At the end of 2022, nearly 40% of Americans ranked their mental health as “fair” or “poor.”
The cause? For most people, it’s simply too much stress.
What about you and the state of your mental health? Does it seem like your stress levels are at an all-time high? If so, have you considered getting a massage for stress relief?
Massage doesn’t just feel great — it does wonders for your psyche too! Keep reading for five important things you should know about massage and stress.
1. Massage Is an All-Natural “Medication”
When we’re feeling stressed, some of us try to medicate ourselves to feel better. Alcohol, recreational drugs, prescription drugs, and even food can all be forms of “self-medication” — and each carries its own potential health risks when used improperly.
Why is massage the superior option for stress relief?
Simple: There are no side effects. It’s not addictive. It won’t make you gain weight or damage your health over time. In fact, it will do just the opposite, soothing your physical aches and pains while giving your mental and emotional health a natural boost!
2. Massage Triggers a Relaxation Response
Stress sends our body into “fight or flight” mode, which can cause a chain effect of physical and emotional symptoms.
The soothing touch of massage signals your body to slow down, let go, and ease out of that state of heightened anxiety. Your blood pressure and heart rate also drop as your body relaxes, which further calms the sympathetic nervous system.
Interestingly, studies have found that after a massage, activity from the brain’s right frontal lobe (associated with negative emotions) actually shifts to the left frontal lobe, the part of the brain that regulates mood and stress.
3. Massage Improves Your Sleep
It’s no coincidence that you sink into a deep sleep after a great massage session. This is because massage therapy decreases cortisol and other stress hormones while increasing the production of serotonin and dopamine (those “feel good” hormones).
As your body regulates itself, your mood stabilizes and your brain releases melatonin, the hormone that helps you sleep. All of this happens seamlessly and naturally, without the need for supplements or drugs.
4. Massage Reduces Muscular Tension
Prolonged periods of stress make us feel tense, leading to muscular pain, stiffness, headaches, and other ailments.
One of the main goals of massage is to relax, lengthen, and loosen tight muscles and restore them to normal function. A single session can’t magically undo years of muscular tension, but you’re sure to notice great results with regular massages over a period of time.
5. Almost Any Type of Massage Will Relieve Stress
So then, what’s the best type of massage for stress relief?
While any type of massage is beneficial to your health, you’ll likely get the best results from these modalities:
- Swedish massage (light to medium pressure)
- Aromatherapy massage
- Acupressure massage
- Hot stone massage
- Reiki (or other types of energy work)
If you’re not sure which type of massage is best for your needs, ask your therapist and they’ll gladly discuss how you’re feeling that day and which modality will be most relaxing for you.
Book Your Next Massage for Stress Relief Today
Are you feeling more relaxed just thinking about massage for stress relief?
Give your mind and body the gift of relaxation and book your next massage today! With convenient locations in Vail, Avon, and Glenwood Springs, the relief you seek is just a phone call away.
Contact us at (970) 748-1600 or use our online form and we’ll get you on the path to relaxation.