Total Therapy Blog
The Benefits of Establishing a Regular Massage Schedule
Many people view massage therapy as a luxury or a treat reserved for special occasions. However, establishing a regular massage schedule can provide numerous benefits for both your physical and mental well-being.
In this blog, I will explore the different types of massage techniques, the science behind its benefits, the physical advantages of regular massages, the mental health benefits that it offers, and how to incorporate massage therapy into your routine. And lastly, I will discuss potential drawbacks and precautions to ensure you make an informed decision.
Let’s dive in and discover the transformative effects of regular massages!
Understanding the Basics of Massage Therapy
When you think of massage therapy, you may envision a serene spa setting with soothing music and aromatic oils. While this is certainly one way to experience the benefits of massage, it’s important to note that massage therapy is not just a luxury indulgence. It is a legitimate form of healthcare that can provide numerous health benefits.
Massage therapy is rooted in the belief that touch is healing. Through the skilled hands of a massage therapist, the body’s natural healing processes are stimulated, promoting relaxation, pain relief, and overall well-being.
Different Types of Massage Techniques
There are various massage techniques available, each with its unique approach and benefits. Some of the most popular types include:
- Swedish Massage: Known for its long, gliding strokes and kneading movements, this technique promotes relaxation and increases blood flow.
- Deep Tissue Massage: Targets deeper layers of muscles and connective tissues to release chronic tension and alleviate muscle pain.
- Therapeutic Massage: An approach that blends Swedish, Deep Tissue, and other techniques to target injuries, joint problems, and pain.
Each massage technique has its own unique benefits and is tailored to address specific concerns. Whether you’re seeking relaxation, pain relief, or improved flexibility, there is a massage technique that can meet your needs.
The Science Behind Massage Therapy
While the immediate benefits of massage therapy may have a temporary reprieve, there is scientific evidence supporting its long-term effects. Research has shown that massages can reduce stress hormone levels, increase serotonin and dopamine production, and decrease pain receptor activity. Furthermore, massages have been found to boost the immune system, contribute to improved sleep quality, and help regulate blood pressure.
But how exactly does massage therapy achieve this? It all comes down to the intricate relationship between the different systems of the body (endocrine, immune, nervous, circulatory, and muscular). When you receive a massage, your body releases endorphins, the natural painkillers and mood elevators. These endorphins not only help to reduce pain and promote relaxation but also have a positive impact on your mental well-being.
So, the next time you book a massage appointment, remember that you’re not just treating yourself to a luxurious experience. You’re investing in your health and well-being, both physically and mentally.
The Physical Advantages of Regular Massage
Regular massages offer a wide range of physical benefits that can positively impact your overall well-being. Let’s explore some of these advantages below:
Enhancing Muscle Recovery
After strenuous exercise or physical activity, muscles can become sore and fatigued. Massage therapy can help speed up the recovery process by reducing muscle inflammation, improving circulation, and promoting the removal of toxins (there’s a trend here).
Through targeted techniques and pressure, massages can help relieve muscular tension, reduce stiffness, and minimize post-workout soreness. As a result, regular massages after exercise can significantly enhance muscle recovery and improve athletic performance.
Improving Circulation and Blood Flow
As mentioned, massage therapy stimulates blood flow throughout the body, and along with the benefits to the muscles, enhanced blood flow can also have positive effects on the skin. By increasing circulation to the skin, massages can promote the delivery of essential nutrients and oxygen, resulting in a healthier and more vibrant complexion.
Alleviating Chronic Pain
For individuals living with chronic pain conditions such as arthritis, fibromyalgia, or back pain, regular massages can provide much-needed relief. Massage therapy targets trigger points and releases natural pain suppressors. By reducing pain and promoting relaxation, massages have been shown to significantly improve the quality of life for those dealing with chronic pain.
The Mental Health Benefits of Massage
While massages are most often associated with physical health benefits, they also play a vital role in supporting mental well-being. Here are some of the mental health benefits that regular massages offer:
Stress Reduction and Relaxation
In today’s fast-paced world, stress has become a common factor in many people’s lives. Regular massages provide an opportunity to slow down, relax, and release tension accumulated in the body and mind. The soothing touch of a skilled massage therapist can induce relaxation responses, reduce anxiety, and provide an overall sense of calm.
Boosting Mood and Emotional Well-being
Research has shown that massages can stimulate the release of serotonin and dopamine, two neurotransmitters that are closely linked to mood regulation and feelings of happiness. By increasing these “feel-good” chemicals, regular massages can lift your spirits, reduce symptoms of depression, and improve overall emotional well-being.
Not to mention massages just feel good!
How to Incorporate Massage into Your Routine
Now that you understand the benefits of establishing a regular massage schedule, let’s explore how you can incorporate massage therapy into your routine:
Finding the Right Massage Therapist
The key to a successful and satisfying massage experience is finding a skilled and experienced massage therapist. Take the time to research and read reviews from other clients. Look for therapists who have experience in the specific techniques you are interested in. If you want help finding the right fit for you, call our MOA’s and they will help pair you with the best massage therapist for you.
Determining the Frequency of Your Massage Sessions
Deciding how often you should get a massage depends on your individual needs and preferences. Some people may benefit from weekly sessions, while others may find monthly massages sufficient. Listen to your body and consult with your massage therapist to determine the frequency that best suits your circumstances.
A suggested best practice is to start with a few more frequent treatments (eg: 1 massage every 2-3 weeks for 1-2 months) and then shift into a maintenance routine to prolong the benefits of massage throughout the year (eg: 1 massage every 4-8 weeks)
Potential Drawbacks and Precautions
While the benefits of regular massages are numerous, it is essential to be aware of potential drawbacks and take necessary precautions:
Understanding the Risks
While rare, some risks associated with massage therapy include bruising, soreness, or allergic reactions to massage oils or lotions. Communicate openly with your massage therapist about any pre-existing conditions, allergies, or concerns you may have. They will then be able to help explain the risks and how best to manage them.
When to Avoid Massage Therapy
There are certain situations when massage therapy should be avoided, including active infections, fever, open wounds, acute injuries (within the first 3-5 days), or if you are taking blood-thinning medication. If you are uncertain about whether massage is suitable for your specific circumstances, consult with your healthcare provider.
Establishing a regular massage schedule can have transformative effects on both your physical and mental well-being. From enhancing muscle recovery and improving circulation to reducing stress and boosting mood, the benefits are undeniable. Remember to choose an experienced massage therapist, determine the frequency that works for you, and be mindful of any potential risks or contraindications. With these considerations in mind, embrace the power of regular massages and experience the profound positive impact they can have on your life.
Who wrote this?
Hi, I’m Rob!
I’m a Registered Massage Therapist and have been working with Total Therapy since August 2023. I come from the world of sports and competed for Team Canada for 7 years and then became a coach where I spent another 7 years in that role culminating in a trip to the 2018 Winter Olympics as the Head Coach for Team Australia. I’ve pushed my body to the limit, been hurt, been put back together, and learned so much throughout that process. Now I take pride in doing the helping and giving back the quality of care I received as an athlete.
You can find me at the Metrotown location and I am currently taking on new clients! If you have an active ICBC claim, you are approved for 12 RMT sessions. Additionally, for those with extended health benefits, we offer direct billing for your convenience.
My availability is:
Monday: 1:3o p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Tuesday: 7:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Friday: 7:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
If you have any questions you can email me here. I’d love to hear from you.
-Rob Erhart, RMT