The Benefits of Massage: Stress and General Health
We have spoken about the skin and how best to look after it. We’ve considered what products may be best for you, and how you can determine this yourself or at the spa. However, we have yet to look into something that first pops into your mind when you think of a spa. Massages! Today we are going to look at the origins of massage, the benefits and why it is good to book yourself in for a treatment, and finally how massage can positively affect your general health.
What is massage and where did it originate?
Massage can be traced all the way back to 500 BCE India, 2500 BCE Egypt and 2700 BCE China, where it was known and believed to have medical benefits. The Chinese wrote the original published books on massage titled ‘The Yellow Emporer’s Classic Book of Internal Medicine’. This book can be used to teach other forms of traditional medicine like acupuncture, acupressure and herbology.
How has massage integrated into modern society?
The first records of massage moving into modern society began in the 1800s when a Swedish doctor developed the Swedish Movement System. Which is more commonly known as the Swedish massage. Swedish massage along with the Japanese practice of Shiatsu is the most used massage practices in the western hemisphere in this day.
Massage and Stress
The 21st Century takes its toll on our bodies and mind. From physical to mental and emotional stress it has become the norm for us to feel stressed out. And, as we have spoken about previously, this is one of the things that can negatively affect your health. Stress shows on your skin, and internally through bodily aches, pains, headaches, and anxiety. Many people and doctors think of stress as a significant risk factor for some chronic diseases, and even make some symptoms for illnesses worse.
When done correctly massage can reinstate a certain level of calm back to you. It can help with conditions that you may not feel you have any control over that affect your state of mind. These include; stress, depression and anxiety. It does this by allowing you to shift your focus from the things in your life that are causing you worry, and allowing you to concentrate on relaxing your mind and body.
The combination of mood/dimmed lighting, candles, aromatherapy, and finally the massage itself all work together towards one primary goal. Getting you to relax. And of course, working out any knots, kinks or stiffness you may be suffering from.
It is to note that some massages with specific pressures are more successful at inducing a stress-free state than others. E.g, moderate pressure results in a decrease in blood pressure, while a more powerful pressure increases blood pressure and so you won’t feel as relaxed.
With this in mind, a great massage to go for specifically for reducing stress is a moderately pressured Swedish massage. Any qualified therapist will tell you that routinely going for treatments, is an essential tool in the stay healthy toolbox. If not just for stress but for some of the other reasons that follow.
Benefits of Massage for General Health
Stress on the body can cause your muscles to seise and tense up. And although they may stop tensing when your stress level decreases, if stress continues or is something you suffer from often. It’s possible that your muscles can remain in a tensed state resulting in tissue and joint pain, as well as headaches, chronic back and neck pain and other painful symptoms.
Before your treatment, you will be asked to fill out a consultation form, on this, it will ask you if you have any ailments that need taking care of. Such as these pains. Once you have completed the form, the therapist will then know how best to treat you.
In this case, they will know what pressure to use, what direction they must massage, where needs stretching and so on. Eventually getting your muscles to a relaxed state which in turn reduces your overall stress, and stops the pains you are getting.
Immune System and Digestive Benefits
You have probably noticed that these health issues have been stress related. It is no different for some of the immune system and digestive problems you may be experiencing. During times of stress, the body suppresses the function of the digestive and immune system preventing them from working correctly.
A depleted immune system increases your risk of getting colds, flu and other immune diseases. Which with the weather being as cold as it is at the moment is a high risk anyway. A reduced digestive system slows down the rate at which your body can remove everything it needs to remove after you have eaten.
Booking a massage can improve your circulation, the activity of your immune system and bring your digestion back to where it should be.
Massage is not just something that is relaxing. The benefits of it go so much deeper than that.
When it comes to your health, you want to be doing everything possible to make sure you’re in tip-top condition. Especially in winter where colds and flu are rife, last thing you want is to be bunged up on top of horrible weather.
Stress is something that we all suffer from at some point or another. Why not book in for a treatment allow your self to sink into relaxation and kick start your good health.
Go check out our treatments!