Massages are about more than just pampering yourself. Believe or not, studies have shown that massaging your body can help fight several diseases.
The benefits of massage are endless and you are sitting there reading this in your 50s and have never had a massage, we urge you to do so NOW!
Not only is one physically relaxed after receiving a massage. Massage sessions can also improve blood circulation, enhance your energy, relieve right muscles and even help with torn ligaments or back problems.
And even if you don't want to hire someone to massage you, there are many ways to get a massage someway somehow, outside of the "official" massage therapy room.
It's important to incorporate massaging into your life given that provides the so many health benefits. Read below to discover some!
Massaging can increase joint flexibility
As the body ages, it becomes more and more important to keep good posture and flexible joints. However, since the body becomes less elastic as one get's older, this is hard to do.
Interestingly enough, massaging is a form of stretching. It helps keeps those muscles elastic. Putting pressure to each of these muscles and specific pressure points in the body works exactly like stretching would.
However, one could say massaging is a bit more relaxing than stretching your body yourself.
Stop hunching over!
Are you on your computer hunching over as you read this? If so, massages are a must. They counterbalance all the sitting we do today.
Many individuals who work at their desk claim to have lower back stress, which can be relieved in massage. Having lower back stress is nature and is a consequence of not having good posture. It is also a consequence of not engaging your abs. This is because stress often gathers in the shoulders and neck areas.
Additionally, sitting in the same position all day can often put stress on the body and often this stress gathers in the shoulders and neck areas. Massages can help.
And it's not just for those who have pain. Massaging can be a great preventative therapy as well. Having a regular message is a good way to keep your body young!
Whatever the type, massaging has it's benefits
A recent study surveyed 53 healthy people who underwent two types of massages.
The group that was treated with a Swedish massage, a more pressure point based massage, showed an increase in white blood cells. (White blood cells help you fight off illness!) This means that their immune systems were boosted. In addition, their results revealed a decrease in stress hormones.
The second group experiences a light massaging. Their results showed increases in the hormone that promotes bonding.
Given these benefits, Tiffany Field lead researcher that the Touch Research Institute at the University of Miami School of Medicine, says a regular dose of some type of massaging or physical touch is optimal. Even for jus 10 to 15 minutes.
The benefits that massaging can provide actually match that of daily meditation. In addition, it can also help you with other pains such as headaches and anxiety.
The Massage Chair
While it would be a bit excessive to go see a massage therapist every single day, massage chairs can be a favorable item to have in your home.
If you are lucky enough to own one, do take advantage of it.
While one may argue that nothing can replace human touch, massage chairs are just as effective in emulating the gestures of a real massage. They relieve tension, stress, and back pain all the same and therefore allow the patient to relax in their own home.
Massage chairs give you a massage at your own convenience, in your own time, and in the privacy of your own home. This is a major reason as to why many choose to go the massage chair route over massage therapist.
Detoxification of the body
For smoothie diets and other crazy food detoxes. Massaging can purify your body from head to toe!
It's all about the lymph system. This system helps your cardiovascular system rid itself of certain toxins and other nasty stuff. The fluid lymph system is why you are able to fight off infections and prevent constant sickness.
In terms of massaging, the lymph system really benefits because the pressure from a massage acts much like a pump. The lymphs do not have a big central motor like the heart to keep things moving.
In other words, in order to get toxins "squeezed" out from muscles and fibers, the lymph system relies completely on gravity.
As a result, messaging can help squeeze out those toxins as well. This makes it easier for the lymph system to eliminate and detox the body.
This is why after a massage, one should always drink a bottle of water. Keep hydrated and purify your body.
Massaging is good for you heart
Given the fact that a massage can reduce stress, naturally, your heart benefits as well.
In fact, endorphins are released during a massage. As you begin to feel "happier" your heart rate, therefore slows down.
That being said, if you suffer or at risk of certain heart conditions such as arrhythmias or heart disease, massages can be a way to help your heart work at an optimal rate.
There are several long term studies which have proved that when an individual gets a massage on a regular basis, their blood pressure can significantly decrease. As a result, getting massages can lower your risk of a heart attack!
Plus, if you are an anti-drug and pro-natural substances type of person, it is no secret that massages are a purely organic way to heal the body!
In addition, there are many small studies which claim that massaging can help improve other various health conditions including, capital tunnel, post surgery recovery, social well-being, and immune system function.
Relieve your head of migraines!
28 million Americans suffer from constant migraines or headaches.
Painkillers can be addictive and dangerous even. Did you know that Asprin, if used too often, can burn a hole in your stomach?
Given the fact that massaging increased blood flow, they can be a great reliever for headaches. Also related to this topic, massaging can also give you better quality sleep and the benefits after even just one massage can last for up to 3 weeks!
Massage chairs vs. Actual Massages?
It's a great question: is a massage chair worth the money and is it just as good as an actual massage?
The quick answer is yes. And perhaps, massage chairs are even better than actual massages.
Chairs, for one, allow you to get massages on a more consistent basis. And the science is simple. The more you can integrate massaging into your daily routine the better.
Of course, the impact is not quite as impactful as being massaged by a human might be, it is still relaxing and beneficial nonetheless.
Another advantage is a financial one. Buy your one chair, one time and you're done dispensing money on your massages! Whereas, with physical, human massages, often they can run up to $60 an hour (and that's not including tip!)
Massages over acupuncture
Acupuncture is a way to release stress and pain through the use of thin needles on certain and specific areas of the body.
It is originally a Chinese practice and is deeply rooted in the culture's history, very widely accepted in the east.
Much like massaging, acupuncture regulates the flow of energy inside the body. Acupuncture regulates the flow of energy, also known as chi, through the body. It can produce many of the same benefits of massage.
However, there are some downfalls. For one thing, you must be able to deal with pain. Many people would much prefer receiving a relaxing massage, over the experience having several needles poked into them.
While the aftereffects may be amazing, the acupuncture experience itself can be quite uncomfortable.
Unlike massaging, acupuncture does not necessarily heal the body. Instead, the practice simply releases pain. Sometimes, patients use acupuncture to reduce anxiety and it has been indirectly proven to treat or certain diseases.
Others use it as a means of therapy.
At the end of the day, while they are very similar... they are entirely different. Plus you can't get acupuncture done as easily as you can get a massage. That, you cannot argue!
Go out and get a massage!
We hope we have convinced you that massaging is not just about treating yourself. Well, it is... but it can also grant you so much more than just a pampered afternoon.
Not to mention, the health benefits are endless and we have only spoken about a few in this article. Massaging can prevent disease, boost your immune system and overall, they can simply just improve your general quality of life!
If you are in the market for a massage chair or if you want to learn more about why you should be getting a massage on a consistent basis, you can read more here.