5 Benefits of Massage
“For me, a massage is a treat for special occasions” – and it really is a treat when you get one! Yet receiving regular massages will make your body thank you for it and you will feel all the benefits and improvement to your general wellbeing…but what are the benefits of massage? For sure, you can feel fantastic and relaxed after a massage, but what is really going on? All this will depend on many things including the type of massage you receive, what your goals are, your activity levels and your physical and mental state. Here are the five benefits of receiving a regular massage that our Fulham Massage & Wellness team strongly believes in and promotes among our clients:
The most common reason people call to book a massage is to relax and to relieve tight muscles. The motions and pressures used in massage are fantastic for working out tight points and leaving the body feeling more flowing and loose. More blood is encouraged to flow through the muscles during a treatment, taking more oxygen and nutrients to the area and in turn taking away more waste products away. Deeper massage techniques and trigger pointing are great for relieving knots and tighter points which you can feel build up, most commonly in your back, neck and shoulders. This allows the muscles to function more freely, giving you more range of movement and general release and flow.
Many headaches and even migraines are formed through stress and tight muscles in the neck, back and shoulders. There are other factors which can contribute to this, but in our experience a huge number of headaches and pattern headaches can be resolved and controlled using regular massage. The tightness which can build up in your neck and shoulders can limit the blood flow to your head, which puts more pressure on the brain causing tension. Plus the tightness can pull on the muscles leading into your head and jaw which can have a vice like effect on your head giving it an achy sore feeling. Massage can target these areas to increase blood flow and offer relief to these tight points.
Yes, massage can help you with your digestion. No matter how good your diet is, every now and then we get a little backed up, through stress, diet or chronic digestion issues. Massage strokes and circles on your abdomen can re awaken your muscles and normal function of digestion and encourage the movement of food matter through your digestive system. The circular motions used to do this are similar to what you’d do yourself if you have a stomach ache. Babies can benefit from the same motions if they’re struggling with their digestion too, a simple light touch and some soft circular motions can do wonders to get the system moving.
Managing Anxiety, Stress and Depression
Anxiety and depression have rightly been brought to the forefront of health in recent years as we gain more understanding of both conditions. Each situation is unique and different levels of anxiety and depression can affect people in different way. Massage is a great way of grounding a client and offering some calm and understanding into somebody’s life. The touch and flowing motions of a massage therapist has been shown to have a calming effect on the client, and a big calming reaction on someone who has a busy and anxious mind. This coupled with a nice atmosphere and an understanding therapist can go a long way for someone to receive a bit of love and calm amongst what can be a difficult time. Strong relationship can be built between client and therapist but these can be particularly helpful for someone who struggles with anxiety or depression which can be an invaluable support to have; sometimes nothing needs to be said but just understanding and being there can have powerful, positive effects.
Enhancing Quality of Sleep
One of the four main pillars of health, in the eyes of Dr Rangan Chatterjee, sleep is one of the most important but in some cases neglected parts of a healthy life. For those with busy lives combining a busy career and a social life, sleep can slip down the priority scale as we try to fit everything in to our lives. This mixed with the increased use of handsets and tablets mean we look at screens for longer through the day and in the evening, making it harder to switch off when it comes to bed time. Luckily though, massage can have a calming influence on the body which can help improve sleep. It releases Delta Waves in the brain which can help induce a better night’s sleep. Also, if muscle tensions make it difficult to find a position to sleep in and not wake up in pain, massage can release these tensions making it a lot easier to fall into bed and into a deeper sleep more quickly.