Most people like massages, but many don’t realize that massages go beyond just sensual pleasure and personal enjoyment. Massages target health in a multifaceted way, addressing both physiological and psychological issues in the body which play off one another and often amplify each other. In this way, massages should be looked at beyond just a once in a while treat to yourself. Getting a monthly massage has great physical benefits and long-term impacts on your health. Here are our top ten reasons why we think you need a monthly massage.
1. Massages relieve tension headaches and subsequent migraines
The benefits of massage therapy have long been used in medical appointments to treat headaches. Deep tissue massage, when applied to areas on the head and neck, treat tension headaches and relax the body to ease headache symptoms. Catching chronic headaches before they get too bad is critical to stopping migraines in their tracks — something that an estimated 13 million adults suffer from.
2. Massages improve posture
Posture is one of those things that you don’t know you’ve got til it’s gone. Many headache and migraine sufferers are surprised to find that the root of their issues comes from poor posture. When you receive massage, the tension in posture-problematic areas is released, which allows you to understand better what your body needs to work on regarding posture.
3. Massages help your sleep
It is no doubt that the body sleeps better when it is relaxed, but studies that have done a deep dive into the effects of massage on sleep have uncovered many reasons behind these benefits. First, deep tissue massage is vital to relieving pain, which is one of the most impactful issues revolving around sleep. Swedish massage, which is widely known as one of the most relaxing massage forms, helps anxiety and depression — both of which can impact a restful night’s sleep. Finally, massage increases the body’s production of serotonin, which in addition to improving mood helps the body with its sleep.
4. Massages lessen anxiety
Massage, and especially aromatherapy massage, has been proven to help treat the impacts of anxiety. Anxiety is often a root cause of many other chronic health issues, such as headaches, high blood pressure, and recurring sickness, so treating anxiety before it makes too much of an impact on health is essential to the body’s well-being.
5. Massages lower your blood pressure
High blood pressure is a huge problem in Western culture, and it has more to do with diet. High stress, genetics, and even your mental health play into blood pressure health. While medication does help with lowering blood pressure, consistent studies have also shown that massage can reduce both diastolic and systolic blood pressures, as well as decreasing cortisol — which increases when the body and mind are stressed. Keeping blood pressure low lowers your chance for more severe diseases, like stroke and heart attack.
6. Massages can give your immune system a boost
Are you finding that you can’t stop getting sick? This might be a sign of something more severe going on in your body, as it indicates a weakened immune system. The average adult should get sick no more than 2-4 times a year, so if you’ve found yourself frequently ill, it might be time to see a doctor. However, if you’re on cold number four and are looking for ways to boost your immune system that don’t involve downing echinacea pills, a massage might be for you. While it’s not sure precisely why massages stimulate the immune system, we do know that decreasing depression and anxiety (two things that can benefit from massage) is key to maintaining good immune system health.
7. Massages help you perform your best athletically.
There’s no doubt that you perform your best athletically when your body is not in pain. While some athletic injuries cannot be avoided, the typical muscle soreness, tension, and pain can be alleviated with massage. Additionally, massage dilates the blood vessels, which promotes circulation and tissue repair. Professional athletes, notably, also benefit from the psychological stress alleviation that is provided by massages, which ultimately helps them focus better and play better.
8. Massages improve your memory
Massage has many benefits toward improving memory and even has been shown to help dementia patients over the long term. For most people, however, memory has underlying factors that impact it. Pain, especially in the shoulders and the neck, has been shown to affect people’s concentration and performance. Deep tissue massage can help this. Additionally, long-term stress has been shown to impact and even destroy brain cells, leading to long-term memory loss. Therefore, for reasons relating to physiology and psychology, it is worth it to get a massage for your memory.
9. Massages (and touch, in general) helps treat and prevent depression
We’ve already addressed cortisol — a chemical your body creates when it is stressed. Depression can also raise cortisol levels, so getting a massage to relieve those cortisol levels is essential. However, science has also found that touch, in general, can impact depression levels in a good way. Getting a couples massage is also a great way to improve intimacy in your relationship and decrease the stress and sadness levels between you and your partner.
10. Massages help pregnancies
In combination with a healthy diet, regular visits to your prenatal provider, and proper pregnancy habits, prenatal massage has many benefits on those who seek it out. Often, muscles and parts of the body that would not usually feel stressed, pained, or inflamed are exacerbated by the extra weight that the body carries. This discomfort can release cortisol throughout the body, can lower the quality of your sleep, and can put stress on the immune system among other things. Prenatal massage not only alleviates pain associated with pregnancy but reduces stress levels so that your body is functioning at its best during your pregnancy.
To find out how massage therapy can help you, visit Jiva Med Spa in Dayton, Ohio. They offer a range of massage therapy services, including couples massage, prenatal massage, deep tissue massage, and Swedish massage. Jiva Med Spa is open Monday through Saturday. For more information on our hours or services, please call us at (937) 705-9430 or visit our website.