Today I woke up stiff and sore – no doubt from all the laying around and eating I’ve been doing lately. So in honor of the new healthy me I headed out for a deep tissue massage. Relaxing huh?
NO! It was agony! I was in pain the whole time she was massaging me. I swear she knew exactly where all my sore areas were and instead of gently kneading them out, she pushed as hard as she could on them. She even had a little stool she would stand on sometimes to give her extra height so she could come down onto my muscles harder – I’m not kidding! I was cringing in pain the whole time and could not wait for it to be over. But after she was done and I got up, stretched a bit, and walked out of the spa I felt a weird kind of energy and my body, while quite tender, did feel more relaxed. I have just returned home to research massage and the benefits it has on the body and I came up with some interesting health benefits beyond relaxation that I didn’t know about.
We all know that massage relaxes and loosens contracted muscles in the body but it also improves blood and oxygen circulation in the body. This allows the body to function better and move the blood to where it needs to go and help to remove the toxins from the body in a more productive manor. Massage also gets the lymph movement going in the body and that is extremely important since lymph drains waste and toxins away from the cells. Glands in the body are also relaxed so they can function properly – controlling oil, sebaceous, and sweat glands keeping your skin properly hydrated and help with some skin conditions.
There are many different types of massage but the most common tend to be Swedish massage which does help to loosen the muscles but mainly helps with the relaxation and circulation of the body, lymphatic drainage massage which mainly works on helping – you guessed it – the lymph system, Thai massage which helps to stretch the muscles out, and the type I had, deep tissue massage, which really works to relieve tense muscles and work on the tissues and fascia which surround and cover the muscles. Even though they all work your body and muscles in different ways, the health benefits I talked about above are generally the same for all of them.
So, even though I was in agony at the time, I do feel the benefits now. I’m a lot more relaxed and my body just feels all around good. Because my body feels so good now I was more inspired to come home and have a healthy dinner and drink a lot of water. I will definitely indulge in more massages again very soon because I know the benefits – and am looking forward to seeing them more in my body and skin, except next time I probably will go for a little more of a relaxing treatment!