Massages are amazing. Who doesn’t love a deep massage to soothe their aching muscles? But, did you know that massages alleviate more than just physical pain? The mental health benefits of massage for mental health are extraordinary!
Just think about it – when you receive a massage, it increases blood flow and circulation to restricted muscles and relaxes them. Likewise, a massage is said to relax the nervous system and lower cortisol levels, or stress hormones, in the body. This is just one of the ways massage helps to reduce mental health challenges like anxiety and depression.
And that’s just the tip of the iceberg! Here are 10 powerful benefits of massage for mental health and overall physical well-being.
10 Ways Massages Improve Mental Health
1. Evoke a State of Deep Relaxation
It’s no secret that massage therapy is synonymous with relaxation. The entire spa and salon industry focuses on massage to induce a calm sense of peace in the spa-goer’s heart, mind, and soul.
Many times, massages are paired with meditative music, mood-setting colors (like reds, blues, and oranges), and even aromatherapy to evoke even deeper feelings of relaxation.
During our Revive to Thrive massage, we use a dry-glove exfoliation for detoxification, warm herbalized oil to dislodge toxins, and muscle-specific strokes to promote relaxation. Our expert massage therapists use Marma Point Therapy to stimulate and awaken energy in the body, calm the mind, and activate healing.
So, why is relaxation such an important benefit of massage therapy?
The Importance of Relaxation
It’s simple: The relaxed state that a massage induces encourages the participant to activate their parasympathetic nervous system, which is the body’s main pathway to calm the body during times of stress. This leads the body to naturally unwind any high states of unbalanced energy, often referred to as stress, anxiety, and depression.
Keep reading to learn why it is beneficial to allow your body to let go of stress.
2. Reduce Stress Levels
One of the greatest benefits of massage for mental health is the ability it has to alleviate high levels of stress.
Over time, too much stress can have a variety of negative effects on the body. For instance, it can cause excessive muscle tension, digestive issues, fatigue, low libido, headaches, chronic pain, and even hair loss.
Stress is managed by cortisol, a hormone that is created in our adrenal glands. When someone undergoes excessive amounts of stress, too much cortisol can be created and the adrenal glands can become fatigued. This leads to many mental and physical health issues, including anxiety and chronic pain.
Luckily, massage therapy, such as the Tranquil Transformation massage, has the power to reduce stress, which then decreases cortisol levels in the body.
3. Manage Anxiety and Depression
Oftentimes, mental health problems like anxiety and depression are caused by hormonal imbalances in the body. These imbalances are typically created by excessive amounts of stress and trauma, both physical and mental, that you may have experienced during the course of your life.
Here’s the good news: Massages can reduce the severity of ongoing anxiety and depression.
Especially if you receive massage therapy regularly, it can balance the body before academic or work-related stress. For instance, if you have a big presentation coming up at work and you’re anxious about it, a massage can help you overcome the mental pressure.
Benefits of Massage for Mental Health: How it Works
So, how does it work?
According to research, experts in the field believe that massages help participants strengthen their mind-body connection. In other words, through the power of a touch, the person receiving the massage is put back into their body and can conquer feelings of anxiety and depression.
Others believe that massages release “feel good” hormones like endorphins and oxytocin. These hormones numb the triggers of anxiety and depression and give the body a sense of peace and calmness. In this state of tranquility, the person can break the vicious cycle of mental health problems and begin to mentally build themselves back up.
4. Alleviate Chronic Pain Symptoms
When someone suffers from chronic pain as a result of old injuries or chronic disease, massages are proven to be extremely beneficial.
Several different types of massage therapy can help alleviate chronic pain symptoms, including hot stone massage and Swedish massage. However, the best form of massage for chronic pain is deep tissue.
Deep Tissue Massages Help to Relieve Pain
A deep-tissue massage, such as the Get Deep Massage, helps to release muscle tension and toxins from the body relieving any pain and discomfort in your congested areas.
High levels of anxiety, stress, and depression are often associated with chronic pain, due to the person’s inability to escape the sensations caused by the ongoing pain.
When massage therapy is applied over time, chronic pain begins to subside and participants are finally able to overcome these mental blocks one step at a time.
5. Renew Your Immune Response
Did you know that moderate pressure massages can heighten your body’s immune response?
According to studies, massages improve the body’s immune response by increasing the activity of white blood cells. These cells naturally fight off deadly diseases, bacteria, and viruses.
Furthermore, massages stimulate blood flow which helps flush toxins out of the body. Through pressure, these toxins are broken up, dissolved, and released from the body through excretion.
