Most of us indulge in a massage as a treat to unwind from the troubles and stresses of everyday life, but it can be beneficial to our bodies and our minds to schedule in regular massage sessions to keep us in tip-top condition.
Jo Murch, Founder and Massage Therapist at Massage and Me reminds us of the real importance of looking after our bodies: “When life is hectic, finding time for our own self-care can seem difficult. However, with 168 hours in a week and over 700 in a month, it puts into perspective that finding one hour for a massage might just be do-able. Let’s not put too much pressure on ourselves, and instead let’s start by congratulating ourselves when we do make time for a massage. Self-care is a real necessity for our mental and physical wellbeing. It’s also important to remember the benefits of massage therapy.”
With massage treatments at the forefront of our spa weekend packages, we know the importance of taking time to care for our bodies, relieve stress, recover from injury and improve blood circulation. In this article, we explore all the benefits of getting regular massages and why everyone should be enjoying a bit of ‘me’ time now and again.
One of the main benefits of getting regular massages, but one that people don’t often know, is that it increases your blood circulation, pumping your blood around your body quicker, which in turn helps relieve pain, muscle tightness and improves overall health.
Nina Sabey a yoga, pilates and meditation teacher known as Sabey Yoga recommends getting a massage on a regular basis if you regularly train or exercise, or suffer from poor circulation:
“If you don’t have time for regular massages there’s still so many benefits of fitting in a massage when you can. Massages increase blood circulation which in turn relieves pain. It also acts as a stress outlet which is proven to naturally increase the immune system’s cytotoxic capacity. Plus, the fact that muscles loosen and alleviate pain helps your body reposition itself into its natural and pain-free posture. Massages can help bad posture become a thing of the past.”
Luke Selby a Registered Osteopath and Director at Fix also recognises the circulation benefits of regular massage treatments: “The act of moving, massaging and stretching your tissues and joints acts on a vast web of nerves in your peripheral and central nervous system. This, in turn, can help improve the circulation around the body, taking fresh blood and other fluids to where they're needed to help your body keep itself in its best possible state. Plus, having a massage may have wider benefits on your circulation such as lowering your blood pressure and reducing your resting heart rate. Along with hormonal fluctuations, sleep and good nutrition, heart rate is an area in which athletes are increasingly tracking to help structure their training programmes for optimum performance.”
A more recognised benefit is that a massage is one of the best ways to relieve stress. Whether you have chosen a 25 minute or a 2 hour session, being able to lie down and completely unwind can do wonders for our minds.
Amy Blythe is a yoga and massage technician who always recommends a massage to those looking to relax and unwind: “The list of benefits of having a massage is long; it’s hard to know where to start! Apart from anything else, the post-massage feeling of relaxation is just great. Massages help to relieve mental and physical stress, muscular tension and tightness, it encourages the healing process and can reduce the recovery time of injuries”
“It also improves circulation and lymphatic drainage. A massage can also be a positive self-care practice, allowing you to take time out for yourself, promoting relaxation and wellbeing.” Amy comments.
As well as relieving stress, a relaxing treatment is the perfect way to quickly improve your mood as Luke explains: “Studies have shown that a good massage can reduce anxiety and indeed help with the symptoms of depression. In this fast-paced world we all live in taking the time out to switch off and unwind can really change your whole week. The science around the relationship between our mood, our stress levels and levels of inflammation, illness and disease in our body is complex and still very much emerging. But there’s a growing recognition in the science and health care fields that managing your stress and anxiety can have big and wide-reaching health benefits in both the short and longer-term.”
For those who are often partaking in physical exercise, it can be really important to reduce the risk of injury before and after playing. A sports massage can be the perfect way to loosen tight muscles, reduce inflammation and soothe the body of any niggling aches and pains.
Luke explains a little more about the long-lasting benefits to active bodies: “There’s lots of evidence that massages can help with aches and pains in joints and tissues, even if temporarily. I’m sure we’ve all experienced the relief from having a ‘knotty’ muscle massaged or getting a tight hip or shoulder gently stretched out. Working with a great massage therapist can help you target the aches pains you knew you had, and possibly some you weren’t even that aware of.
“Without exception, all the top international sportspeople and teams I’ve worked with use massage in some form as part of their training and recovery process. Lots of the serious amateur athletes from a huge range of sports incorporate a regular massage as part of their training routine. If you’re preparing for a race or playing regular sport, why not try a good sports massage and see if it helps how well you perform? And indeed you might find that it becomes part of your routine to help stay on top of any niggles.”
We all know that releasing endorphins into our bodies through exercise is a sure-fast way of improving our mood and levelling our hormone balance, but many people don’t know that the same can be said for massages. It is now common knowledge that regular massages can assist in the production and regulation of our hormones, releasing mood-boosting endorphins into the body.
People who struggle with anxiety and depression are often recommended long massages to reduce these tensions, helping to quell symptoms, even temporarily.
“Whether you're a professional or elite athlete looking to maintain levels of performance and stay injury-free, or someone from an entirely different walk of life who's using massage to provide relief from aches and pains. Someone who's interested in massages to help with the high levels of stress we all experience in modern life, there's a good argument to take the time out and give yourself some massage self-care.” Luke explains.
Whether you’re looking to reduce pain, relieve tension or you just want to enjoy a relaxing spa treatment, a 1 – 2 hour massage could be the best option for you. Explore our range of spa treatments and find the perfect option for you. All of our treatments can be tailored to your specific needs and requirements, so don’t hesitate to ask if you have a specific request.
The benefits of a massage:
- Increases blood circulation
- Relieves stress
- Reduces the risk of injury
- Releases endorphins