As you know (or maybe don’t know) I am a Massage Therapist. I recently completed my program at Pacific College of Oriental Medicine. So I thought it was about time we start a convo about massage!
What goes through your mind when you see/hear/think about massage? For me it was always something like, “Oh that would be so nice if I had the extra cash” or “next time I’m on vacation I’ll treat myself!” Anyone with me??
How wrong I was! Massage is so much more than a just a “treat.” Through my journey to becoming certified I have learned that massage is an essential tool and a key ingredient to being at your best and living the healthiest life you can! So let me outline some amazing benefits of massage and maybe I can change your mind too!
One of my favorite benefits of massage is its ability to boost your mood! Happiness is really buzzing right now. Go into a book store and their is probably an entire section on Happiness and how to increase yours. Let me save you the trip to the store and tell you that I know the answer: Massage! One of my favorite benefits of massage is its ability to boost your mood. Since “mood” is such an umbrella term and encompasses so many things I will just outline a few of the major elements and how massage effects them.
First lets talk hormones. Our hormone levels can greatly affect our mood. For example when serotonin levels are low your mood can go way down, even leading to feelings of depression. According to Pacific College of Oriental Medicine and the University of Miami, Massage can combat this by increasing serotonin levels in the brain and helping to regulate your emotions, combat sex and food cravings and lower irritability. When your serotonin levels are higher and you feel happier there is a good chance a lot of other things in your life will improve as well. A study done in Forbes Magazine found that happier people have better relationships with family and friends which in term creates happiness! They are more successful at work and tend to enjoy life more overall!
Another hormone effected positively by massage is epinephrine. By lowering epinephrine (adrenaline) your massage can create a feeling of deep relaxation and facilitate deep sleep. A nice long relaxing massage effects your nervous system as well by taking you out of that “fight or flight” state that we unfortunately live most of our lives in and brings you back to a state of “rest and digest.” I don’t know about you but this one makes me ready to book my next appointment!
Lastly let’s talk about cortisol. This guy gets a bad rap because he is responsible for stress. Our society is crazy stressed. We are always trying to do a hundred things in a day, running from place to place and usually spreading ourselves way to thin. This all leads to a stressful daily life. The Mayo Clinic explains that tress effects several aspects of our mood such as increasing anxiety, restlessness, lack of motivation and irritability or anger among many others. Massage can be an amazing tool to decrease your stress levels by decreasing your cortisol levels and adjusting all those other feel good hormones that we already talked about. Stress can manifest in your body in several ways. Most of my clients come to me with neck, should and upper back pain which is a great indication that they are in a state of stress. By releasing those muscles and letting go of the tension in that area they are able to relax and allow the decrease in cortisol to kick in and lower their overall stress. Sign me up!
These three major hormones are responsible for three of the most common issues that most of us deal with regularly. Mood, sleep and stress are all connected right? Less stress equals better sleep, better sleep equals a better mood, a better mood equals less stress and around and around they go! And they all effect our relationships, our work life and our personal life.
I hope I have made a believer out of you! Massage is so much more than just something to do once in a while or on vacation. 60-90 minutes a week with your massage therapist can create amazing changes in your life. And this is honestly just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to benefits. So go find yourself a therapist (me?! :)) you love and nourish that relationship like any other with weekly or monthly appointments!
As always please feel free to drop below any questions, comments or any other fun facts you have about massage! And if you want to schedule an appointment to soak up these amazing benefits for yourself contact me right away!! And I am still in school so it’s free! How can you pass that up?!
These massage posts are going to keep comin, so be ready for next time and a nice thorough explanation of massage modalities. Tui Nah, what the heck is that?! Come back and find out! (It’s awesome, by the way:)
Namaste beautiful people