5 Surprising Benefits of Massage Therapy

One of the oldest healing traditions, massage therapy holds many physical and mental benefits, and is also used to treat a variety of ailments. Basically, massage is when pressure is applied to muscle tissue and joints to mobilise these areas, work out aches and pains and gain flexibility. If you suffer from headaches, migraines or other types of chronic pain, massage can help to break the pain cycle so you can begin to get better and get the most out of life. To simplify the overload of information out there, we’ve put together the top 6 benefits that massage therapy can give you.

1. Reduces stress

It has been proven that massage decreases the levels of stress hormones produced in the body, such as adrenalin, cortisol and norepinephrine. Studies also show that heightened levels of stress can, in fact, impair the immune system. So, massage not only reduces your stress but increases your health and wellbeing!

2. Improved circulation

With the gentle massage of soft tissue, blood flow is stimulated and this improves circulation. Good blood flow and circulation is also regenerative, reducing muscle tension and improving skin tone. Massage also helps to promote circulation in hard to reach places, which wouldn’t normally get the benefit otherwise.

3. Reduced anxiety and depression

One of the immediate benefits of massage therapy is a feeling of deep relaxation and calm. This occurs because massage prompts the release of endorphins, which are the brain chemicals (neurotransmitters) that produce feelings of wellbeing. As well as this, massage also provides you with a time out from the hustle and bustle of life. This simple act of logging off and breathing deeply works wonders for your mental state.

4. Increased joint mobility and flexibility

Because massage promotes circulation, your muscles and bones will be working at their best. This means you will have increased joint mobility and flexibility, which is a huge helping hand for reducing aches and pains. If you have a sore spot, there are massage techniques that aim to improve specific blood flow by working certain points on the body.

5. Quicker healing of soft tissue injuries

Massage has been proven to encourage the healing of injured soft tissue, such as muscles, tendons and ligaments. With circulation and increased joint mobility and flexibility comes many regenerative properties. All this healthy blood flow and movement will absolutely result in the quicker healing of soft tissue injuries. Using soft manipulation of the soft tissue to mobilise and maintain flexibility means that massage is effective in breaking compensatory pain postures and patterns.

With many different types of massage to choose from, what are you waiting for? Massage therapy has been proven to improve circulation, reduce muscle tension and encourage a feeling of deep relaxation. As well as this, studies have shown that massage is effective in treating a range of disorders. Keep these five tips close to your chest next time you need to schedule some time out for both your body and mind.

Top 5 Ways to De-Stress Your Mind and Body

More than ever, it is important that we as human beings take the time to centre ourselves, to focus, and to relax. The mind has a tendency to overthink and overanalyse, and it can sometimes need help to become calm again. The body also shows signs of strain from our day to day life; hunched over at our desks and eyes squinted at a computer screen is not the natural position for our body to be in. It has been proven that taking time to relax, and taking care of your mind and body increases overall productivity and wellbeing. We’ve compiled our top five ways to de-stress your mind and body, so you can get the most out of life.

1. Exercise

An obvious key to de-stressing, exercise should be incorporated into your daily routine. Even 20 minutes of light walking can do the world of difference for your mind and your body. If you can manage it, it’s even better to get your heart pumping and produce some sweat, as this is when those lovely endorphins are released, causing your mind to focus and relax, and your body to release any aches and pains. Our bodies were meant to be used, so try and exercise at least 4-5 times per week.

2. Thai massage

Everyday activities can wear our body down, such as sitting at the desk or even regular exercise. It’s important to give our muscles and joints the tender care they need when booking a regular massage. Thai massage is a great, relaxing massage method that will work deep into any muscular pain you may have. Indulging in regular massage is not only great for your body, but is a great way you can mentally switch off for 30 minutes or an hour.

3. Yoga

For many reasons, yoga is one of the most beneficial and regenerative practices you can do. The deep stretching out of your muscles, joints and bones that yoga gives you is something we don’t usually encounter in our day to day lives. Yet, it is so important. When you think about it, you are sitting or lying stiff and stationary for most of your time, so it’s important you have a proper stretch from time to time. As well as this, yoga focuses you on your breathing, and it can be a very calming, warming and healing practice if done thoughtfully.

4. Bath

Another great way that you can achieve some zen is by taking a bath. Not only is it great for hygiene purposes, but again it’s a way that you can have a minute to yourself to decompress and de-stress. Light some candles, and put a delicious-smelling bath bomb in the water. Turn your phone off and just sit for a minute, taking in the relaxing surroundings and giving yourself some much needed time out.

5. Meditation

Perhaps the most important item on this list, meditation is a proven way that you can lower anxiety and depression and increase happiness and productivity. There are many guided meditation apps you can download for your phone, tablet or computer, ranging from beginner to advanced. Putting aside just ten minutes per day can mean you are far more focused, relaxed and able to react better emotionally and creatively to situations. With the busy hustle and bustle of modern life, it’s important that we switch off and log off for a few moments each day.

Do you feel tired, run down, anxious or unfocused? Perhaps you’re not taking the time out of the business of life that you need. With our constantly updating digital society, it is crucial that we ground ourselves and are able to be mindful of the current moment. Take heed of these five key ways that you can be your happiest and best self. You’ll be on the path to enlightenment in no time!