13 Health Benefits of Receiving a Regular Massage
After a tough week at work and dealing with family responsibilities, receiving a massage can be a luxurious treat, but you might now know that it has incredible health advantages, too. Those who indulge in the massage known as Abhayangam in Ayurveda, which is practiced in India, can see these 13 health benefits with regular massage.
1. Promotes Healthy Skin
Stimulating the skin on your face during a massage will help prevent acne breakouts and reduce dryness. It promotes healthy blood flow to the face, which can reduce the signs of aging like wrinkles and dark pigmentation. Signs of sun damage can be reduced with regular face massage, too.
2. Reduced Toxins in the Body
While one massage might provide a few immediate benefits, this is a benefit you'll see over time. The increased blood stimulation to the entire body will help it rid itself of toxins. Massage improves the sweat glands and kidneys, so they can do their jobs properly.
3. Improved Mood
Certain hormones are released naturally by the body to combat depression and improve mood. The 30 pressure points on the feet and palms of the hands are directly related to organs in the body. There are also 7 reflex centers related to body organs as well. A massage can release the hormones locked in the body that can bring about lowered stress and keep depression from being overwhelming (1).
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4. Body Pain Reduction
This benefit is the one we associate most with massage. The pressure on certain muscles and tendons can have an impact on the pain nerve centers, which relieves body aches as well as some chronic pains. When you're relaxed, the hormones that were released to make you calm are the same ones that can relieve the pain, too.
5. Deeper, Better Sleep
When you're relaxed, calm, and pain-free, you'll experience a great night's sleep. Since sleep is incredibly restorative, it's one of the best benefits to having a regular massage (2).
6. Better Heart Health
With pressure points on the palm of the hand and sole of the foot directly related to the heart, you can receive benefits that will improve heart function. Improved heart function helps you stay healthy and happy (3).
7. Improved Circulation in the Body
Stiff, tense muscles and tendons can lead to blockages in your circulation. A massage manipulates these areas to increase the heat and loosen the muscles. This causes the blood and nerves under the skin to become unblocked. There's heat that is generated with a massage that aids in circulation, too (4). The heat can also improve metabolism.
8. Removal of Dirt and Dead Skin
With regular massage accompanied by oils, the improved circulation also leads to clearer skin. The oil helps to remove dead skin cells as well as dirt buildup in places that don't receive enough attention. Exfoliation is vital to bright, healthy skin free of acne and infection.
9. Healthier Nerves
The kneading, twisted, and pressure applied to the muscles lead to warmth and heat as mentioned previously. This leads to heat on the nerve centers themselves. According to Ayurvedic texts, the stimulated nerves and better circulation leads to a sharper, more focused mind.
10. Reduced Symptoms of Sinusitis and Cold
The massage focusing on the face relieves symptoms involving the sinuses. This could come from allergies, sinusitis or the common cold. The sinus cavity runs throughout the cheeks and forehead, so it's an area that can benefit from a face massage.
11. Relieve Eye Strain
Those who spend hours at their desks on a computer or staring at their phone most of the day can be plagued with eye strain and headaches. Massaging the side of the head, around the temples, and near the eyes will relieve strain, which can improve eyesight.
12. Increased Flexibility
Massage applies pressure on exact pressure points in the muscles. This can tone the muscles by giving them more elasticity and stretch. With this kind of increased function, over time, you'll see improved muscle performance and flexibility (5).
13. Removes Stretch Marks
The massage oil penetrates the skin to moisturize it, but it also helps the body repair tissue. The skin can be stimulated to promote healing and reduction of the appearance of stretch marks.
This video explains more about the health benefits of a regular massage practice.
And here's an infographic explaining why massages should be an important part of our lives.