Healthy Immune System; Healthy Mind
It may go without saying, but the health of our immune systems is extremely important to mental health. An unhealthy immune system could cause increased feelings of anxiety. Here’s an article explaining the connection in more detail.
To keep your immune system healthy next time flu season comes around, be sure to build up your immune response with massage therapy!
6. Improve Your Sleep Cycle
Do you suffer from insomnia or inconsistent sleep cycles? Well, if you routinely attend massage therapy, you might finally catch some Zs.
Here’s how it works.
When you go in for a massage, like the Synchro Flow massage, the session allows more serotonin to be released in your body. Serotonin is directly linked to the production of melatonin, the hormone that regulates your sleep cycle.
Therefore, massage is said to increase the amount of melatonin in your system and improve the quality of your sleep.
7. Mitigate Headaches and Migraines
Dizziness, sensitivity to light and sound, blurred vision, and throbbing pain in your head are all symptoms of severe headaches and migraines. If you suffer from regular migraines, then you should try massage therapy.
During a massage, the tension in the head, shoulders, and neck is targeted and released. More often than not, migraine symptoms are alleviated immediately during the massage.
When symptoms are caught early, a simple massage can completely eradicate the onset of a headache or migraine.
The absence of headaches & migraines allows for clearer thinking & promotes strong mental health.
8. Ease Pain during Pregnancy
Calling all women! Pregnancy pain is no joke. From morning sickness to swollen feet, pregnancy can lead to several uncomfortable sensations in the body, causing more anxiety and stress.
Luckily, massage therapy such as the Mellow Mama massage is here to save the day! If your back is aching from carrying your baby or if your sleep cycle keeps getting interrupted from discomfort, seek a professional masseuse. They can help release some of the tension and strain in your body so you can finally relax.
Even if you are not pregnant, massages can reduce inflammation that causes menstrual pain and PMS symptoms! It’s a win-win situation.
Seek a Qualified Massage Therapist
Not all massages are made equally. If you want to receive a massage, especially if you are pregnant, you should only look for qualified massage therapists. Here’s why.
When someone is pregnant, some massage techniques can accidentally hit a pressure point that may induce contractions and premature labor.
A trained professional, particularly one that has experience working with pregnancy, fertility, and menstrual cycles, will know the ins and outs of the body and which trigger points to stay away from. Always do your research before you get a massage!
9. Lower Blood Pressure
Next on the list of the top 10 benefits of massage therapy is its ability to lower blood pressure.
When the body is calm, tight muscles begin to relax and allow for the circulation of blood to increase. This lowers blood pressure and improves overall heart rate, reducing anxiety as a byproduct.
In particular, Swedish massages and deep-tissue massages are amongst the best types of massage to lower blood pressure. So, if you commonly experience hypertension, massage therapy might be right up your alley.
10. Enhance Your Range of Motion
Truthfully, this benefit is not directly related to mental health but it’s a worthy mention. Certain massages like a sports massage can loosen tight muscles and increase your range of motion. Although everyone can benefit from increased flexibility, those who work out, exercise, and play sports regularly would profit from a sports massage.
In fact, there are 3 types of sports massages in the athlete world:
- Pre-event massage
- Post-event massage
- Maintenance massage
When given consecutively, these massages help keep an athlete’s range of motion at peak performance before, during, and after an event (such as a football game, a weight-lifting competition, or even a hearty workout session).
Along with a sports massage, a deep-tissue massage can also reduce muscle tension and improve range of motion.
Relax, Rejuvenate, and Recover with Ayurvedic Massages
At our Chopra Mind-Body Spa we use classic and Ayurvedic massage techniques to boost body awareness, improve circulation, and reduce stress.
Ayurveda is a healing system that employs techniques used in India thousands of years ago in which they used specific oils and movements.
If you are looking for a chance to destress and improve your overall well-being, this technique is perfect for you.
Improve Exercise Performance at Lake Nona Performance Club
As you can see, the benefits of massage for mental health and well-being are quite renowned. From stress and anxiety reduction to an increase in immune response and range of motion, our massage therapy can provide several powerful mental benefits.
At our Chopra Mind-Body Spa, we provide a wide range of massages focused on restoring your mind, body, and spirit using Ayurvedic techniques.
Along with massages, regular exercise and healthy living also contribute to the overall well-being of your mind and body. At Lake Nona Performance Club, you can join specialized fitness programs and classes that will improve your mental and physical well-being.
Contact us to schedule a free consultation and discover how we can help you achieve your fitness goals.