There’s no reason to feel guilty indulging in a massage treatment. In fact, you have many reasons why you need to book a session right now! Studies indicate important physical, mental and emotional benefits from this relaxing therapy.
Most of our daily activities, such as writing, typing on the computer and driving, can cause stress on the body. In particular, our shoulders tend to raise and tighten up when we our busy doing our work. Applying pressure on the soft tissue around your neck, shoulders and back reduces muscular tension and ease day-to-day stress. These parts are constantly holding up our body, so it's no wonder why they feel tense!
Here are some key benefits to getting neck and shoulder massages that aren’t just to do with relaxation:
1. Recovery of muscle soreness
Massaging sore areas of the body encourages increased blood flow and oxygen which helps soothe pain and reduce inflammation. Think of massages as a natural painkiller! After a massage your range of motion will also improve due to the removal of built-up lactic acid which causes stiffness in muscles (2).
2. Helps reduce migraines
Massages are a natural alternative, without side effects, that help headaches and migraine pain. Massage can relieve muscle spasms and helps blood circulation, which reduces pressure in the head. A study found that patients with ongoing migraines experienced a dramatic reduce in headache pain with neck and shoulder massage treatment (3).
3. Reduces stress and anxiety
Not only your body will benefit from massages, but your mood elevates too. We carry anxiety in our shoulders, back and neck. Studies found an increase in serotonin and dopamine levels in participants who had massage treatments (1). When our body is relaxed, so is our nervous system. Our heart rate lowers and so does our breathing, massages are a useful way to realign your body. Companies like Google offer their employees regular massage treatments because it lessens employee stress and subsequently improves overall job satisfaction. Effects are even stronger when the masseuse uses a scented massage oil to further invoke calm and relaxation.
4. Strengthens immune system
If you find yourself not catching a cold after repetitive treatments, you might have to thank your masseuse for that. Participants who took part in a study which consisted of one to two massages a week had an increase of white blood cells and lymphocytes, which are vital for fighting off illnesses and infections (4).
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