This is a question that gets asked over and over in and around our industry and there are people that fall very strongly on both sides of it. We are of the opinion though that massage is not either relaxation or only a form of healthcare but both. And why shouldn’t it be? It is an unfortunate reflection of our society that things that are good for you have to be unpleasant (think health food fads and distance running). The common misconception at the heart of this question is that relaxation is merely part of some type of hobby or free time activity only done for the sake of enjoyment. The reality though is that relaxation has more to do with stress relief and a reversal of the damaging effects that stress has on ones body. Relaxation is a powerful tool that even healthcare practitioners recommend to cope with everyday stress as well as the stress related to serious health issues like cancer and chronic pain.
There are even a number of very concrete health benefits that can be directly attributed to relaxation like:
- Improved energy and less feelings of fatigue.
- Lowered blood pressure.
- Improved confidence and a stronger state of mind.
- Reduced heart rate.
- Relief from muscle tension.
- Lower levels of stress hormones.
- Improved blood circulation to vital organs.
- Improved mood.
Relaxation through massage therapy can be an important part of a holistic and preventative approach to general healthcare and wellness. When combined with an active lifestyle, healthy eating habits, and sound advice from doctors, the relaxation and stress reduction that comes from massage goes from being a luxury to being a necessity.