The Benefits of Massage
We all know that a massage feels great—but did you know that it’s good for you, too? It’s true. Massage is more than mere luxury; it actually offers a whole bunch of health benefits. So, if you need an excuse to book that next massage, here are several.
- Reduce inflammation: Massage can reduce inflammation and help muscles recover. In fact, a study published in Science Translational Medicine found that a short, 10-minute Swedish-style massage after a hard workout reduced the inflammatory response.
- Boost immunity: Massage stimulates lymph flow and increases white blood cell counts, which indicates a boost to the immune system.
- Improve sleep: Massage promotes healthy sleep through its effect on delta waves, the kind of brain waves connected to deep sleep.
- Reduce stress, anxiety, and depression: Massage can have a profound effect on mental and emotional wellbeing. It reduces levels of the stress hormone cortisol, which can lead to an improved mood and reduced blood pressure. It also boosts the neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine, which can reduce depression. What’s more—after a massage, people show higher levels of oxytocin, a hormone that promotes bonding.
- Increase joint flexibility: Massage can improve range of motion and improve joint flexibility.
- Improve circulation: Massage pumps oxygen and nutrients into tissues and vital organs, thereby improving circulation.
- Reduce pain: Massage releases endorphins, which work as the body’s natural painkiller.
- Reduce migraines: Massage has been shown to reduce the frequency and intensity of migraine headaches.
- Boost alertness: A study from the Touch Research Institute showed that adults who received a 15-minute chair massage were more alert and completed a series of math questions faster and more accurately.
There are plenty of reasons to find your way onto the table for an hour of relaxation!