We tend to think of a massage as a way to pamper ourselves, but it's much more than a momentary feel-good treatment. A massage has many important health benefits. In fact, massages can help you maintain physical, mental, and emotional well being, especially when it is part of your regular wellness routine.
The fast-growing massage chain, Massage Envy, was built on the idea that if a massage were more affordable, people would get it as part of a monthly routine. The work your therapist does in each session builds on itself, helping your body maintain its relaxed state and your muscles to remain pliable even during times of physical and mental stress.
Here are some of the many benefits of massages.
- It calms the nervous system and promotes a sense of relaxation and well being.
- Reduces tension and anxiety and can help relieve depression.
- It improves blood circulation, which delivers oxygen and nutrients to the cells.
- Stimulates the lymphatic system, which carries away the body’s waste products.
- Prevents and relieves muscle cramps and spasms.
- Massage therapy can help with pain management in conditions such as arthritis, sciatica, and muscle spasms.
Remind yourself of these health benefits if you start to feel guilty about getting a massage!
When Not to Have a Message
Massages are not a good idea if you have a fever, infections, inflammation, osteoporosis, or other medical conditions. If you have any questions about whether a massage would be right for you, ask to speak to a massage therapist before you make your appointment.
How often you should get a massage depends on several factors, including your physical and emotional needs, your stress levels, and your budget. There's no question that you will experience the most health benefits from a massage when you get massages regularly. A massage calms the nervous system, improves blood circulation, lymphatic circulation, relieves muscle pain, and helps with pain management in conditions such as arthritis, sciatica, and muscle spasms.
If you get a massage once a year, it will be relaxing, but it can't undo a lifetime of muscle tension. Typically, once every week or two is ideal for keeping your muscle tissue pliable and in good shape. If you are in chronic pain or have a special issue to address, you might need to come weekly (or even twice a week) until you feel better.
Once you're feeling good, once a month is the recommended minimum for maintaining the health of your tissue. If you start stretching the massages out too far apart, then your muscles can revert to their old patterns, especially if you come under stress. If you wait too long, you'll have to start all over again to restore their suppleness and pliancy. Listen to your body, but don't wait too long in an effort to save money.