Psychological Benefits of Massage Therapy
May is mental health awareness month.
Have you reflected on your mental state and how it affects your life? Just as we should look after our bodies, we should not take our mental health for granted as there are so many individuals who struggle daily with battles of stress, depression, anxiety and many more concerns. The benefits of massage therapy go far beyond just relaxation and relieving tense muscle aches.
Massage therapy can be a tool in aiding mental well-being, by helping with:
- Acute Fatigue
- Attention-deficit Hyperactivity
- Post Traumatic Stress
Through touch, massage presses down on nerve cell receptors under the skin, activating the nervous system and by doing this stimulates the release of mood enhancing chemicals such as dopamine and serotonin. This also stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system and so reduces production of stress hormones cortisol and adrenaline. So on a physical level, massage therapy works on the nervous system in the body, to chemically alter your mood. Also very simply put, by massaging the tense muscles, tension and stress is released and you feel more relaxed and peaceful.
As mentioned massage occurs through touch. This act can have profound effects on us as humans, in fact it is one of our most deepest needs and desires to connect with others and feel cared for. For many, massage brings a sense of comfort, caring and a feeling of empowerment, which allows for an increased quality of life.
Benefits of Massage therapy include:
- Improved quality of sleep
- Increased immunity
- More stable blood sugar
- Improved lung function (Deeper and easier breathing)
- Improved mind-body connectivity
- Mental alertness
- Increased Alpha brainwaves present in relaxation
- Increased Dopamine and Serotonin
- Reduces cortisol and adrenaline (Stress hormones)
- Improved posture
- Improved circulation
The body’s response to stress causes the production of cortisol and also causes our muscles to tense up as a protection mechanism. We tend to isolate ourselves and be in constant “attack-mode”, which is generally unpleasant and tiring. Having a massage can rattle this rigid sense. We can then think more clearly and cope better by applying what we understand. This is also why massage therapy is excellent in conjunction with counseling.
What to expect
The environment of the treatment room will be suited to what the outcome of your treatment should be- a comfortable temperature, peaceful music and soothing lighting. Ultimately you should feel comfortable to relax and let go and tune in to your thoughts and feelings while focusing on your breathing. You should be able to tell your massage therapist to increase the pressure or lighten it if it is too much for you.
How often should I have a treatment?
It differs from person to person but one can usually expect to start feeling a big improvement after 3 sessions. Regular massage therapy promotes a relaxed state of mental alertness, which reinforces a positive attitude. So it is worth it to look after your health by practicing regular massage therapy as part of your personal well-being.
Here are some of the massages that Beauty Retreat offers:
- Swedish back and neck massage
- Swedish full body massage