While many view spa massages as a luxurious treat to help you relax, it may be surprising to know that massages do, in fact, have many scientifically proven health benefits that may wondrously affect your daily life.
Alleviate Postural Stress
Healthy posture refers to the correct alignment of your body parts, in particular your spine, so as to place minimal strain on supporting muscles and joints. While it may seem simple enough to maintain good posture, most of us will suffer from poor posture as a result of slouching in unsupportive chairs, illness, genetics or simply due to the day-to-day effects of gravity on our bodies.
But what’s so bad about poor posture? If it is not corrected, it can lead to:
- back and neck pain,
- muscle tightness,
- joint stiffness and degeneration,
- central obesity (commonly referred to as pot belly),
- rounded shoulders,
- poor sleep,
- reduced mobility,
- disrupted digestion.
During a professional massage, techniques such as myofascial release, mobilisations and deep tissue strokes are used to loosen tight muscles and relieve tension within the body, which results in a considerable decrease in postural stress. As a result, such effects of poor posture may be significantly reduced or prevented.
Ease Muscle and Joint Pain
Whether caused by arthritis, pregnancy or a heavy weightlifting session at the gym, massage therapy is the key to relieving your muscle and joint pain.
Just as rubbing your knee or toe when you bash it into wooden furniture helps relieve pain, professional massages will increase blood circulation to relieve pain. Consequently, many medical professionals will refer patients suffering from muscle and joint pain to a massage therapist.
Following a gruelling workout, deep kneading can help to decrease inflammation and aid delayed onset muscle soreness recovery. What’s more, there is reason to believe that it may help your muscles to become stronger and more lean, faster.
Relieve Anxiety and Depression
Massage therapy is often used to treat mental and emotional health problems, such as anxiety and depression. How? Massages cause a release of neurohormones, including dopamine, serotonin and oxytocin, which are known for reducing symptoms of the aforementioned illnesses. So, particularly when used alongside other treatments, such as prescribed medication or therapy, you will begin to see drastic changes to your symptoms of anxiety and depression.
Improve Sleep and Help with Insomnia
One of the main causes of poor sleep is stress. So, by lowering your heart rate, increasing relaxation and relieving physical tensions in your body through a professional massage, your stress levels will decrease and your sleep will improve.
Moreover, serotonin, a hormone released within the body during a massage, helps to increase melatonin levels, which influences the sleep stage of your circadian rhythm (also known as your sleep cycle) and may help to reduce or even eliminate insomnia.
Boost Concentration and Memory
Head massages may improve your concentration and memory by redirecting blood flow to your brain and nervous system. Massages also cause the body to produce dopamine, which affects memory, learning and focus. While low levels of this hormone in the prefrontal cortex is believed to be a factor in the development of attention deficit disorder, healthy levels aid short-term memory, cognition and attention.
Improve Circulation During Pregnancy
It is no secret that pregnancy takes its toll on the body, with countless undesired effects such as neck and back pain, cramping, insomnia, swelling and headaches; so, expectant mothers may benefit considerably from prenatal massages which help to relieve such issues. As a result of a massage, pregnant women have been known experience the following positive effects:
- Relief from aches and pains;
- Relaxation of the body and mind;
- Improved sleep;
- Stronger bond with their baby, by helping the mother to slow down and appreciate the gift of a child growing inside of them;
- Reduced swelling.
Control Blood Pressure
As clinical trials have shown, Swedish Massages and Deep Tissue Massages work wonders with lowering and controlling blood pressure. Stress is one of the major contributing factors of hypertension. So, by indulging in a massage, you allow the sympathetic nervous system to relax, which reduces stress levels and increases blood flow in the body and may, as a result, control your blood pressure.
Manage Fibromyalgia Pain
One of the most effective treatments for fibromyalgia is massage therapy as it helps to reduce the hypersensitivity associated with chronic pain.
The best massage techniques for this condition include kneading, stretching, heat and pressure; that being said, whether the massage involves deep pressure or gentle strokes depends entirely on the needs of the person receiving the treatment. As a result, the recommended types of massage for fibromyalgia are Classic Swedish Massages and Sports Massages; and for those who require lighter pressure, Reflexology Massages.
If the thought of a sumptuous, relaxing massage isn’t enough to encourage you to book a massage, we’re sure that these health benefits will. Experience a divine massage at The Greenwich Spa and witness the magical health effects for yourself!