Stress is more than just a six-letter word. It’s the silent chronic killer we’ve come to know, loathe and live with. Yet, rather than turning to tried, tested, and tech-supported methods to overcome stress, we often view it as an accepted adjective by which to describe our lifestyles.
But what if stress wasn’t the norm? What if incorporating one of life’s greatest luxuries (and the wellness world’s favorite friend) was all it took to make a change? Enter massages (and all of the benefits that come with them).
Massage to relieve stress is not a new concept. It’s proven not only to tackle stress but to generate positive effects for the mind, body and soul.
From activating our mood-boosting hormones during acupressure to alleviating tension with the correct stretching technique, massage can combat a range of issues. Let’s break down some of the stress-relieving side effects that come with a good old-fashioned rubdown.
The fight or flight response that kicks in when we’re under duress does more than just send your heart into overdrive. Whether we’re worrying about a work project or dealing with relationship dramas, an influx of the stress hormone cortisol can have lasting effects on the body. As a result, you might notice muscle tension from your jaw to your shoulders.
One of the biggest benefits of using massages to relieve stress is that it eases the aches and pain that stress triggers. The simple act of seeking out pressure points to work on can help to alleviate the tension.
Not only can massages decrease the stress hormone cortisol, but it can also boost melatonin production, the sleep hormone. Applying pressure to the neck, shoulders or back is all it takes to send you into a slumber. What could be better than that?
What’s more, getting a massage to relieve stress can provide you with improved energy, alertness and immunity. The pressure applied during massage allows your blood to flow more freely, improving circulation. Who knew massage could increase your overall health?
You only need to experience one massage to know how incredibly soothing it can be for the mind, body and spirit. So it’s not all that surprising that massage increases one’s overall relaxation.
The act of physical touch, whether via hand or a custom-built massage bed, has an instant calming effect. Serotonin, the happiness hormone, encourages your body to slip into a state of zen and slow down. The next time you find yourself in a moment of tension, set aside some time for gentle kneading to coax your body back into harmony.
Tackle That Tension
Love it or hate it, we all have to exercise to stay healthy. As much as we welcome the lifting and tightening of our muscles, the afterburn can really take its toll. When delayed onset muscle sensitivity (DOMS) sets in, you’ll have another excuse to experience a much-needed massage.
Just like massage tackles tension brought on by life’s daily stressors, it also reduces muscle pain and soreness. Whether you’re hiking with the family or nailing your 6 am spin class, regular heat and pressure in the right places can keep the aches at bay.
As much as we all want a gold star after a visit to our doctor, good health is not always that easy to guarantee. With the chaos of our day-to-day lives, maintaining an ideal blood pressure can be quite a challenge. Once again, massage comes to the rescue.
Studies have shown that adding just two 30-minute massages to your week could lower your blood pressure. The relaxing movement and pressure work eases the sympathetic nervous system (the part of the body responsible for reacting to stressful situations) and lowers your heart rate. Working in more massage into your life might just be what the doctor ordered.
Though we might seek massage to relieve stress, massage provides many more benefits than just relaxation. Working with targeted pressure, relief and heat, like that of our CERAGEM V4, can not only ease tension but boost the health and well-being of your mind, body, and soul.
Grace Olivia Parry is a London-based writer with a penchant for Paris, good food and fitness. When she’s not writing about the finer things in life, she’s cooking, practicing pilates or planning her next trip.