There's no doubt that massages feel amazing, but did you know that the benefits of the treatment last far longer than that post-rub down buzz? I put the perks of a good pummelling to the test, getting massages once a month at Massage Envy (I know, my job is SO hard) to find out if it made a difference to my health. Here’s what I discovered massages can do.
Combat stress and anxiety
It’s not just the ocean sounds and delicious smelling oils that immediately take you to a stress-free space, massages have been found to increase blood flow to areas of the brain associated with mood and stress regulation. A study showed that after a treatment, people’s levels of the stress hormone cortisol dropped by 31 percent while happy hormones like serotonin and dopamine were boosted by 30 percent.
Improve posture and realign body imbalances
Massage can help loosen muscles locked into painful positions and encourage the body find better posture. My masseuse at Massage Envy could immediately pinpoint which muscles were underperforming and which ones were overcompensating, showing me that my shoulder and wrist pain were really a sign of tight pecs, while my “dead” glutes were to blame for my aching knee. After a few treatments my posture was way better and my form in the gym improved too.
Reduce muscle pain
Now look, I might not be reaching for the heaviest weights in the F45 studio but my DOMs are pretty painful after an intense period of working out. Even a monthly massage was enough to soothe my aches and relax those spots that regularly tighten up. An Australian study backs me up, finding that just a 10 minute massage after exercise can reduce ongoing soreness by 30 percent.
Boost the immune system
Research has found that regular rub downs can give your immune system a helping hand by increasing the productive of disease-fighting white blood cells. And touchwood, I haven’t got a cold yet this Winter.
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