6 Ways a Massage Will Improve Your Health Immediately (Reduced Anxiety Included!)
Thinking about getting a massage? Treat yo self! But here's the thing — it's not just a treat, it's an imperative wellness practice that you should be integrating into your monthly (if not weekly!) routine. We talked to on-demand massage service Zeel's Eva Carey — massage expert and national director of massage therapy — who gave us the scoop on the myriad tangible health benefits you'll experience from getting a massage. Now say it with us: "ahhhhhh!" Recover Better. Whether you work out constantly or are stiff from travel (or just sitting at a desk too much!), a massage can help. "A proven benefit of massage therapy is that it eases muscle stiffness, swelling, and soreness," Carey said. "A massage after an intense workout can help you get through the next day with less aches and pains," which is reason enough for us to start booking more regularly. If you're an athlete or just on a rigorous fitness schedule (maybe you just ran a marathon!), consider getting a sports-specific treatment. "A sports massage will concentrate specifically on either facilitating healing of a previous activity-caused injury or preventing an injury. For example, a runner might get a sports massage that focuses on the legs and knee joints, while a swimmer might get a sports massage that focuses on the upper back. Sports massage includes stretching, isolating tender areas, and allowing for greater mobility and flexibility." Sounds amazing. Improve Circulation (Detox and Give Your Skin a Boost!). "One of massage's greatest benefits is increasing blood circulation," Carey said. "Swedish massage, one of the more popular massages, is designed to relax muscles, increase oxygen flow in the blood, and release toxins in the muscles." The benefits of better circulation are numbered! "Improved blood circulation after a massage can relieve anything from allergy-related headaches to making you move better . . . it [also] makes skin look great because it's moisturizing and a stimulating cell regeneration." Boost Your Mood. Talk about self-care. Not only are you doing wonders for your body and your muscles, but you're also activating your parasympathetic nervous system and giving your brain some love, too. "Massage is beneficial not only for physiological function, but also mental acuity, restfulness, and a better perspective on your life," Carey said. "Regular massage sessions being a part of one's well-being regimen allows one to stress less, sleep better, and move better through our active busy lives." We want some of that. Sleep More Soundly. Need a nod-off nudge? A massage could rock you into a sound slumber. "Research shows that massages can help with insomnia and sleep insufficiency," Carey said. "Zeel designed a sleep-specific massage that uses techniques that promote calmness, wellness, and relaxation intended to aid in a restful night's sleep; it involves a combination of scalp massage, gentle Swedish massage, reflexology, and gentle rocking." Sounds peaceful as heck. Treat Medical Woes. Studies show that massages can help with an array of medical conditions. "Many people use regular massage therapy to help treat conditions such as chronic migraines, sinusitis, and autoimmune disorders," Carey said. Create Better Posture (and Relieve Aches From Poor Posture). "Many people find themselves hunched over a computer for many hours of the day," Carey said, "and coincidentally complain of upper back, neck, and shoulder tension. If you're a classic desk employee with static posture, you likely suffer from low back pain, forearm tightness, and a stiff neck. A deep tissue massage is a great way to address these issues." *Rapidly clicks to book appointment.* Relieving this tension will also create a better mind-body awareness so you can adjust how you sit (and for how long you sit) at your desk — ideally leading to better posture overall.