Health | Why regular massages are good for you

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Is a massage a luxurious treat or another element to our overall health and well being? We should look at it from the latter perspective, according to the health gurus.

For years, most people have associated massages as a lovely treat on those rare spa day out. While there is something relaxing and special about occasional massages, the treatments are now being perceived as a key element of our overall health and well being plan right alongside exercise and proper nutrition.

This is primarily because of our sedentary lifestyle, and especially for those that sit at their desk for long periods of the day. This habit often leads to bad posture and muscle pain, where shoulders become pulled forward and rounded, and upper and lower back muscles become overstretched and weak.

A study in 2011 found that regular massages, coupled with regular exercise, can help alleviate pain and keep postural deviations in check.  Bodywork in that general area can be helpful, with experts saying that it does not matter what type of massage you receive.

However, what is known is that Swedish and deep tissue massages can help promote the movement of lymph, the body’s natural defense system. This, in turn, should help to enhance your immune system.

Regular massages are also known to be an effective stress management technique as it’s a complete relaxing and pleasurable activity. There is also the scientific evidence to support this claim. The decrease in cortisol and increase in serotonin and dopamine provided by a massage plays a part in reducing stress, anxiety and depression.

Research has also shown that massages can improve ADHD symptoms in teenagers. Adolescents who received 10 to 15 minute massage for 10 consecutive days all showed positive changes. The study found that they felt happier and their teachers reported better behaviour.