The answer is probably ‘yes’ for most of us since massage has many properties that are effective in providing release from the adverse effects of a fast-paced life.
In addition to physical benefits, certain types of massage have been shown to help psychologically by relaxation and increased production of ‘feel-good’ chemicals that the body naturally produces (endorphins), helpful for people with and chronic back pain and other acute back problems.
This article describes why massage may be right for you and how to make most from your massage.
Benefits of Massage
Massage therapy is becoming more widely accepted in the medical community as a body massage is considered a powerful healing technique. Ayurvedic body massage uses the oils specific to the body type which releases the accumulated stress and toxins from the body, leaving you feeling energized and rejuvenated. In Ayurveda, this specific massage therapy is called “Abhyangam”.
Research shows that massage therapy has several potential health benefits for body pain sufferers, including:
- Increased blood circulation in the body, which brings needed nutrition to muscles and tissues. This helps in recovery of muscle soreness from physical activities, bad postures during work or soft tissue injury (such as muscle strain).
- Decreased tension in the muscles. This muscle relaxation can improve flexibility, reduce pain caused by tight muscles and even improve sleep.
- Increased endorphin levels i.e. The “feel good” chemicals in the brain. This mood enhancer can ease depression and anxiety, which can help speed recovery, particularly important for those who suffer from chronic back or neck problems.
It may seem that to make most of the massage, all you have to do is just show up, relax, and let the massage therapist do the rest. That is true to an extent. But there are some things you can do that will make your experience even more enjoyable.
Following are some “insider tips” to help you get the most out of your therapy sessions.
Hygiene matters with any health care treatment, especially involving skin to skin contact. Ensure proper hygiene prior to the session. Communicate with your massage therapist
Be open about conditions, injuries, state of health
Massage therapy directly impacts all body systems including circulatory, nervous, digestive, and muscular. A therapist needs to know changes in a customer’s medical conditions, injury status, and the overall state of health to be aware of contraindications and modifications to the bodywork. Give feedback to the massage therapist during the massage on the amount of pressure, speed of hand movement, etc.
Do not eat 60 minutes prior to appointment
Shortly after eating a normal-sized meal, much of our blood travels to the small intestine, located in our body’s core, so the blood can collect nutrients from food consumed. Since massage will encourage blood flow throughout the body at large, pushing it away from the core may disrupt digestion.
Massage should be witnessed as a medical treatment, not merely a service
Massage therapy is an effective means of health care, allowing one to discover relief from systemic and organ-related conditions. Please inquire with your massage therapist how s/he may aid in the care of one’s health condition.
Be prepared to schedule more massage sessions
Massage has its greatest benefits over time. The therapeutic effects of massage are cumulative, so the more often you get a massage, the better you will feel and the more quickly your body will respond. If you’re getting a massage to address chronic muscular tension or recovery from a soft tissue injury, more than one session is usually needed.
Drink extra water after your massage
Don’t get up too quickly and start your activities. Allow for some open, quiet time after your massage session.
Open communication is the key between the therapist and the client. While it’s your massage therapist’s job to make sure you are taken care of, being “in the know” can make your massage sessions feel even more relaxing and worthwhile.