Why Do Massages Relieve Stress?

It’s almost common sense that massages are good for stress. Have you ever thought about the reasons for this? Here are just a few points to provoke some thought on the subject.

The Human Touch

People long for connections with other people. We live in a disjointed society, where many of our interactions with others do not require us to touch, or even look at another person. However, we are hardwired to look for these types of connections. Massages, whether from a spa professional or someone we know, briefly fulfill this need to be physically connected to another. In giving a massage, the person is also giving time and care, which are also felt by the recipient.

Stress Lives in the Muscles

Take a moment to close your eyes and examine the feelings within your body. When we are constantly stressed (and most of us are), we begin to carry the stress within us. Each person has a place where they hold stress – certain muscles tend to tighten up and remain tightened until the stress releases. When the stress is recurring or constant, these muscles stay constantly tightened and can cause pain. If you pay attention to your muscles and whether they feel tight or in pain, you will likely be able to discover the places in your body where you tend to hold your stress. Receiving a spa massage from a professional can help to loosen these muscles that hold your stress, which can help make you feel better and even reduce the stress itself.

Stress relief

Massages Force You to Take a Break

Whether you are lying on a table at the spa or on your couch in your living room, receiving a massage forces you to stop everything you are doing and relax. In our fast-paced society, it is common to forget to spend time relaxing and letting our minds wander. Practices like meditation and yoga that encourage attention to the body and letting go of the mind are also effective ways to relax your mind. Once your brain has had a break, it will be more energized and ready to face the busy day again.

Massages Connect You to Your Body

Western culture has become increasingly compartmentalized when it comes to viewing the body, mind and spirit. A person does not need to be religious or spiritual to seek a connection between these three components. Massages allow you to pay attention to your body by feeling the different muscle groups as they are touched and worked on. This feeling of knowing your body and being connected to it is relaxing, peaceful, and empowering. It allows you to remember your own strength, both physical and mental, and inspires love for yourself which can give you confidence to face your stress.

Creative Commons License Alan Cleaver via Compfight

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