Often we wait until we’re at the point of burnout, experience physical pain or have an injury before we consider booking a massage. Massages can feel indulgent or sometimes selfish and we can end up criticising ourselves for not having the strength to deal with stress like those around us can. However, if we thought more about the benefits of massage for both our mental and physical health, we might start viewing them as a necessity not just a treat.
As well as easing muscle pain, helping us relax and boosting circulation, here are 5 surprising benefits of massage that you might now know about;
1. COUNTERACTING THE NEGATIVE EFFECTS OF SITTING
There’s no doubt prolonged periods of sitting cause harm to your health, but did you know that massage can counteract the postural imbalances caused by hours of sitting still? It can also help to reduce upper back and shoulder pain caused by sitting in front of a computer, as well as increasing blood flow (being sedentary results in a lack of blood flow which may contribute to high blood pressure). As over 30 million working days were lost in the UK due to back and joint pain in 2016, this is an issue that could be costing your workplace thousands each year.
2. SOOTHES ANXIETY AND DEPRESSION
Regular massage sessions have been found to reduce depression and anxiety levels. This is because they trigger the release of dopamine and serotonin – neurotransmitters which help stimulate feelings of relaxation and happiness, as well as regulate mood. With 1 in 6 workers dealing with depression or anxiety at work at this present moment, the chances are you’ll be working with someone who could benefit.
3. BOOSTS IMMUNITY
Regular massage has been found to boost people’s white blood cell count, which plays an important role in defending the body against disease.
4. IMPROVES SLEEP & PROMOTES DEEP REST
We know massage triggers the release of serotonin, which in turn is necessary for the production of melatonin. This is the body’s natural sleep inducer and tells us when it’s time to go to bed.
Also, during a massage, most people fall into a deep state of relaxation, and rest, which can positively affect the body in a similar way to sleep, therefore counteracting the negative effects of a bad nights’ sleep.
5. RELIEVES HEADACHES
Trigger points or muscle knots, are a common cause of stubborn aches and pains causing migraines and tension headaches. Massage focusing on knots in the neck, shoulders and head, can decrease this pain.
So the next time you’re feeling guilty about some much needed self-care, don’t! It’ll boost your physical and mental health and in turn you’ll be more productive, happier and a better person to be around. Win, win.