You’ve just finished a stressful day at work and you really need time to yourself so you can relax. You might watch TV or read a book or do something outside. While it’s great to have a hobby or two, you might want to consider getting a relaxation massage every now and then.
How does a massage help you to relax?
Massages help you relax by triggering the relaxation response in your body. This is a response built into your nervous system that reacts to massage techniques and touch. Once this response is triggered, you begin to feel relaxed because your heart and breathing rates slow down, blood pressure lowers, production of stress hormones decreases, and muscles relax.
Massages trigger 2 mechanical responses: better circulation and relaxation of soft tissues like muscles. Blood flow is improved because of both the massage itself and chemicals released in your body. Touching your skin and applying pressure relaxes muscles, which can reduce pain, increase tissue hydration and increase mobility.
What is a relaxation massage?
A relaxation massage is a style of massage that is smoother and gentler than other types. This type of massage is meant to help you relax, so the movements flow together. These massages don’t address specific issues but instead typically target the entire body to promote complete relaxation.
How does a relaxation massage differ from a deep tissue massage?
A relaxation massage works with tissues and muscles close to the surface while a deep tissue massage works on deeper muscles. A deep tissue massage is meant to target specific muscle groups to relieve pain and tension, while a relaxation massage is just meant to relax.
What are the benefits of relaxing your body?
There are mental and physical benefits to relaxing your body.
- Physical Benefits
By relaxing your body through a massage, your body will feel much better. You will have improved circulation, reduced pain, relieved tension, increased range of motion, and boosted immunity. Some more temporary benefits include lowered blood pressure, heart rate, and breathing rate, which all contribute to an overall sense of relaxation.
In addition to that, having someone take care of your body just feels great!
- Mental Benefits
Relaxing reduces stress, both in your body and mind. When you aren’t as stressed, you can function better as a person and you’re less likely to get mad, or frustrated at someone for no real reason (we’ve all been there). Cognitive function improves as well, so you can produce better work, whether it’s for yourself, such as a painting, or for your boss.
What is the best type of massage to help you relax?
A Swedish massage is the best-known relaxation massage. Most massage therapists will know this technique, so you can ask for it specifically. At Therapeutic Body Concepts, all of our RMTs are trained in Swedish Massage.
Make sure you’re comfortable with the massage therapist you book with so that you can get the best relaxation experience. You can also request a more relaxing atmosphere for the massage such as a specific type of music, a scent (if available), whitenoise to be turned on (fan or other), a heating pad, or extra blanket!
How many massage treatments are recommended?
There’s not a set number of massages you should get to relax. You can view it as a kind of present you’re giving yourself. The best time to get a relaxation massage is when you need to relax. You can definitely go when you aren’t completely stressed and you could even make an entire trip out of it.
What can I do at home to help myself relax?
There are many things you can do. Some things target only the mind while others target the body but relax the mind too.
- Do some breathing exercises
- Take a bath
- Listen to music
- Practice meditation
- Use guided imagery, where you imagine yourself in a situation that makes you feel relaxed
- Yoga, which can be paired with meditation very easily to produce even more relaxation
- Progressive muscle relaxation, which works really well right before you go to sleep
- Take a walk
- Get a massage
- Have a warm drink (tea)
- Engage in a hobby
There’s no end to the options you have to relax. Find something that works well for you and make sure to leave a little time for it each day. The best time to relax is right before bed so you can fall asleep faster, especially if you have a hard time sleeping.
We all get overwhelmed with stress from time to time. A relaxation massage can help relieve all of that stress and keep you functioning at your best!