We have great news for all those who needed another excuse to get a massage: massage therapy is a great way to improve your mental and physical health. And while you needn’t wait for a new year to roll around before committing to improving your health, now is a great time to set yourself up for a year filled with positivity by scheduling in some regular appointments.
Here are some of the benefits that massage therapy can provide to your overall wellness.
The health benefits of a massage
1. Fixing problems in your body
While the common notion may be that a massage is purely for relaxation, the reality is that massages facilitate a world of healing potential. Remedial massage can fix physical conditions, aches, tensions and pains. Massage therapists are qualified professionals who are trained to assess your body, diagnose you and create a treatment plan based on specific massage techniques to make you feel better. This includes correcting joint or postural issues, improving circulation and more. That (literal) pain in the neck you’ve been feeling? The constant stiffness? That may be your body telling you that it needs a well-deserved break.
2. Boosting your immune system
Massage can reduce your stress and anxiety levels, and from a hormonal perspective this will be of great benefit to your immune system. Plus, massage therapy improves blood circulation, which assists with lymphatic drainage, giving a boost to your immune system. With the freedom to work calmly and efficiently, your immune system will be much more prepared to fight off any nasties, keeping you in good health throughout the year.
3. Bye-bye stress
A good massage truly relaxes you. For the whole duration, you have nothing to think or worry about. Massages can release endorphins – the incredible chemicals that give us that feel-good factor. Plus, the stress-inducing hormones – norepinephrine, adrenaline and cortisol – are reduced through massage, so booking a weekly or fortnightly massage will help you keep stress at bay.
4. Pain and tension relief
Regular massages can help with muscle tension relief and pain management, including for those who suffer from chronic pain, sports injuries, bad posture, or arthritis. Your therapist can concentrate on certain areas of your body, either at your request or through their own examination. By concentrating on certain areas, therapists are able to loosen them up, eliminating toxins, oxygenating the cells and increasing blood circulation to relieve the pain.
5. Improved skin
As time passes, the skin loses its elasticity. Regular massage therapy can aid with achieving healthy and toned skin by reducing tension in it, adjoining tissues and increasing circulation. The latter helps with the nutrition cycle of the skin, encouraging cell regeneration. Massage therapy can also increase sebum production, which moisturises and softens dry skin.
How to make a habit of it
Now that you know the many benefits that regular massages can provide to your wellness routine, the million dollar question is, how do you stick to it? How do you make this healthy resolution actually work throughout the (busy and fast-paced) year? It ultimately needs to become a habit, something that happens without even thinking about it. It may take a little adjustment and lots of commitment – but it’s definitely possible. Here are some tips:
- Write it down – and carry it with you: Grab a card and write the goal you’d like to make a habit of. It might be a massage every week, every month, or as a reward for doing something else you’re attempting to stick to. Place your card it in your bag or wallet, somewhere where you’ll see it regularly.
- Make appointments in advance: One of the best ways to stick to regular massages is simply to make a recurring booking with your massage therapist. If you need to cancel because something else comes up, at least you can reschedule right away, rather than forgetting all about it.
Prioritise your health
Incorporating massage therapy into your health and wellness routine is a great decision if you’re serious about feeling better, both physically and mentally. Not only will massage therapy make you feel more relaxed and give you that all important ‘me-time’, it can also aid with relieving muscle tension, chronic pains, sports injuries, and boosting your immune system. And the best news is – it feels absolutely fantastic!