Getting a massage is often thought of as something frivolous or indulgent. While, yes a massage can feel like a pampering experience, it can also have great health and beauty benefits!
scrub me secret: Don't see relaxation time as something useless. Small amounts of down time can help reset your thoughts and improve your mood. This can lead to better brain function and a more productive day.
What we already know about massage is that it relieves muscle pain. Rubbing muscle tissue not only helps to loosen knots but also flushes away metabolic waste. Lymph fluid and blood flow are stimulated and help carry away the waste. When blood flow is encouraged our circulatory system can operate better.
scrub me secret: what is metabolic waste? This is a substance produced by the functions of cells that cannot be used by our body. metabolic waste needs to be excreted from our bodies so damage is not caused.
Since massage is encouraging all this amazing blood flow and detoxification of waste, I think it is safe to say we are reaping more benefits than just muscle relief. When our circulatory system is working properly, nutrient-rich blood travels from the heart, through blood vessels where waste is replaced with the nutrients. Blood and lymph fluid then transports the waste to the lymph nodes where it is filtered out. If this operation runs smoothly it can prevent health problems such as stroke, heart attack, diabetes, and kidney disease, to name a few. The physical manipulation of skin and muscle tissues actually helps move along this process and keeps it functioning.
scrub me secret: what is lymph fluid? lymph fluid is created by our bodies to return proteins and other nutrients we need back into the blood. this fluid mixes with blood and travels through our lymph nodes to rid itself of toxins before it returns nutrients to our blood.
While we are discussing circulation, let's touch upon how it helps keep our skin looking young! Blood flow stimulates collagen production. Collagen keeps our skin firm and youthful. Also, blood cells carry oxygen to our skin and tissues. When our skin receives proper oxygen, its cells and proteins do not break down as fast. When tissues begin to break down we see fine lines, sagging, and wrinkles.
Massage isn't just for our bodies. Regular facial massage stimulates the same type of blood flow, oxygenation, and collagen renewal for our facial tissues as a massage would for the body. Also, the correct type of facial massaging can work against gravity to keep skin from sagging. Rubbing in small circles and always in upward motions will promote the strengthening and lifting of facial muscles. Massaging our serums or face masks into skin for a few minutes also allows the product to penetrate better. Another anti-aging benefit of facial massage is the release of tension in the facial muscles. We tend to tense up and create long lasting lines and wrinkles, or as some like to call them "expression lines". A couple minutes of daily facial massage can break up this tension, in turn, preventing wrinkles.
scrub me secret: Want a great way to keep you neck from sagging or forming lines? Massage a thick hydrator like our whipped shea butter onto your neck in light upward motions using your fingertips. Do this daily and you will promote the lifting of muscles and reduce fine lines and sagging.
Stress relief is a big part of why we schedule a massage in the first place. Stress hormones cause inflammation that can lead to high blood pressure, breakouts, and headaches, among other ailments. In addition, stress can cause us anxiety, irritability, anger, and panic attacks. Meditation has been shown to greatly reduce stress and help with some of these ailments. When receiving a massage or even taking the time to massage ourselves we have the chance to quiet our mind for that session. During this time our body can relax and we create less stress hormones.
scrub me secret: our face, head, and body is full of pressure points. These are small areas on the body that when massaged can reduce tension and stress. we can easily massage some of our own pressure points on our face, head, and hands. Seen below are common pressure points that when massaged can help relieve tension, pain, and headaches.
If you didn't have an excuse to relax and get a massage before, now you do! Remember, relaxation is part of wellness and our bodies need rest. So next time you are feeling a little guilty about booking that 60 minute deep tissue massage, don't! Just think of all those wonderful collagen cells that are thanking you for it. Happy rubbing!