Massage. It literally means to “knead like dough.” That’s that feeling you get when your massage therapist pushes and glides and does awesome things with their hands and what you feel is heavenly bliss as tension drops out of your muscles.
It feels good and you know it. It’s a great way to pamper yourself and relieve stress during a particularly crazy time. And if you’re active – you already know that massage helps you to stay on top of your game.
It’s great to pop in every now and then for some self-care, otherwise known as “Me time”. However, have you considered regular, monthly massage appointments? Besides having a bit of time set aside each month to disconnect and actually receive for a change, you will actually start to see some physiological effects of regular massages as well.
Here are a few short-term, and long-term ways you may start to notice your monthly self-care trip is benefiting your health.
After Three Months of Routine Visits to Your Massage Therapist:
Lowered Anxiety and Stress Levels: Even after your first massage, you will start to notice that you feel more relaxed, which can be a major plus if you suffer from stress and anxiety. When our bodies experience stress, we tend to tense up our muscles, which leaves our bodies feeling fatigued and sore. Massage also helps to release the feel good hormones (oxytocin and serotonin) and turn down the volume of stress hormones (adrenaline and cortisol).
Just one massage helps loosen up these muscles, bring fresh blood flow to tired muscles, and lower stress and anxiety. Cancer patients and new parents have even reported feeling less depressed and more calm when they incorporate regular massage into their schedule.
Less Lower Back Pain: The thing we see the most is back pain – usually associated with your day to day routines. It’s nagging, affects concentration and sleep. And massage helps that back pain to magically disappear.
A study found that after 10 weeks of regular massage, people experiencing chronic back pain felt less discomfort, and even needed less pain relief to manage their symptoms. Cut down on the number of trips to your medicine cabinet with regular trips to see your massage therapist.
Help with Insomnia: Massages increase your serotonin levels, which aides in your ability to fall asleep, and stay asleep. If you are relying on sleep medication to fall asleep and stay asleep, then you just might appreciate a good massage, especially one in the evening.
Unlike other sleep aids which can be harmful or addictive, you’ll experience no negative side effects from a massage, and you’ll find yourself able to fall asleep a little easier – especially after an evening massage.
After Six Months of Monthly Massage, You’ll Feel:
Reduced Fibromyalgia Symptoms: Even after your first massage, if you experience the pain of fibromyalgia, you will notice decreased pain, but with regular massage, you will start to notice the following benefits as well:
- Better sleep (especially after evening sessions)
- Improved muscle strength and function
- Improved mental clarity (as a result of lowered stress)
- Headache relief
- Decreased stress and anxiety
Focus for ADHD: Studies have shown that massage has been helpful in increasing focus and decreasing the stress and anxiety that can accompany ADHD, especially in children. While immediate improvements were shown in their ability to focus and be less squirmy and more attentive in class, continued massage therapy has also shown long-term behavioral improvement in the classroom.
There was also an increase in confidence as well. If you or your child is particularly restless, regular massage may help with focus at work, in the classroom and at home.
What You’ll Feel After Twelve Months of Regular Monthly Massage:
Lowered Blood Pressure: regular massage helps to lower your blood pressure who would have thought it!
Additional Health Benefits: Other ways that regular massage can help improve your overall health? Regular massage stimulates white blood cell production and boots immunity!
Are you training for a race, or spending a lot of time at the gym or in a pilates class? Regular massage will help you with improving your range of movement. You might even feel a little bendier in your yoga classes. Tense muscles make it much harder to find your full range of motion, and happy, relaxed muscles support an increased range of motion.
A massage of month … it’s more than just a treat. Regular massage will leave you feeling healthier and happier, it will also help you to achieve and live your amazing life.
David Clayton is the Principal Therapist at Myomasters Massage located in the inner north and north east of Adelaide. He has a passion for supporting humans to live the lives they were to born to live using massage and soft tissue therapies. He has a particular interest in assisting people to recover from stress, anxiety and trauma using compassionate and nurturing touch.