Benefits of Massage Reduces stress and increases relaxation. Reduce muscle pain and pain and tension Lower heart rate and blood pressure. Massage therapy can help increase concentration, relieve anxiety, and even improve sleep. The number one benefit of massage is stress relief, Deery explains.
We need more research to determine exactly how much massage therapy reduces stress hormones such as cortisol, but anecdotal evidence suggests that massages can help reduce stress and encourage relaxation. During a massage, pressure receptors stimulate vagal activity, which comes from a nerve in the brain that leads to several different branches of the body, including the heart, Field says. Getting a massage during pregnancy can improve circulation, according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG). And, a study published in the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, found that patients who were depressed and anxious were much more relaxed and happy, and had reduced stress levels after massage.
Even people who focus on physical benefits say they feel less stressed after getting a massage. The therapist will always communicate with you about the appropriateness of the pressure and will discuss your comfort level with a post-surgical massage. If you have constipation or other digestive problems, a stomach massage may help relieve some of the discomfort. While there are no proven risks of massage, if you have a medical history involving cardiovascular disease, cancer, or diabetes, these are things you should tell your massage therapist and see a therapist who has experience with that particular problem.
During a massage, however, your parasympathetic (or calming) response increases, which results in a decrease in anxiety, says Dr. But what exactly counts as a massage, are there different types, and what are the possible benefits of a massage? Here, we talk to two massage therapists to better understand what you mean when you sigh and say, “I could go get a massage right now. A common misconception about massage is that it's just part of a spa day and it's meant to treat yourself. There is increasing research supporting the health benefits of massage therapy for conditions such as stress, fibromyalgia, low back pain, and more.
Not all of us have the exact same specializations, Angela Barker, a board-certified massage therapist for therapeutic massage and bodywork, tells SELF. Massage is a general term for pressing, rubbing, and manipulating the skin, muscles, tendons, and ligaments. If you like massages in spa-like environments, that's more than enough reason to continue doing them when it's safe to do so in the future. Whether you want a loving massage from someone you trust (even yourself) or a professional massage therapy session, many people enjoy a good massage from time to time.