Stress is one of the most popular reasons people turn to massage therapy, which comes as no surprise since 75% of Americans experience significant levels of stress. What better way to completely relax and forget about the struggles of daily life than a good massage? Relieving stress, whether it is mild or severe, is an important part of maintaining a healthy physical and emotional well-being. Although massage in general is an ideal solution, some massage techniques are better at achieving this overall well-being than others.
Swedish massage is the most common form of massage therapy. It uses a variety of motions to release tension and decompress muscle tissue, as well as work muscular knots away. These motions include percussion, shaking, long strokes, vibration, kneading, and friction, all of which promote blood circulation, lower blood pressure, stretch tendons, and enhance relaxation.
The thin muscles of the scalp are prone to holding tension; massage focused on the head can be a great stress reliever. Often times Swedish massage will include bodywork on the head. There is also a traditional Ayuverdic head oil massage known as champi that is centered around relaxation via the scalp.
Aromatherapy massage is a powerful way to de-stress, due to the addition of essential oils. Inhaling essential oils can directly affect the limbic system, the area of the brain that controls emotions and influences the nervous system and hormones. Aromatherapy tackles the emotional and physiological components of stress.
The ear contains several hundred pressure points, making it the ideal place for massage therapy. Massaging the ear in the area that corresponds to the central nervous system promotes the release of endorphins, the body’s natural feel-good, stress-relieving hormones.
Research has shown prolonged stress to contribute to high blood pressure, depression, addiction, clogged arteries, obesity, and insulin dependence, among other things. Take control of your well-being and allow your stress to melt away through the use of massage therapy.