Massage Therapy: A relaxing Healing Therapy
I love getting massages. I try to schedule an appointment with my therapist at least once a month, and when I’m in more serious training, I aim for once a week. It doesn’t just feel good (though it does feel amazing). Regular massage by a trained therapist has a ton of health benefits too.
I always notice that I sleep better on massage days. This is partially because my muscles are so much more relaxed and loose, but also because massage helps to regulate hormones in the body. People who get massage can expect to see lower levels of adrenaline and cortisol, both of which cause stress and impaired sleep quality. There is also an increase of oxytocin and serotonin, which improve mood and quality of sleep.
Massage also increases the function of the immune system. Through the motions used in massage, lymph flow is improved. Your lymphatic system circulates various fluids throughout your body, and is just like your circulatory system, except without a heart to move the fluids. Instead, lymph flows through muscle action and external stimulation, like massage. When the toxins and cellular debris are cleared via massage, lymph can flow more easily through your tissues, leading to an easier time fighting off colds and getting more nutrition to your cells.
You can also see an improvement in skin tone, especially if you are also exercising. Firm pressure and multi-directional friction helps circulation, so nutrients in your blood have an easier time being used by your skin cells. This can lead to better skin hydration, and an overall more firm look. In addition, you can ask your massage therapist about different oils he or she can add, such as jojoba oil, avocado oil, and coconut oil. Essential oils are often something therapists understand, so ask about anything specific you’re looking for.
After your massage, take time during the rest of your day to relax as much as possible, to get the most benefit from your therapist’s work. And of course, don’t forget to drink lots of fresh, clean water!