Work routine has become pretty similar these days - most achievers spend their work hours sitting behind their decks looking at the screen. But it's not just about monotony - sedentary work can lead to severe back problems. Every second working adult claims to have symptoms of back problems every year. In addition, busy workdays and hectic lifestyles make us feel too tired to perform at our best.
But instead of choosing a more comfortable chair or complaining about the complexities of modern work, it's better to affect the problem itself. And one of the most effective solutions to reduce back pain and tiredness is massage.
Though, a few people know the actual benefits of massage. The chances are that you think of it as a way of destressing and relaxing. Surprisingly, it can bring way more benefits to your health (almost like a "magic pill"). So dive in and uncover how incorporating massage therapy into your self-care routine can help you become more energized, healthy, and productive.
Benefits of massage therapy
So it's clear that massage is more than a relaxing procedure (but that's also included!). It involves different pressure on your skin, affecting your nerves, muscles, and blood circulation. Let's look at the perks of massage for your body.
Message can make you more energized
One of the reasons you should take massage sessions more often is that it improves blood circulation, allowing you to breathe deeper and more calmly. Capillaries and blood vessels expand; therefore, more oxygen gets into your body. In turn, deep breathing improves metabolism, allowing your body to produce more energy. In addition, improved blood circulation may help you avoid headaches and migraines, which are dreadful for everyday productivity.
Plus, massage is a well-known solution to reduce muscles soreness and stiffness. By creating pressure on your skin, you supply your muscles with more blood and oxygen, allowing them to contract correctly and heal faster after workout-related injuries. So if you want to be more effective when exercising and don't feel so tired after them, find some time for massage in your hectic schedule.
Massage may help you alleviate insomnia and sleep better
Do you know that only 1 in 3 adults worldwide gets enough sleep every night? That's especially relevant for busy achievers with hectic schedules and tons of different tasks planned for the day. How in the world can you wind down and sleep tightly when you have so many assignments and thoughts in your mind? Stressors and high brain activity can disrupt your sleep routine. In turn, massage is an excellent way to start getting enough zzzs!
Scientists claim that massage therapy stimulates the production of serotonin. This hormone stabilizes your mood and helps you feel happy. But what is most important is that serotonin is a precursor for melatonin. It's another hormone that signals your body when it's time to fall asleep and maintains solid sleep cycles. So by taking massage sessions frequently, you may boost "sleep hormone" production and manage to sleep like a baby even after the most stressful days.
Massage can relieve depression symptoms and help you destress
Okay, it's time to learn more about the most popular perk of massage sessions, which is also a primary reason for most people to take them - it's destressing! When you hear about massage, your imagination already visualizes the burning candles and pleasant scent of the aromatic oils from the massage room. So massage embodies self-care and relaxation! But there's also scientific proof why massage is an excellent way to wind down.
Recent studies have found that massage is more effective for stress relief than other approaches, like herbal medicine or relaxing activities. Pressing touches during massage help relieve pain, reduce stress feelings in your body, and allow you to deal with emotions, be it anger, grief, or tiredness. As if it wasn't enough, a survey has found that regular 3-month massage therapy can reduce anxiety symptoms by 50%. So when you feel like you're drowning in anxiety and stress, book a massage session and let it take away your stress!
Massage boosts your focus & brain productivity
It could be hard to believe at first, but massage also has a link to your productivity! Your brain efficiency and focus depend on how much blood does your brain gets. Though, if you spent the whole day sitting at your desk, your back and neck muscles would be tight and stiff. That also means that your brain cells will receive less blood and oxygen for proper functioning. But massage can help you fix that issue!
Pressure during massage helps stimulate the lymphatic system and stimulates blood flow, relieving tension and supporting brain cells with oxygen. Alleviation of stress also contributes to your ability to focus and avoid all distractions. So by taking massage sessions, you can improve your work performance or even get the desired promotion.
As you can see, massage isn't just about relaxing. This self-care procedure can help you reduce tiredness and muscle pain, treat sleep problems, and even become more productive at work! Now, let's uncover the most beneficial massage types, so you can choose which of them will suit you best.
Top-6 massage techniques effective for stress relief and brain productivity
Each massage technique has a unique effect on your body. For example, one method can be more effective at relaxing the muscles, while the other can be better at stimulating blood and lymph circulation. So you can look at the benefits of each massage type to define which of them will be suitable after a workout or a tiring workday.
1. Swedish massage
This massage technique is probably the most popular since you can get it at any massage room or spa. The Swedish massage involves performing specific movements that make blood circulation more active and restore the elasticity of muscle fibers. They also help restore joint flexibility and strength after workouts and strenuous activities.
With a competent pressure on the muscles, discomfort, heaviness in the head, and stress will disappear. Swedish massage is also effective in combating insomnia and spine diseases. After just one session, your blood circulation will be restored, thereby improving your overall well-being and brain productivity.
Swedish massage helps:
- restore blood circulation
- support joint flexibility and strength
- recover muscle fibers
- relive insomnia and stress
2. Deep tissue massage
A primary goal of deep tissue massage is to eliminate deformities of the connective tissue: fascia, tendons, ligaments, and other issues. So deep tissue massage is a powerful tool for solving problems of the musculoskeletal system. It has a painless, mild effect aimed at restoring the normal shape of the connective tissues. With its help, you can normalize the function of the entire musculoskeletal system, eliminate local strain and relieve pain.
