While massages have always been considered something to spoil yourself with after a long day at work, they have also been found to have numerous therapeutic and health benefits. There are currently a huge variety of massage techniques you can choose ranging from Acupuncture, which involves using needles and applying them in particular pressure point to Aquatic bodywork, where the participants are submerged in a warm water therapy pool. Research has found that a single massage session can lower your heart rate and blood pressure, relax your muscles and stimulate the release of endorphins or the ‘feel good’ chemical. It has also been found to relieve digestive disorders and Fibromyalgia.
Benefits of massage therapy:
- Lowers stress: Serotine and dopamine are released through a massage session and can help one deal with chronic or acute stress. Studies have also shown that a one and a half hour session can greatly reduce your cortisol and insulin levels.
- Improves posture: By applying pressure at all the right places, stiff joints are loosened and pressure points are relieved. All these contribute to having a good posture.
- Improves blood circulation: Poor circulation can lead to a variety of problems such as aches in muscles due to the accumulation of lactic acid. Good circulation also helps in healing wounds faster by bringing them that much needed oxygen rich blood.
- Relieves headaches: Massages have been found to lead to better sleep and a reduction in the occurrences of migraines.
- Helps in rehabilitation of injuries: The pressure applied improves circulatory motion and relaxes the muscles. This allows more blood to be pumped into the vital organs and tissues.
There are a large number of options if you’re interested in therapeutic massages. Some of the popular options are:
- Swedish massages: Swedish Massages are one of the most common types of massages. They are usually what those who have not had much experience with massages prefer. Most massages of this type last for 50 to 60 minutes, but can extend depending on what the masseuse is trying to achieve and what the customer wants. The massage strokes can either be vigorous or gentle. These movements prompt better circulation and help breaking up muscle knots called adhesions.
- Deep therapeutic massage: It is similar to a Swedish massage, but involves a firmer pressure and helps to release tension in the deepest layers of muscle tissues and tendons. This type of massage has been found to be very effective against high blood pressure. It also helps in relieving stiffness in the neck and lower back. The movement here is very slow and pressure applied is deeper as compared to classic massage techniques.
- Prenatal massage: A massage of this type is tailored to meet the needs of pregnant women and their changing bodies. These massages can relieve stress and chronic lower back pain. It allows pregnant women to pamper themselves and relax in an otherwise stressful time.
- Senior Massage: As one’s body becomes older, muscles, tissues and skin change. Senior massages differ from normal massages and involves gentle stroking, kneading and application of light pressure at specific points. These massages have also been found to greatly relieve the stiffness caused by arthritis. Those who undergo these massages have been found to enjoy better sleep and have an improved sense of well-being.
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