement.
How Often Should You Get a Massage?
As we mentioned above, a lot of the benefits of massage therapy can only show if you get it on a regular basis. However, with so many responsibilities, it might be hard to find the time to visit a massage therapist regularly. Getting a monthly massage membership is also quite expensive, especially if you need massages for a longer period of time.
Luckily, there is a solution for such cases as well.
Though getting an electric massager might seem too pricey, in the long run, it is actually your most affordable choice. Massagers can often be much more effective, as they can work faster and use movements human hands physically cannot mimic. That can make the benefits of getting regular massages even greater than usual.
Also, if you buy a massager, you may get a massage whenever you want. You can massage yourself or have someone else do it for you. Either way, you won’t have to take a few hours out of your busy schedule to go to a massage therapist and get back home. With a massager, your own home can become a little massage heaven.
If you have trouble choosing the best massager for you 10x Living guides can help you with your decision.
As you have read, there are many benefits of regular massage therapy. It can help improve your blood flow and digestion, reduce stress, and boost your immune system. Massage is also good for your muscles and posture. Thus, if you have a hectic lifestyle and wish to find something to make it a bit less stressful, getting regular massages might be just what you need.