Mental Benefits of Massage
Nov 13, 2012
Massage is a type of bodywork that has been used for hundreds of years. While it is commonly recommended and touted for its physical benefits, massage is now believed to show just as many positive mental benefits. After a massage, your brain is relaxed, your blood pressure is lower and you may even be able to score higher on a math test.
The most common mental benefit of massage is the reduction of stress. With the hectic schedules and lifestyles of so many, massages are often looked upon to help reduce some of the stress we accumulate throughout the day. A massage reduces stress by relaxing the whole body, which encourages a healthy and calm mind. A study conducted at the University of Miami showed that people who received a 15-minute massage every day for five weeks reported significantly lower stress levels than those who did not have a massage. In addition, massage also has been shown to lower blood pressure. A peaceful mind is conducive to creative thinking, organizing and constructing plans. Massage can actually lead to a more healthy and productive lifestyle.
Massage is a natural relaxant, which can drastically reduce anxiety levels. Anxiety can have physical symptoms, such as built-up pain in the shoulders, back and neck. Massage targets these areas. By relieving the tension in these key spots, the mind can feel as though the anxiety has been freed from the body. This is much like the feeling of having the weight of a burden lifted from your shoulders. Many studies have proven the ability of massage to alleviate anxiety. In the University of Miami study, the results showed that people who received massage had lower anxiety levels than those who did not get the massage.
A calm mind is a sharp mind. Massage can greatly increase your mental alertness. When your mind is calm and relaxed, it is able to think more clearly. You will be able to solve problems with the efficiency that would be lacking if your mind is filled with stress and anxiety. In the University of Miami study, patients were asked to perform math calculations. Those who had received a massage earned much higher scores.
Massage is a common treatment for those suffering from depression. Massage does this mainly by releasing endorphins. The release of endorphins creates a feeling of well being. This results in a state of relaxation and peace of mind. Massage may help if you are suffering from a mental illness.
All human being strive for human contact. Massage can fill the void of a nurturing touch. This, too, can help a person's peace of mind and, therefore, their overall well being.