Deep muscle massage differs significantly from the classic massage option. The correctly structured technique is essential here: calm movements and stretching techniques, which positively affect the condition of joints and muscles. A pleasant bonus from this procedure is smooth and soft skin infused with essential oils.
Deep muscle massage helps:
- eliminate deformities of the connective tissue
- normalize the function of the entire musculoskeletal system
- reduce muscle and nerve strain
3. Hot stone massage
The hot stone massage is another effective type of treatment for your body. The procedure isn't just about heating stones and applying them to different zones, but also a massage effect. The master must know precisely which points to affect and which stones to use for you to get the desired result.
Hot stones relieve muscle tension, while cold stones stimulate blood circulation, lymph flow, and metabolic processes. Massage helps get rid of pain in the lower back and back of the head, improve posture, and eliminate muscle cramps. It is effective for fighting against chronic fatigue syndrome, improving sleep, giving you vigor, and enhancing performance. This massage technique also helps to reduce anxiety and relieve mood swings.
Hot stone massage helps:
- stimulate blood circulation
- improve metabolism
- reduce fatigue
- sleep better
- relieve anxiety and mood swings
4. Thai massage
Thai massage is a unique massage technique that combines relaxation and revitalization. The method involves activating specific points on the body that is responsible for internal energy. Master makes the massage along the lines defined by oriental practices - not the lymphatic system or joints like in a classical massage.
Thai massage is a unique opportunity to restore muscle tone, improve blood supply, and prevent fibrous muscle degeneration. This massage technique also helps you get rid of painful muscle trigger zones, restore elasticity & mobility of muscles, ligaments, and joints of the spine.
Thai massage helps:
- restores muscle tone
- supply your muscles with blood
- prevent fibrous muscle degeneration
- restore elasticity & mobility of muscles
5. Shiatsu massage
Shiatsu massages are one of the most effective acupressure massages these days. The basis of this technique is the transmission of nerve impulses to the brain by pressing on specific points in your body. That way, you can stimulate your brain cells' activity and become more productive and focused. This massage allows you to reduce symptoms of different diseases, including musculoskeletal system disorders.
The technique is suitable for working out all body parts and is based on pressure, stretching, and tapping. Shiatsu makes the body "light," restoring joint mobility, eliminating muscle tension, and normalizing nervous system health. Just a few sessions, and you start to sleep soundly and feel energized throughout the day.
Shiatsu massage helps:
- boost your brain cells activity to become more productive and concentrated
- restore joints mobility
- normalize nervous system health
- become more vigorous and energized
- fix sleep cycles.
6. Reflexology massage
One of the most effective techniques for relieving stress & tension is reflexology massage. It's a bit different from regular massage techniques since it doesn't involve entire body stimulation. So when performing reflexology massage, the therapist applies pressure on various pressure points of your ears, hands, and feet. If you're uncomfortable with undressing and entire body pressure, then it may perfectly suit you.
According to scientists, reflexology massage could be effective for reducing fatigue and providing deep relaxation to your brain. This type of massage may also help you fall asleep faster and beat insomnia. Plus, practicing it frequently is a way to stabilize your mood and reduce anxiety symptoms. Isn't it the best combo for keeping your brain calm & productive?
Reflexology massage helps:
- reduce anxiety and normalize your mood
- relieve insomnia symptoms and sleep tighter
- provide deep relaxation to your brain.
Tips on how to get the most of your massage session:
- Try not to eat before the massage. Heaviness in your stomach after a hearty meal will reduce the relaxation effect of the massage. Plus, laying on a full stomach can cause gases, so make sure you don't eat before a massage or limit yourself to a light snack.
- Let your massage therapist know about your preferences. If you don't like severe pressure or have sensitive vessels, let your therapist know about that before the session. That way, you won't feel unexpected pain and can enjoy deep relaxation without disruptions.
- Drink more water after a massage. After every massage session, your body is ready to flush away toxins released during tissues stimulation. By drinking much water afterward, you'll get rid of toxins faster and more effectively.
- Prefer a post-workout massage. There's nothing better than a post-workout massage when your sore muscles & joints become relaxed, and your body releases all the stress. In turn, taking a massage before a workout can make you sleepy and too relaxed to perform at your maximum strength.
- Opt for a late massage session. Massage is a well-known relaxation procedure, no wonder it could make you sleepy and even weak. So it would make sense to choose late massage sessions that will help you wind down before sleep. That way, you'll not just sleep better but also avoid sluggishness, which happens when you take a massage session in the daytime.
- Back Pain Facts And Statistics (2021)
- Massage Therapy Improves Circulation, Alleviates Muscle Soreness (2014)
- Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness Doms (2020)
- 1 In 3 Adults Don’t Get Enough Sleep (2016)
- Insomnia, Serotonin And Massage (2005)
- That’s The Rub: New Studies Suggest Massage Helps Depression, Anxiety And Grief (2016)
- Massage Stimulates Left Brain Activity (2021)
- What Is Swedish Massage? Everything You Need To Know... (2018)
- 6 Benefits Of Swedish Massage (2014)
- Five Reasons It's Time For A Deep Tissue Massage (2019)
- Hot Stone Massage – Origin, Top 10 Benefits And Cautions (2018)
- What Are The Health Benefits Of Thai Massage? (2018)
- Shiatsu Massage Definition (2021)