Benefits of Massaging
It’s easy to spiral into thoughts of past regrets or future uncertainties. But if you bring your mind to the present, these worries can disintegrate. That’s why this week we are focusing on massage therapy as a way to re-centre your mind and body. Massaging is relaxing, therapeutic and can do wonders for your body. Whether you plan on doing it yourself at home or booking a masseuse, here are our top 4 benefits of massaging:
#1 Stress Be Gone!
We all know massages are relaxing, but did you know they have been scientifically proven to reduce stress levels? During a massage, endorphins are released and stress-inducing hormones are conversely reduced. Massaging decreases levels of cortisol (the stress hormone) while increasing levels of serotonin and dopamine (the happy hormones). The massage itself carries these benefits, but setting the right atmosphere and choosing the right oils can enhance these effects. If you are doing it yourself at home, or with a partner, find a quiet space and start to unwind by diffusing oils such as lavender or frankincense. These aromatics will help to create a relaxing and purifying ambience. If the silence is allowing your mind to wonder too much, add some light music to calm any worrying thoughts. Keep the lighting low with a few simple candles. These elements will help you slip into the present moment, to enjoy the benefits of massage.
When choosing a massage oil for stress relief, opt for one that enhances the tranquillity of the massage. Massage oils containing Coconut MCT oil will reduce inflammation and ease body tensions. When this carrier oil is combined with the essential oils of Lavender and Cedarwood, it evokes feelings of serenity and can send you into a peaceful trance. Our Yoga Shanti Massage Oil contains these ingredients, being specifically designed to use for calmness of the mind during meditation.
#2 Fix Your Muscles
There are plenty of simple day-to-day activities we do that can cause our muscles to tense and strain. Most importantly is your posture. If you spend many hours a day at your desk, then it is likely tension is building up in your neck and shoulders. How you sleep can significantly impact this, and if you are a regular gym goer you most likely experience inflammatory muscle pain. And since anti-inflammatory medicine often only works short-term to relieve pain, massaging is a great alternative. This study proves that massaging is more effective in the long-term to enhance recovery and healing of muscle tissue. According to Dr. Tarnopolsky a professor of paediatrics and medicine: “With massage, you can have your cake and eat it too — massage can suppress inflammation and actually enhance cell recovery.”
There are a number of essential oils that are proven to aid muscle pains. Peppermint oil has a cooling effect on muscles, Eucalyptus oil and Rosemary oil can reduce pain and all three contain anti-inflammatory properties to alleviate muscle tensions. Massaging a combination of these oils with a carrier such as Coconut MCT will combat the build-up of stress in your muscles. Our Yoga Shanti Oil can also be used for muscle pain relief, or alternatively, follow a DIY recipe like this one and create your own massage oil.
If you are having chronic pain it is worth seeing a professional masseuse. However, if you want an easy massage after a long day at work or a hard gym session, there are plenty of simple techniques you can use on yourself to correct muscle pains. Check out She Knows blog, for a detailed guide on DIY massages.
#3 Sleep More
Since massaging can relieve stress, it also has major benefits in improving sleeping patterns. There are countless studies that prove how beneficial massaging can be to sleep. These studies show how massaging can combat symptoms of depression, anxiety, insomnia and other diseases, all which infringe on sleep. In all experiments, massaging helped to reduce these symptoms and improve quality of sleep. It was also proven that massaging helped to correct bad sleeping positions, which were causing muscle inflammation. To enhance the effects of massage to improve sleep, choose massage oils that contain lethargic aromatics, such as lavender, frankincense or Cedarwood.
#4 Improve your Skin
Not only do the motions of massaging improve circulation and stimulate the lymph system, but also the use of high-quality oils can have moisturising and rejuvenating effects on your body. The method of massaging allows greater time for the moisture to soak into your skin and provides a deeper cleanse of the skin’s pores. Having a masseuse or a partner to give the massage will allow for the treatment of body areas that you usually can’t reach by yourself. To increase the skin benefits of massaging, choose an oil blend with rosehip and sweet orange, like our Treat Yourself Massage oil. Rosehip essential oil is a natural source of vitamin E and has significant antioxidant properties. The oil can also help to repair damaged skin tissue, as it contains essential fatty acids. Similarly, sweet orange essential oil contains high levels of vitamin C, which can fight aging symptoms and hydrate dry skin. Pure virgin and organic Jojoba oil is good carrier oil to use. Jojoba almost mimics the texture of our body’s natural oils, making it extremely healing and moisturising for your skin.
Massaging may seem like a once-a-year type luxury, but we are here to tell you that it does not have to be. If you can afford a masseuse, start making regular visits. Otherwise, there are easy techniques you can learn to treat yourself, or a partner, to the wondrous benefits of a massage.
Including the four mentioned in this blog, there are many more benefits of massaging to quality of life. Massaging can allow you to be more present in each moment, by reducing stress, correcting muscle pains and improving sleep. We encourage you to explore these benefits of massage therapy and to try this natural alternative to improve your overall well-being and happiness.
By: Andelain Newman