If you’re like, well, everyone, you’ve probably flunked out of a New Year’s resolution or two (or 20, but whatever). The annual stroke-of-midnight need to resolve something about yourself usually centers around one idea: to be better.
But what if the way to feel happier, improve your sleep, kill it at your workout routine-all of that better stuff-is right at your fingertips, or in this case, someone else’s? The medium: massage. Understanding the benefits of massages is how you can keep those resolutions without having to remember them!
Weekly massages seem to have a cumulative positive effect that is sustained over time. But since it isn’t likely you can hit up the spa all the time, don’t worry – data suggests that you can reap benefits from even a single massage (but we certainly know that at least once a month is much more beneficial).
To keep it real: Much of the research is preliminary. But many findings showed that even just a 15-minute treatment can be a boon to your well-being, and whether you’re a deep tissue kind of girl, or Swedish is more your style, you can reap serious blissed-out benefits!
Now, weekly massages might get a little pricey, but monthly? You could probably swing a massage every 4 weeks through 2021, and your mind and body would be better off for it. If you need a little convincing, here’s why regular massages are worth a shot:
1. Massage alleviates pesky aches and pains.
Feeling sore after your daily run? (Do you need a sports massage?) Massage may decrease acute inflammation due to overuse of muscles, so it may be very helpful in decreasing stiffness, pain, and inflammation. Your masseuse isn’t a magician-it’s science. It works by helping to increase the traffic of pluripotent stem cells (master cells that are able to produce any tissue or cell your body needs to repair) to trouble spots.
2. Massage keeps sickness at bay.
Getting kneaded out could boost your body’s immune system. One of the benefits of massages is that it leads to an increase in the circulation of white blood cells. And it’s not just the cold-busting kinds of cells, but NK cells in particular. These are commonly called “killer cells” because they serve as your body’s primary defense against more serious infections.
3. Massage works like an all-natural ibuprofen.
If discomfort from chronic injuries is keeping you sidelined from the gym, hitting up the massage table might mean you’ll be sore no more. Massage reduces physical aches and pains by decreasing cortisol and increasing serotonin, which is the body’s natural painkiller.
4. Massage pumps up your brainpower.
One study showed that following a 15-minute chair massage, brain waves changed in the direction of heightened alertness. In fact, study participants were able to perform math computations twice as fast and with twice the accuracy” So lying on a table in the dark is turning you into a genius? In the name of research, it’s worth testing out the theory.
5. Massage fights off insomnia.
If you struggle to get a good night’s rest, massage can help with that too! A lack of serotonin has been linked to sleepless nights, and since massage helps spike levels of the snooze-worthy chemical, it can help you doze off and recharge for a better and brighter day tomorrow!
6. Massage melts away stress and anxiety.
It’s not just the smell of calming oils that have you feeling calm and soothing your whirring mind – massage is a true muscle (and mood) relaxer. The series of strokes decreases your sympathetic tone, which is a part of the nervous system that prepares your body to react to situations of stress or emergency. And the subsequent decrease in cortisol and increase in serotonin is a formula for some seriously calm vibes. Some research goes as far as to say that massages are so good for your mental game, it may even help with depression.
7. Massage increases your range of motion.
Flexibility not really your thing? By treating yourself to a session, you may just be able to pull off that pyramid pose in yoga. Massage loosens up muscles and increases circulation, which helps pump oxygen to joints. All are key in keeping your body limber. And if it’s inflammation that’s limiting your mobility, letting yourself get a good squeeze reduces the presence of cytokines, proteins that lead to inflammation.
8. Massage helps with headaches.
Focus your session on your neck for some relief from that dreaded pounding-aching-throbbing feeling. A massage can help reduce headaches by stimulating pressure receptors at the nape of the neck, which helps increase vagal activity. It’s thought that when the vagus nerve is active, it calms cluster headaches and migraines.
Now that you’re aware of the benefits of massages, are you already itching to book that appointment? Located in Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin, A Better Me Spa has a long and amazing list of massages available! We love offering a variety of massages for all of those different needs and concerns. Head over to our massage page to see the full list and call us at 262-408-7597 to book now!
Going to the spa shouldn’t be stressful. So why worry? Here are some basic rules of spa etiquette. Reading these basics will help you know what to expect and help you feel more at ease so that you can comfortably enter our serene atmosphere.