Does a massage seem like a luxury? Something of an indulgence, special occasion or only when deserved?
According to a study published in the Journal of Science Translational Medicine, there’s physiological evidence that massage therapy increases vitality and wellbeing, and even boosts fitness – so the good news is that getting a massage should be a regular occurrence.
Massage therapy has been around for thousands of years: used to heal the mind and body of various ailments. It is often thought of as a basic way to relax, unwind and let go of the stresses of everyday life – which in the time-poor, stressful world we live in could be of great benefit to us all. So here are four proven reasons why a massage is a necessity (and obviously, a luxury!).
Excessive stress can be extremely detrimental to health – mentally, emotionally and physically. It can cause symptoms of fatigue, depression, anxiety, insomnia, headaches, muscle aches and spasms. Massage alleviates such issues by creating a state of calm (which can be hard to find regularly when life runs at one hundred kilometers per hour); which in turn releases endorphins into the body – our natural ‘happy drug’ that brings about a brighter mood.
Whether an injury is sports related or accident related, a massage is often recommended to help speed up recovery. Why? Massages increase blood flow to the injured area, by taking oxygen and nutrients with it, that vital tissues and organs thrive upon for good health. Massage relaxes and softens muscles, reducing spasm, cramps and tension, and strengthens damaged or tired tendons.
Massage also helps stimulate the flow of lymph (a fluid containing white blood cells that collects harmful material for disposal) throughout the body, boosting the immune system and potentially protecting against infection and illness.
Those hidden gems
We’re not just talking about the obvious physical and mental benefits like increased blood flow or reduced stress. According to the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, massages can also boost fitness, increase vitality and wellbeing, and help you to mentally detoxify, as well as neutralising negative energy and restoring emotional balance.
So what are you waiting for? A massage doesn’t need to be a half-day at the most expensive spa in town (although that would be nice) as rewards can be reaped from a 30 minute session. So go on; treat yo’ self.