Everyone knows that a massage relaxes your muscles. But it also provides some surprising mental benefits you might not be aware of.
Receiving regular massage therapy in a relaxing setting — such as herbal spas — can bring about four desirable mental benefits.
During a massage, your brain produces more serotonin and dopamine. These two neurotransmitters — often called happy hormones — play a huge role in mood regulation. This means massage therapy may help decrease feelings of depression and irritability.
When you’re feeling stressed, your body releases a hormone known as cortisol. High levels of cortisol are linked to several health concerns, including heart and digestive problems.
Studies have shown that massages can lower levels of cortisol in your body, leading to decreased feelings of stress and anxiety.
Stress can wreak havoc on your sleep. If you’re stuck in a cycle of restless nights, massage therapy may be able to help.
By increasing your happy hormones and decreasing stress hormones, massage therapy can help you fall asleep faster, stay asleep, and wake up feeling more rested.
Headaches and migraines can be caused or exacerbated by built-up tension in your muscles. If your muscles are very tense or stuff, it can be nearly impossible to relax them on your own.
Massage therapy provides the physical muscle manipulation necessary to work out knots and tension that lead to headaches.
In general, massage therapy is right for any adult who struggles with sore or stiff muscles, poor mood, anxiety, stress, or chronic headaches and migraines. Most adults are in need of massage therapy and don’t even realize it.