How Massage Helps You Reduce Stress and Boost Your Mental Health
Let’s face it – stress has become a normal part of life these days. As we all try to juggle work, stay on top of kids’ school projects and activities, and manage a household, all that stress settles right into our muscles. If you’re experiencing tight shoulders, a sore back, or tension headaches, it could be a sign that your body is ready for some serious stress relief.
That’s where massage can help. Scheduling a massage to reduce stress is one of the best ways you can support both physical and mental health when life gets crazy busy. Let’s take a look at what just one massage can do for you.
- Loosens tight muscles. The act of massaging tight muscles increases blood circulation to that area. This causes the temperature of the muscles to increase slightly and enables muscle fibers to stretch and loosen. That’s just a fancy way of saying the knots in your shoulders will loosen up after you spend some time on the massage table. Massage therapy is a great way to help your body recover after intense physical exertion such as playing sports or carrying around a toddler all day. When you ask your body to do more than it is used to doing, massage can help you recover faster so that your muscles stay strong and less prone to injury.
- Releases positive neurotransmitters. Neurotransmitters are the chemicals in your brain that carry messages to the rest of your body. Positive neurotransmitters like serotonin, dopamine, and endorphins are responsible for making you feel happy. They also enhance your immune system and have a pain-relieving effect. When you get a massage, these positive neurotransmitters are released into your bloodstream, helping to lower your stress and support mental wellbeing.
- Promotes better sleep. If you struggle to fall asleep at night, massage may be your ticket to sweeter dreams.Massage helps promote better sleep by relieving stress, promoting relaxation, and helping you manage pain that could be keeping you awake at night. It’s one of the best ways to relieve stress related to insomnia and to increase the body’s production of serotonin, a chemical that contributes to better sleep.
- Relieves headaches. By promoting increased oxygen to the muscles, massage can relieve tightness in the neck and shoulders that contributes to both tension headaches and vascular headaches like migraines. Massage helps you relax so that your muscles release that vice-like grip they have on your blood vessels and nerves.
- Helps manage pain. If you experience chronic pain in your neck, back, or other muscle groups, massage may be able to help you manage that pain more effectively. While chronic pain is complex and may have various causes, massage can help reduce swelling and tightness that contribute to your discomfort. Recent studies have also shown positive results in using massage to help people manage chronic illnesses like fibromyalgia by reducing pain, stiffness, and fatigue while increasing quality of life.
Even after just one massage, you’ll notice these effects helping relieve your stress, but making massage a regular part of your self-care routine will amplify the benefits. Scheduling a weekly or monthly massage to reduce stress is one of the best gifts you can give yourself as you head into the craziness of the holiday season.
Ready to see how massage can help you manage your stress? Give us a call at (864) 991-8877 to make your appointment!