Let’s take a look at some of the practical mental benefits that come from participating in massage therapy.
1. A Massage may improve your relaxation skills:
When people become relaxed, their heart rate, blood pressure, oxygen consumption, and salivary cortisol levels decrease. This helps reduce stress and anxiety, which are the two leading causes of depression.
Great news! You don’t even need to schedule an hour-long Swedish massage to reap the short-term benefits of a quick massage. Studies have shown that physiological and psychological changes may occur after the first 10-15 minutes.
2. A Massage may rest more efficiently:
Massages aren’t only useful for in-the-moment relaxation. Massages have been shown to improve sleep patterns in all types of people including children, adolescents, and adults that suffer from insomnia, cerebral palsy, fibromyalgia, migraines, and more.
Research has demonstrated that those who received a 30-minute massage twice a week for five weeks reported a significant decrease in pain, which led to fewer sleep disturbances.
Tip: If professional massages aren’t financially doable, recruiting your partner as your massage therapist can help! Even a light 3-minute massage before going to bed can make a difference.
3. A Massage may alleviate the symptoms of chronic illnesses and diseases:
People suffering from chronic illnesses and diseases also experience higher stress levels. Elevated stress can worsen the chronic condition which, in turn, can lead to even more stress, all creating a vicious cycle. While massage therapy hasn’t been proven to cure any disease, it has been found to improve the quality of life for many individuals.
For example, children with cancer who have regular massages were found to have reduced side effects from their cancer treatment such as reduced pain, anxiety, and depression. This has the added benefit of placing the child in a better psychological and physiological state to better battle their illness.
4. A massage may increase your overall happiness:
Massage therapy has been known to lower stress, decrease anxiety, and reduce irritability. Along with increasing brain serotonin and dopamine, the combination of these effects leads to a happier individual. Being a happier person can have an infinite number of effects on their personal life and the lives of those around them.
Scheduling regular messages should be carefully considered for people looking for a holistic way of improving their mental health.