A good massage is over before you know it, and you come out feeling a little wobbly and light. That’s because there’s a lot going on when you get a good rubdown, and the effect it has on your body and mind can be powerful.
Massage can be offered in a variety of forms from being in a spa environment, your own home, on the beach or even in someone’s own home within a small treatment room. The treatment is accessible to everyone, and is no longer just for those who live a luxurious lifestyle - you can get great deals with local therapists if you use them regularly and recommend them to friends.
Just make sure you check the qualifications if you are using a mobile or freelance therapist especially if it’s a sport massage that you’ve booked. An unqualified therapist can cause you injuries or discomfort. It’s always best to go with someone who has been recommended to you where possible or who works in a licenced facility.
Types of Massage Available
- Swedish massage - A gentle form of massage that uses long strokes, kneading, deep circular movements, vibration and tapping to help relax and energize you.
- Deep massage - This massage technique uses slower, more-forceful strokes to target the deeper layers of muscle and connective tissue, commonly to help with muscle damage from injuries.
- Sports massage - Similar to Swedish massage, but is geared toward people involved in sport activities to help prevent or treat injuries.
- Trigger point massage - Focuses on areas of tight muscle fibers that can form in your muscles after injuries or overuse.
The Mental Benefits of Massage
Massage has many mental benefits but the most reported is improved sleep quality and relaxation – simply being touched by another person can release chemicals within the body that help to ease many of the problems which cause poor sleeping and stress. Other benefits include:
- Overall relaxation, which is very important for helping to reduce stress, tension, anxiety, and the effects of these
- It helps to ease the mental distress that is caused by being in pain
- Massage can help to improve your self-confidence and self esteem
- It releases endorphins, which are the body's natural "feel good" chemicals, giving you a natural high
- Massage creates an overall feeling of wellbeing
The Physical Benefits of Massage
Massage also has many physical benefits, it can aid with injury rehabilitation right through to post and pre natal specific massages which are designed to improve the wellbeing of the mother. Other benefits include:-
- Relieves soreness, tension, and stiffness
- Improves muscle tone
- Increases flexibility and range of motion of joints
- Improves the flow of nutrients to muscles and joints, accelerating recovery from fatigue and injury
- Reduces scar tissue
- Breaks down or prevents adhesions (knots)
- Speeds recovery from exercise
- Enhances freedom of movement
- Prevents or delays muscular atrophy, resulting from inactivity caused by injury, age, surgery, or illness
- Relieves cramps and muscle spasms
- Reduces pain and swelling
- Cleanse the body of wastes and toxic debris in the body
- Increases the circulation of lymph
- Stimulates the immune system (strengthens resistance to disease)
- Removal of lactic acid from fatigued and sore muscles (allows for a quick recovery)
- Speeds recovery from illness