Updated: Aug 2, 2019
One of the ultimate ways to pamper yourself is to get a massage.
A formal massage in a spa will likely combine therapeutic massage with a softly lit room and mellow music - leaving you feeling uber relaxed when you’re finished.
But, are there actual health benefits to this time-honored therapy?
The short answer is yes.
Massage refers to the manual manipulation (via rubbing and pressing) of the body’s soft tissue, including muscles, tendons, and ligaments. (1) There are a variety of types of massage, varying from gentle surface massage to more deep tissue pressure. Some common types include Swedish Massage, Deep Massage, Sports Massage, and Trigger Point Massage. (2)
So aside from feeling good, what are the health benefits?
Massage is being recommended more and more as part of a holistic health care plan. That’s because studies have found that massage can be beneficial for a wide variety of health issues, including: anxiety, fibromyalgia, headaches, insomnia, pain and injuries. (2)
3 Reasons to Consider Massage:
Massage has the ability to relax tight muscles and stiff joints. Because of that, it can help to reduce the chronic pain associated with health conditions like arthritis, fibromyalgia and joint inflammation. In addition, studies have concluded that massage can also make a positive impact on patients suffering from lower back pain. (1)
Many people anecdotally cite massage as an effective stress reducer. And fortunately, there’s also plenty of research to back up those claims. Researchers have documented that massage can have a positive impact on blood pressure, heart rate and cortisol levels (all of which can be elevated when the body is under stress). (3)
Massage performed prior to physical exertion can help to increase blood flow and warm up muscles. Some types of massage can even enhance athletic performance. In addition, athletes who receive sports massages can help reduce the risk of certain athletic injuries like torn ligaments. (1)
If the above perks have you looking up the nearest massage therapist to make an appointment, we’ve got good news. While having someone else perform a massage can be incredibly relaxing, you can reap many of the same health benefits outlined below using self-massage. Foam rolling, and other forms of DIY massage (like using a lacrosse ball) can similarly reduce pain and muscle soreness without having to find a certified massage therapist. (4)
If you decide to try out some self massage (your feet are an easy place to start!), we recommend using several sprays of magnesium oil to increase the therapeutic benefits. Massaging the magnesium oil into your skin will help it absorb quickly to restore your magnesium levels which will help ensure that your massage is able to reduce pain, erase stress, promote recovery, and more!