Massages used to only be available in upscale health clubs and luxury spas, but now, you can get them almost anywhere. The reason for this is that people have to come realize just how valuable massage is for their health and overall wellness, which includes that of the mind, body, and spirit.
In fact, massage is the most widely used type of complementary and alternative medicine in hospitals today for the treatment of pain, mental health, stress reduction, and general wellbeing.
Today, they are not looked at as a mere luxury, but rather an investment in yourself and your health. Massage therapy represents the oldest and simplest form of medicine, dating back to as far as 2,700 B.C.
Massage is a term used to describe the pressing, rubbing, kneading, puling, stretching, and otherwise manipulating muscles, skin, joints, and tendons.
There are many different types of massage, but some of the most popular are:
• Swedish massage therapy – This is without a doubt the most common type of massage in the US. It involves long smooth strokes, circular movements, and kneading. The massage therapist uses oil or lotion when performing this type of massage. It is considered to be very relaxing and gentle.
• Deep tissue massage – This type of massage is quite different from Swedish massage therapy, as it targets the deeper layers of your muscles and connective tissue. It is often performed on an individual who has postural problems, chronically tight muscles, or who is recovering from an injury.
• Hot stone massage –This type of massage is exactly what it sounds like. It revolves around the placing of heated, smooth stones on certain points of your body in order to loosen tight muscles. Sometimes, the therapist may apply gentle pressure with the stones. Although this may sound like it isn’t pleasant, the warmth of the stones actually provides you with a very comforting feeling.
• Sports Massage – You don’t have to be a professional athlete to get a sports massage. Nevertheless, this type of massage therapy was designed for people who live an active life and work out often. The main focus of a sports massage isn’t relaxation, but rather the prevention of injury and enhancement of your athletic performance. A number of different techniques are used as part of a sports massage.
• Trigger Point Massage –This type of massage focuses on specific areas of your body, instead of the whole body. The therapist pinpoints the muscle that is causing your problems and then applies deep pressure in order to relax it.
The Touch Research Institute at the University of Miami has run many studies on massage’s effects on mental health and results showed massage therapy to effectively reduce symptoms associated with:
• Other mental health conditions
Many people treat themselves to a massage every once in a while, which is without a doubt great both for their physical and mental health. However, regular massage therapy will provide you with much more benefits.
• You’ll start living a happier and healthier life if you get massages regularly.
• The majority of people today deal with a lot of stress. Worrying about paying the bills on time, family problems, an unpleasant work environment, and the general hustle and bustle of daily life can all lead to a huge amount of chronic stress, which ultimately leads to ill health, and an increased risk for serious disease, such as heart disease, stroke, and others. One of the best ways to relieve yourself of the excess stress and anxiety in your life is massage therapy.
• Massage therapy is not only able to relax certain muscles in your body; it can put your mind into a state of deep relaxation as well. Not only that, but it will also trigger the release of brain chemicals called endorphins, which battle stress and enhance your mood.
• On top of that, massage therapy will stimulate the release of other feel-good hormones, such as dopamine and serotonin. By elevating the presence of these hormones, you’ll decrease the production of the stress hormone known as cortisol.
• By relaxing both your body and mind, massage therapy will improve your sleep quality, which in turn promotes good mental health.
• Not getting enough sleep can lead to slowed down thought processes, memory loss, and unhealthy food choices. People who don’t sleep enough tend to have elevated stress and anxiety levels, but massage can help with too.