The recent proliferation of mainstream massage parlors across the country begs the question of the benefits of the therapy.
- Swedish massage is the most common type of massage in the United States. The therapists use long kneading strokes on superficial layers of muscles. This is a good massage for first timers.
- Deep-tissue massage targets deeper layers of muscles and is used for chronically painful, tight muscles. It’s not unusual to be sore for a day or two after a deep-tissue massage.
- Other types of massage include Thai, Shiatsu, sports, prenatal and hot stone.
Numerous benefits of massage have been scientifically proved. This age-old practice can actually:
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- manages anxiety and depression by reducing the stress hormone cortisol and raising the levels of the neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine
- eases migraine pain and is believed to ease PMS
- improves sleep by affecting delta waves in the brain, an important sleep component
- It also helps your outward appearance. It increases blood flow to the face, plumps up slack skin, encourages lymphatic drainage and adds vitality to a dull complexion and lackluster hair.
The effects of massage can also be cumulative, so if you can indulge on a regular basis, do. Your body will thank you. Massage can increase a person’s range of motion, strengthen the immune system and provide an improved sense of well-being.
Fluctuations in several types of brain waves either relax you or wake you up. Massage increases delta waves — those linked with deep sleep. That’s why it’s easy to drift off on the massage table.
Wake up the brain