The average day can be filled with stressful occurrences. Workplace drama, family problems or financial struggles can all leave us feeling less than relaxed by the end of the day. The impact of trying days can also manifest in physical problems. Sitting hunched over at a desk or never taking a break can cause tension to build up in our necks and shoulders. One solution that can help to relieve both pain and stress is massage.
Massage generally refers to the rubbing and manipulation of the skin, muscles, tendons and ligaments and the pressure used can range from light to deep. Common types of massage include Swedish massage, aromatherapy massage and sports massage. There is also massaging equipment which you can buy to give yourself a soothing treatment at home. Massage is recommended for a wide range of concerns and studies show that it is an effective treatment for a range of concerns. Here are five ways in which it can help.
1. It Relaxes Muscles
Our muscles tend to contract and get tense when we are stressed. If this happens over a prolonged period, muscles can stay sore. This can lead to chronic pain. Massage can help to loosen up those tense muscles. If you can’t afford to visit a spa, find the best neck and shoulder massager you can and give yourself a massage at home.
2. It Lessens Aches and Pains
If you’ve overused your muscles playing a sport or doing outdoor work, massage can reduce the inflammation that occurs. It helps to repair the cells and tissues in the aching area. Massage may also help to bring some relief from the pain caused by chronic neck and shoulder injuries.
3. It Can Treat Injuries
If you’re a current or former athlete, you may require even more specialized treatment. Since athlete’s muscles tend to get more sustained use than those of the average person, therapists will use techniques to help treat old injuries or prevent new ones. They will stretch tight tissues and break down adhesions. More commonly called knots, these are the areas on the muscle that have become persistently contracted. Working them out can speed up the pace at which injuries heal.
4. It Can Lower Cortisol Levels
Cortisol is a hormone that is linked to stress and when it is present in high levels, it can lead to adrenal fatigue. Symptoms include body aches and fatigue. It has been suggested that massage can help reduce the level of stress hormones in your body while also lowering heart rate.
5. It Gives You a Wider Range of Motion
Massage helps to loosen up your muscles and increase the circulation of blood. This in turn makes your body pump more oxygen to your joints which increases flexibility. Get into a regular massage routine and you may realize you can move in ways you couldn’t even think of before.
Whatever the reason for the pain and tension in your neck and shoulders, a trained massage therapist should be able to help ease your discomfort. In between visits, use an at-home massager to keep those muscles relaxed. Once you get into a routine, you’ll find yourself feeling less pain and your body will thank you.