Enjoy a relaxation massage
The benefits of massage are widespread and are often documented as a popular method of healing the body naturally. The history of massage is long, with it being used as a hollistic healing method in India more than 5,000 years ago. Massage was latertaken to China, South East Asia and then later spreading to Ancient Greece and the Romain Empire. Massage has been handed down through the centuries and countless generations. It is used to heal injuries, relieve pain and to help cure illness. Massage has been shown to help restore the body’s mental and physical balance, allowing it to facilitate self healing. A relaxation massage can be very beneficial as it lower stress levels and relaxes both the body and mind.
What is a relaxation massage?
A relaxation massage is a full body massage with the specific aim of helping the patient to relax, both in a muscular and in an emotional sense. A good relaxation massage will typically require at least 60 minutes for the full effect of the massage to take place.
The choice of massage techniques used in during a relaxation massage tend to be of the more gentle variety, (deep tissue massage techniques are not required here…) The therapist will often start with long slow flowing strokes with techniques such as efflurage or skin rolling being used. These techniques are good to help facilitate blood flow through the skin and muscles and help warm the areas up. During a relaxation massage a key is the flow of the techniques, this flow is about maintaining a constant amount of pressure through the body so that the massage doesn’t feel pokey or like the therapist is “jumping around the body”.
Another important component of a relaxation massage is the ryhthym of the massage. A great rhythym during a massage is also very noteacable and even more important when you are receiving a relaxation massage. Nothing aids the relaxation component of a massage like the good flow, ryhthym and even pressure.
During a relaxation massage as the therapist massages and kneads the skin, muscles, tendons and connective tisssues the body responds releasing endorphins, oxycoticin, serotonin and dopamin. These four compounds are somtimes referred to as the four happy hormones that promote positive feelings and aid in the bodies relaxation.
What does a relaxation massage do?
The positive effects of massage on the body are continuously being studied and assessed worldwide. According to the Mayo Clinic
Studies of massage benefits have found
⦁ Help reduce stress.
⦁ Lessen pain and muscle tightness.
⦁ Increase relaxation.
⦁ Improve the work of the immune system.
Numerous scientific studies have been made that have found that a relaxation massage not only helps reduce stress, increase relaxation and boost the immune system, it can also positively impact many medical conditions. In her 2016 Research Review for the National Library of Medicine, Tiffany Field states-
‘ massage therapy has been shown to have beneficial effects on varying conditions including prenatal depression, preterm infants, full-term infants, autism, skin conditions, pain syndromes including arthritis and fibromyalgia, hypertension, autoimmune conditions including asthma and multiple sclerosis, immune conditions including HIV and breast cancer and ageing problems including Parkinson’s and dementia’.
‘In a nutshell’ as an anonymous quotation concludes, a relaxation massage is a holistic treatment as it is-
‘a haven for personal healing, growth and discovery’.
Who can have a relaxation massage?
Everyone can benefit from having a relaxation massage! Relaxation massage is a gentle treatment that relieves tension in the muscles, increases the blood circulation and leaves the body and mind feeling wonderfully – and deeply- relaxed.
As well as being an ideal massage to induce relaxation, a relaxation massage can also benefit those with mental health concerns including anxiety and depression. Relaxation massages can also ease tense muscles and reduce sleep problems and insomnia.
The benefits of a relaxation massage
A relaxation massage will have an a calming effect on the body’s nervous system which is relaxing for both body and mind. This type of massage brings other benefits:
● Improves blood circulation
The gentle massage movements help improve blood circulation by bringing fresh blood to the area which helps with removal of toxins and waste matter. As a result, skin tone is much improved and the recovery of any soft tissue damage will be accelerated.
● Relieves muscle tension and fatigue
Shoulder muscles in particular can become tense because of posture – often caused by sitting at a desk for many hours. Gentle massage in this region can help reduce any tightness in the muscles.
Regular relaxation massages can also help reduce muscle fatigue which is usually caused by a build-up of lactic acid as a result of over-exercising. Not only does massage help to effectively disperse the lactic acid, it also hastens recovery time.
● Eases painful muscles
The therapist will be able to isolate muscles to treat localised pain and discomfort and as the body relaxes, this too will ease any pain felt in the muscles. Relaxation massage also improves the body’s circulation which will also positively impact painful muscles and help improve the body’s energy levels.
● Reduces anxiety and depression
Anxiety and depression are very common conditions in today’s busy world and they respond well to the tactile sensation of massage. Touch is the first sensation experienced by a baby when it is still in the womb and babies, children and adults alike respond very positively to gentle touch. Massage has a warming and calming effect that can ease the symptoms of anxiety and depression as it lifts the spirits and improves the sense of well-being.
● Improves sleep
A relaxation massage has a calming effect on both the body and mind. Massage reduces stress and relaxes the body and eases any localised pain. The result is that a relaxation massage induces good quality sleep.
● Helps keep the body healthy
Relaxation massage reduces the levels of stress hormones in the body and lowers blood pressure and this in turn increases the effectiveness of the body’s immune system in fighting infection.
How is a relaxation massage different from a remedial massage?
The main difference between a relaxation massage and a remedial massage is the end goal. A remedial massage is usually used to help solve an issue or a problem where a relaxation massage is focused on helping the body and mind to relax.
When is a relaxation massage useful as part of a treatment?
Relaxation massages are very effective for treating patients when they are stress, tense and uptight. Often patients are so stressed, tight or would up that they are unable to relax and let the normal bodies processes take place. If you are unable to sleep then your body will not recover. Therefore while a relaxation massage may not feel like it’s actually getting into the problem areas, as it’s working on your whoile system and allowing you to relax and sleep properly, your body will start to recover and begin the processes of tissue repair.
Another example of this would be stress, if you are stressed and a lot of cortisole type compounds are floating around your body, this will have an inhibitory effect on your recovery. For these reasons when someone is particularly stressed, fatigued or emotional a relaxation massage may be the best place for them to begin their healing process.
How often should I have a relaxation massage?
Having a regular relaxation massage is the ideal way to strengthen the mind- body connection as well as to lower stress levels, to enjoy deep relaxation and to ‘recharge the body’s batteries’. Experts recommend that a monthly, if not bi-monthly, relaxation massage is ideal. Having a regular massage is very similar to exercising the body as both help relieve stress in body and mind. Everyone has stress inside their body and even if they do not feel that they have, the stress will be negatively impacting the way they move and feel – both physically and mentally.
Having a relaxation massage can be so beneficial in so many ways, that is not surprising that more and more people are booking a regular massage. FMI Market Report states that the message therapy industry is ‘growing at a rate of 8.6% due to more people making self-care a priority’.
Isn’t it time you tried a relaxation massage for yourself?