No, I don’t mean the status check-in, but with yourself. When our daily life screams go, go, go, it’s good to push pause, at least for a couple of minutes. Sitting at a computer all day, working out, the stress of everyday life, etc can take a toll on us and even worse, it can lead to chronic inflammation. Chronic inflammation is not good for your skin, for your overall well-being, it’s not good period. After a weird week and a bit of lower back discomfort, I decided to book a massage, trying hard not to think twice about it. Since I am the type of person who’s mind is always thinking non-stop (except when I am sleeping), forcing myself to relax is somewhat of a battle, but when I am able to let go, I feel better. Allotting some time to check-in with myself allows me to think, Is it really worth it to stress over everything? A tensed demeanor looks good on no one.
Here’s what I learned about massages-it does a good deal more than you might think!-and popular types.
Therapeutic Benefits of Touch/Massage
- Decreases stress and anxiety
- Reduces pain and boosts the immune system
- Can increase air flow in asthmatics
- Affects brain waves, breathing, circulation and heart rate
- Relieves muscle tension and pain
Popular Massage Treatments
The Swedish massage is the most common in the U.S. and uses long, smooth strokes, kneading and circular movements that can be gentle and relaxing.
Deep tissue massages target the deeper layers of muscles and connective tissue. This type of massage benefits those who have chronically tight or painful muscles, repetitive strain, postural problems, or recovery from injury.
*Note: People often feel sore for one to two days after
Heated smooth stones are placed on certain points on the body to warm and loosen tight muscles. This is a good alternative to deep tissue.
Alternative Massage Techniques
While receiving a massage is very beneficial, there are also instances in which receiving a massage is not a good idea. If you have open lesions or anything contagious, you need to wait until it’s all cleared up to receive a treatment. Also, certain health conditions can contraindicate a treatment due to the increased circulation. Below are a few alternative treatments that can be performed but ALWAYS check in with your physician first to ensure your safety.
Acupressure is an oriental technique of applying pressure to specific points of the body to release muscle tension and restore balance.
Similar to acupressure, each point has a movement that is repeated 3-6 times. Sometimes, a blend of essential oils are used.
This technique applies pressure to the feet based on a system of zones and areas on the feet that directly correspond to the anatomy of the body. Foot reflexology causes relaxation, increased circulation and brings balance to the entire body.