- Massage provides immediate stress relief with soothing sensory input that refocuses your attention to the present moment. This ‘relaxation response’ takes your body out of the ‘fight or flight’ mode setting in motion the activities needed to restore your physical resources. Heart rate and blood pressure decrease, breathing slows and deepens, tense muscles relax.
- Massage can relieve painful muscle tension using kneading and stretching to first relax the tissue and directed pressure to release painful trigger points. Massage also stimulates the release of endorphins, your body’s natural pain killer, which creates a sense of well-being.
- Massage increases circulation. The kneading motion, as well as other techniques, clear out accumulated stress hormones and waste products (such as lactic acid) which can make you feel tired and sore. This allows blood to deliver vital nutrients for tissue repair. An increase in oxygen to the brain can reduce mental fatigue and improve concentration.
- Massage can improve the quality of restful sleep. Relieving stress and tension, this gives your body a chance to further repair and restore energy with a good night’s sleep.
- Massage helps to increase your body awareness. When you receive massage you might notice that you had pain or sensations in places you that you didn’t know of. This increased awareness allows you to respond to signals in the body before they become a problem.
Though the effects of a single massage may be temporary, like exercise, massage does more for you if you engage in it regularly.