Everyone can probably agree that going for a massage every so often is a great way to relax. But there are benefits to getting a massage that go beyond just relaxation — they can help in your everyday life.
One of the biggest benefits of massage is its effect on stress reduction. Prolonged stress can have a variety of negative effects on our health, as it keeps the body in a state of fight or flight, or at least on high alert through constantly feeding our system with adrenaline. Over long periods of time though, this chronic stress can cause high blood pressure, sleep issues, and even depression. One of the main focuses of massage is to force the body to relax, relaxing the muscles and slowing the breathing and heart rate. This forcibly counteracts the sympathetic nervous system's response to stress, calming the body overall and reducing stress in the process.
Improving the Quality of Your Sleep
There are many things that can negatively impact a person's quality of sleep, though two of the biggest factors are stress as well as stiff muscles. Massage helps relieve and loosen these tightened muscles causing them to relax, relieving tightness, discomfort, and even alleviating pain caused by muscle cramping and knotting. This will allow for a more sound sleep, which can have a positive effect on various neurological functions such as problem-solving, critical thinking, and memory. Your quality of sleep can increase your risk of developing Alzheimer's and other neurodegenerative conditions.
Joints and Flexibility
Since massages focus on working on releasing tight muscles and relieving cramping and other muscular issues, massage is a great way to relieve chronic pain related to muscular issues. If you are prone to tight muscles, or suffered a minor injury, having a massage can alleviate some of the pain caused by muscle exertion and cramping of the muscles around the injury site that the body instinctively does to protect the damaged tissue. While getting a massage immediately after a muscle tear or pulled ligament might not be the best idea, it certainly helps relieve the tension and tightness caused by exercises performed during routine recovery.
There are far more benefits to massage than just those listed here, but getting a massage clearly does far more than giving you a nice relaxing time at the spa.