You know you feel better during and after a massage, but it’s too easy to deny yourself a treat when life gets busy. But, like chocolate, the health benefits that come from pleasure can take away the guilt.
First, let’s explore some common massage techniques.
The most common type of massage is the Swedish massage, which uses gentle long strokes, kneading, and deep circular movements. Deep Tissue massages, also common, use slower, harder strokes to help relax deeper layers of muscles. At RedBamboo MediSpa, we also offer Japanese Hot Stone Therapy in which heated stones are placed on the meridians of the body – where nerve endings meet along your spine, shoulder and neck – which stimulates those nerve systems and is especially good for preparing tight muscles for a Swedish or deep tissue massage. Hot stone massages are also wonderful on their own.
But what does all this pampering accomplish other than feeling very very good? The answer may surprise you. According to the Mayo Clinic, massage has been linked not only to stress relief, but also to managing anxiety and depression, blood pressure control, boosting immunity, even cancer treatment. A study conducted by Dr. Mark Rapaport (who wondered why his wife was getting so many massages), found that participants who were treated with Swedish massage had less stress hormones and more white blood cells in blood tests, and participants who had an even lighter massage showed increased levels of oxytocin. You can read more about the study in O Magazine, or just come in for a massage and do your own research. Hey, it’s good for you.