How would you like to get all of the health benefits of exercising without lifting a finger? Well guess what, massage therapy offers most of the benefits of working out, without actually having to work out.
Increased circulation- When pressure is applied to the body in a stroking motion, it promotes increased circulation. Because this increase in circulation occurs while the client is lying down, it decreases the amount of strain on the heart. The heart does not have to fight gravity to get the blood from the feet back up to the head, and the therapist is assisting the flow of blood by stroking the skin (ideally towards the heart) with adequate pressure.
Increased muscle tone- By massaging the muscles, the muscle fibers are stimulated and receive an increase in the blood that is delivered to them. This promotes healthy muscle growth. By getting massages on a regular basis, you can increase your muscle tone without having to work out (although exercise is always recommended in addition to a massage regiment).
Decreased cellulite- That’s right girls, this one’s for you. When adequate pressure is applied using a friction technique, fat cells can be broken down to appear less bumpy. Your skin can be noticeably smoother in some cases after just a few treatments. Although this is a wonderful side effect of massage, it is not permanent. Continued treatments would be needed to maintain the smoothness of the skin.
Decreased depression- Studies have shown that massage increases the brain’s production of serotonin and norepinephrine. These are chemicals that our body produces that make us feel happy, and we could probably all use a little more of that. By increasing our body’s serotonin and norepinephrine production, we are naturally decreasing any feelings of depression. If everyone in the world got regular massages, the world would be a much happier place.
Increased skin elasticity- Massaging the skin increases collagen and elastin fibers. Collagen and elastin are the fibers that give your skin that youthful look. Wrinkles come when the skin becomes depleted of collagen and elastin fibers. This is why when an esthetician gives you a facial, they massage your face; it helps to combat the wrinkles and keep your skin healthy.
Increased overall health- Massages have also been shown to decrease fatigue and improve a person’s overall health. Some individuals loose weight while receiving massage treatments. Massage studies have also shown that massage can help with insomnia.
One important factor in receiving all of these great benefits is finding a great therapist. A skilled therapist can help you get the most out of your massage and tailor your session to your individual needs. So ask your therapist what they specialize in and how long they have been practicing. Many therapists will offer a shortened massage for a discounted price to ensure that you are satisfied with their technique before paying for a full session. With all of the benefits of getting massages, it’s no longer a luxury, it’s a need.