How Do Massages Relieve Stress?
More than Just Pampering
Massages are more than just a pampering experience, they are a body healing and emotional stress-relieving tool. Doctors know the therapeutic benefits of massage and recommend them to patients who are experiencing pain and/or anxiety.
Muscles are manipulated during a massage, which relieves muscle tension. Daily emotional stress can cause tension in the neck and the back making the neck and back feel stiff and sore. The discomfort of tight muscles increases stress. Sometimes a person does not even realize that he has muscle tension until the tension is relieved through massage.
In some circumstances a tight neck and shoulders can be the cause of stress. Activities like sitting at a desk all day or playing sports can cause muscle tightness, which in turn can cause stress.
Reduced Heart Rate and Blood Pressure
People who are experiencing anxiety can have an increased heart rate and increased blood pressure while under stress. A massage lowers a person's heart rate and reduces blood pressure. A lower heart rate and lower blood pressure induce a calm feeling and give the person a sense that stress is melting away.
Massages reduce pain by reducing muscle tension and stimulating blood flow and increasing oxygen supplies to the blood stream. Oxygen is carried through the blood stream to the muscles, inducing healing of injuries and sore muscles. Pain and soreness add to a patient's emotional stress. The reduction of pain helps to relieve stress.
The feeling of human touch provides comfort and the feeling of acceptance. The intimate caress of a massage lends to a feeling of acceptance and can increase self-esteem. Increased self-esteem and the comfort provided by closeness with another human help to relieve stress.
Massage is a useful tool to aid stress relief and pain relief. Reduction in stress and pain can last for days, weeks or even months after a massage, depending on the individual and circumstances.
Always use a licensed massage therapist to ensure optimum results. A licensed massage therapist is trained in the proper methods of massage for various conditions. A massage from an unlicensed individual could result in soreness or injury.