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5 Massage Therapies That Can Improve Your Mental Wellness
Most people don’t give massages enough credit. Beauty, pampering and relaxation are only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to benefits of massages. They can also be great allies when it comes to improving your mental health. Furthermore, it’s important to know that not all massages are the same and that there are different massage treatments to address any health issues you may have, whether they’re physical or mental. So, if you’re looking for something to help you gain balance and maintain your mental health, here are some massage treatment suggestions you could try.
Essential oils are compounds which are extracted from various types of plants, often through distillation or cold pressing. On their own, these oils can affect the part of your brain called the limbic system, which has an important role in your behavior and emotions, but also long-term memory. By rubbing them on your skin or inhaling them, essential oils can relax you, energize you or reduce your stress. When you combine this with a massage, your mental wellbeing can receive just the help it needs for you to function normally and feel satisfied with yourself and deal better with any circumstances that can put you under stress. The choice of essential oil is important, since each of them has a specific health claim linked to them. For instance, chamomile can relax you and boost your mood, jasmine can assist when battling depression, while lavender is famous for stress relief.
This type of massage aims to align your body’s energies, which is accomplished by pressuring specific points on your body in a gentle manner. Other than this, it can also involve some stretches and compressions, as well as rocking your body. This basically means that you don’t simply lie in the same position while your therapist works on you, but they rather stretch you and guide your body into a series of postures, similar to yoga. You can even say that Thai massage combines acupressure, yoga postures and some principles of Ayurveda. It can energize you more than any other type of massage, while also lowering your stress levels and enhancing your flexibility. During the therapy, which can last up to two hours, you remain clothed and in constant physical contact with the therapist, and no oils are used to massage you.
Swedish massage therapy
When people talk about getting a massage, they usually talk about Swedish massage therapy. It is known to be very relaxing for your whole body, and this is achieved through long and smooth strokes, circular movements and rubbing your upper muscle layers. It uses either oil or massage lotions to keep these strokes as pleasant for you as possible. It’s a gentle massage meant to increase the oxygen levels in your blood and improve your circulation, all the while lowering tension. It may decrease the levels of cortisol, the stress hormone in your body and keep you calm and lax. Your mental health can only benefit from it, so if you’ve never had a massage before, perhaps booking an effective professional massage is a wise place for you to start.
This is a Japanese form of massage therapy, which relies on putting pressure on precise acupuncture spots on your body rhythmically. Each of these spots is held for a period of two to eight seconds, in order to enhance the energy flow and restore body’s natural balance. And even though Shiatsu translates from Japanese as “finger pressure”, Shiatsu therapists are also known to use their palms, elbows and even feet and knees when applying pressure. Other than providing you with a very enjoyable experience, this type of massage therapy is great for your overall well-being, including your emotional and psychological health, helping you combat depression and anxiety.
Hot stone massage
This type of massage therapy uses heated stones, smooth and flat, which are carefully placed on different points of your body. The aim is to warm and relax your tense muscles and put your body’s energy centers in balance. The stones are usually made of basalt. This is a volcanic rock which can preserve heat, which is important, since these stones are usually warmed up to about 60°C and this warmth is meant to be comforting. They can be placed along your spine, over your stomach and chest, or on your face, palms or feet and toes. Aside from improving the state of your immune system and relieving you of pain and tension, hot stone massage can also reduce your stress and anxiety and improve your sleep.
If you’re searching for new ways to improve your mental well-being, you should turn to one of these massage therapies and let them help you stay healthy, both physically and mentally.