Everyone loves to indulge in a massage, but getting a massage isn’t just a form of self-care – it can actually improve your health. Before you head back to the spa, then, take a minute to consider what your health goals are because there are different types of massage, and each has different benefits. From sports massage for injuries to soothing Swedish massage, you may find your next spa experience healing in more ways than ones.
Serotonin And Sleep
Many people struggle to sleep, whether it’s because of an uncomfortable mattress or poor sleep hygiene, but getting a massage can make it much easier to doze off at night. In particular, Swedish massage, which uses gentle, long strokes, can help increase serotonin production and moderate circadian rhythms. And with less disruption in the circadian rhythms, you’ll be more likely to reestablish healthy sleep habits, such as skipping that afternoon nap or rising and going to bed at the same time each day.
Soothing Sports Pains
If you spend a lot of time working out and you’re dealing with soreness or injuries, you might apply ice or a cold pack, or you could consider heading in for a sports massage. Sports massage emphasizes joint mobilization and can treat conditions like tendinitis and speed sprain healing. You may even be prescribed sports massage as part of your physical therapy if you’re experiencing chronic injuries.
Of course, sports massage can benefit any athlete, so if you’re just experiencing muscle soreness, like that associated with trap soreness, ten minutes of targeted massage can relieve pain and help you get on with your day. The goal is to clear lactic acid from the muscles before it has time to crystallize and cause discomfort.
Treating Trigger Points
Most people carry patterns of stress in their bodies based on common daily movements, whether it’s sitting at a desk, carrying a bag on a particular side of the body, or even driving a car, and this can lead to muscle tension, knots, and pain. One way to address these areas of chronic discomfort is through trigger point massage, which focuses on areas of overuse. Like sports massage, trigger point massage is targeted and can help loosen up areas of tension. It can be especially beneficial for those with conditions like fibromyalgia, chronic back pain, and shoulder injuries.
Finally, if you’re interested in Eastern medical treatments such as acupuncture and energy pathways throughout the body, you might enjoy massage treatments such as reflexology or shiatsu massage. These practices stimulate specific points on the body, either corresponding with acupuncture points in the case of shiatsu, or on the hands and feet in the case of reflexology. Many people believe that these treatments can increase energy flows throughout the body and treat specific ailments, much in the same way that acupuncture does.
There’s nothing wrong with getting a massage to pamper yourself, and treatments like hot rock massage can be soothing and help you relax, but don’t overlook the benefits of targeted treatments. With so many potential benefits, you can’t go wrong with a massage treatment by a trained professional.