Massages can feel indulgent and even selfish, so we don’t always think of them as necessary, but surprisingly they have many benefits to our mental and physical health, which can translate to other areas of our lives; think more productivity, less stress, and increased performance at the gym! If you've never experienced a massage treatment, these 4 reasons may make you question why! Massage treatments feel great, not only because it’s a great luxury pampering treatment,(who doesn't like to be pampered!) but regular massages have amazing proven benefits to our mental health and well-being. So the next time you feel guilty for booking a massage, consider these 4 reasons and think again!
1. SOOTHES ANXIETY AND DEPRESSION
I know how this one feels, sometimes every so often we just need to take some time out for ourselves and switch off from the stresses and strains of daily life. Anxiety levels are high? or feeling low and in need of a pick-me-up? or it’s that time of the month? This is when massage can be extremely helpful for increasing mood levels. Regular massages have been found to reduce depression and anxiety levels. This is due to the release of dopamine and serotonin – neurotransmitters which stimulate feelings of happiness and relaxation. After a massage clients will often tell me how great they feel, both physically and mentally. Aromatherapy oils such as lavender can be added to reduce you into hypnotic state, studies show the scent soothes us and helps us relax, promoting tranquility and peacefulness.
2. RELIEVES HEADACHES
When I have a tension headache, automatically my hands reach to the back of my neck, and naturally I massage myself to help reduce some of the pain and tightness. But having someone else do it, such as a qualified and experienced masseuse allows for all the right areas to be manipulated and stretched properly. With the addition of trigger point therapy to release stiff knots. Massaging the head, face, neck, and shoulders can be a great source of relief for stress and tension headaches. Constant stress can cause muscles to stay in a hypnotic contracted state. This can affect blood circulation. Massage can loosen up tension, stretch shortened muscles, increasing blood flow, oxygen, and nutrients to the area, whilst also improving range of motion.
3. EMOTIONAL AND PHYSICAL WELLBEING
Alternative therapies such as massage is a form of self-care and mindfulness. Once in the safe and quiet space of a massage treatment which usually consists of a darkened room and relaxing music, you are free to relax and focus on the mind-body connection and switch off from everything else. As you focus on the smells and sounds around you, you translate into a meditative state. The hands of the therapist provide the all-important human touch, which is incredibly nurturing and comforting, leading to enhanced relaxation and rest.
4. IMPROVES SLEEP & INCREASES DEEP REST
After a massage treatment, many of my clients say they feel like sleeping after, this is due to the release of tension and the increased relaxation levels from calming the sympathetic nervous system (the fight-or-flight response). If you are able to get a mobile massage these benefits last longer, as you have the option to take a nap, prepare a nice meal, have a bubble bath, or enjoy some reading while in a state of content & bliss. There are studies to suggest that a 1-hour massage equates to 7-8 hours’ sleep! So, if you are feeling run down, overworked, and exhausted, perhaps your body just needs a good massage?