Often times massages can seem like the ultimate splurge, but in the end it's just as good for you as it feels.
- It provides all over pain relief. Massage creates chemical changes that reduce pain and stress throughout the body. One way it does this is by reducing a brain chemical called substance P that is related to pain.
- It may boost immunity. Several studies have found dramatic decreases in cortisol, which is produced when you are stressed. Cortisol kills cells important for immunity, so when massage reduces your stress levels and the cortisol in your body, it may help you avoid getting a cold or another illness while under stress.
There are more surprising discoveries about massage so
- Massage reduces hypertension. This may be because it stimulates pressure receptors that prompt action from the vagus nerve, one of the nerves that regulates blood pressure, as well as other functions.
- Any technique does the trick. There's little evidence to support one kind of massage over another, says Tiffany Field, a professor of pediatrics. The key is pressure firm enough to make a temporary indentation in the skin.
- You can massage yourself. Although you don't have to massage the part of the body that hurts to relieve pain, targeting that area does tend to help more.
So why not book yourself an appointment for a massage? I know I am going to, especially since cold and flu season is on the horizon.