Body massages are useful when there is a health condition that requires management, or someone needs to enhance their wellness. When the soft tissues of the body receive manipulation, then it can reduce several types of pain, including chronic issues. Eastern and Western cultures have practiced some form of this therapy throughout most of human history.
There are several different kinds of massage that fall into this category. The most common form that you will see in the West is called the Swedish massage, and it is the classical form of this therapy. It is what you will see practiced at the core of most educational and licensing programs today. You will also find sports, clinical, and culturally-based options available like Tuina (推拿) and Shiatsu (指圧).
One of the reasons why body massages are so popular is because there is such a relatively low risk of side effects. Although some people have experienced nerve injuries, fractures, or blood clots, this typically occurs when the therapist is using a rigorous technique. Deep tissue massages may increase this risk for some people too, as can some physical conditions.
What Are the Benefits of Body Massages?
The primary benefit of a body massage is that it can help you to relax. Getting a chance to relax without worrying about a to-do list or an urgent project can be therapeutic and healthy. Whether you have one per month or you go several times per week, you’ll find that this form of therapy can help you to feel better for several days afterward.
There are some additional benefits of body massages that you’ll want to consider as well.
1. Regular massage can improve circulation.
When you receive massage therapy, then you’re getting the tendons and muscle tissue loosened up. This process helps to improve your circulation levels, which can have a positive impact on the rest of your body. Many people experience higher energy levels for several days.
2. It can reduce chronic pain.
Massage therapy is an excellent way to work out problems in areas that can produce high levels of discomfort. If you suffer from chronic pain in your neck, lower back, or nearly any other place in the body, then the therapist can target the source of your pain. It may take more than one session to experience complete relief, but you’ll feel progressively better with each session.
3. Massage therapy can eliminate toxins.
When your soft tissues receive stimulation, then it helps your body release built-up toxins that are in your circulatory and lymphatic systems. When this waste gets removed, then you can experience higher levels of energy and better sleep.
4. You may become more flexible.
When your joints, muscles, and tendons tighten up, then it can cause your body to become exceptionally stiff. Getting a body massage can help to restore some of that flexibility right away. Even if it has been a long time since you’ve had a full range of motion, a licensed and trained expert in this field can help to restore your entire movement.
5. Your sleep will start to improve.
Receiving a massage in the late afternoon can encourage your body to relax. This reduction in stress will help you to fall asleep faster and stay sleeping longer. It promotes a more profound resting experience that helps the body restore itself after a long day. That means you’ll typically feel less tired in the morning too.
6. It can give your immunity system a boost.
When your lymphatic system can release the toxins that it stores, then your immune system will receive a boost of strength. You’ll have an ability to fight off infections more readily while still having more energy available to you. The consistency that you have in your health will also give you more endurance to get through the tasks that you need to complete each day.
7. It can be added to a treatment plan for other conditions.
Many doctors recommend that someone suffering from migraines receive a body massage because it can help to release the tension that can be a pain trigger. When you receive this version of touch therapy, it will also release endorphins that can help you to feel happier, more energetic, and at peace. This outcome means it can be helpful for issues like depression or uncontrolled anxiety.
8. Massage therapy can reduce swelling.
Regular massage can help to safely reduce issues with post-surgical swelling, sports injuries, and other conditions where rehabilitation might be necessary.
How Often Should I Get a Massage?
If you have never had a body massage before, then it is helpful to have 1-2 per month to promote your general wellness. Each treatment builds upon the last one so that you will see some progressive benefits over time. When you are trying to manage a highly stressful life situation, it may be helpful to increase the number of treatment sessions to an average of one per week.
Individuals who are suffering from chronic conditions should consider having two massages that target the area in question per week. You would then want to add an extra full body treatment once or twice per month based on how you feel. You should start seeing an improvement in your symptoms in 4-6 weeks.
If you are an athlete who performs at an exceptional level, then a massage serves as a support mechanism for premium muscle flexibility and overall health. You may want to have one after every period of intense training you do.
A body massage is beneficial for multiple situations. Although the cost may be $60 or more per session, your health insurance may cover some or all of the cost.