You may not realize it, but just as your body needs food to survive and use energy, your well-being needs to be fed and nurtured also. Well-being encompasses several areas, from mental health and outlook to physical health and relaxation. While you wouldn’t expect to survive long without physical nourishment, you should place just as much importance on your overall well-being and prevent it from suffering. Some days it is hard to take time for yourself, but if you don’t, chances are good that you’ll be forced to one day due to illness or fatigue. A massage is a perfect way to sustain your well-being, as it benefits you in every area to support your overall health and prevent that sickness or disease you’d prefer to avoid.
Boost Immune System
Did you know that getting regular massages can give your immune system a boost? When you’re under a lot of stress, your body tends to get sick more often. Studies show that with regular massages, the body’s cells that naturally ward off sickness and infection are increased and T-cells are decreased, boosting immune function.
By increasing circulation in the entire body, toxins can be removed quicker and oxygen can be delivered further and faster. This also boosts healing and energy functions in the body, strengthening muscles and tissue and improving overall health. Also, massages can help with digestion, and since the majority of the immune system is in the gut, having improved digestive flow can help the immune system function properly and to the best of its ability. When the flow of the digestive tract is impeded, it can mess up the entire body and put a damper on overall health, so having regular massages begins a domino train of positive effects in the body.
Improve Overall Outlook
Since the “feel-good” brain chemicals serotonin and dopamine are released during a massage, it logically follows that a person’s overall outlook and mental attitude will be more favorable after just one massage, let alone several. Aftereffects of relaxation and rejuvenation from a massage last for a while-hopefully a few days at least, depending on the person’s daily stress levels and activity. But when you get continuous massages over time, the feel-good chemicals continue to be released , and stress hormone cortisol continues to be repressed. This does nothing but good for the body, improving the functions of the brain and adrenal glands as well as regulating energy and promoting a healthy well-being. Next time you’re having a terrible day, try getting a massage—even just a 30-minute one—and notice the difference in how you feel and your mental attitude afterward. Just like exercise when it releases the feel-good chemicals, you’ll want to come back for more when you see just how relaxed you can be.
Achieve and Prolong Relaxation
If you can’t remember the last time you truly relaxed—for more than just a few minutes or to sleep overnight—then it’s probably been too long. Everyone needs a day off now and then, a time to rest and rejuvenate, and it’s nothing to feel guilty over. When you get a massage (and subsequently get regular massages), it teaches your brain what it feels like to be in a completely relaxed state, which lowers the heart rate and blood pressure as well as slowing down breathing rate. All of these factors combine to achieve your most comfortable state—and with continual massages, you can train yourself to maintain this state. Also, when stressful situations come up—because they will, regardless of what you do or your efforts to avoid them—you will be already relaxed and prepared to handle the situation with a clear mind. Think of your stress/relaxation levels like a cup: when you’re highly stressed, the cup is overflowing with all the cortisol and tension that you can’t contain. But when you experience relaxation, it dissolves the stress, lowering it to the point of the cup being mostly empty. That way, when you do have stress thrown your way, it may bring the cup up to being halfway full, but you’ll be able to handle it because your levels were already low and easier to maintain. This prevents the stress from overflowing and overwhelming you.
When you are suitably relaxed, sleep comes more easily, and you can rest better, avoiding the fitful sleep that comes with anxiety and stress. With a schedule of regular massages, you’ll find yourself able to sleep better, longer, and you’ll wake feeling refreshed and rejuvenated—just like after the massage! Before long, you’ll notice further health benefits from peaceful sleep, including improved brain function, focus, and concentration; more energy; less fatigue; and fewer aches and pains. Studies show that the brain cannot fully restore itself overnight without the proper amount of sleep, and getting regular massages will get you on the road to health and restoration.
The list of massage benefits is long and wide; the effects are by no means superficial. In fact, each positive effect triggers another that is related; they all work together to improve the well-being of the body as a whole. When you begin to feel the effects of regular massages, you’ll soon wonder why you haven’t been getting them regularly all your life!