By Ryan Rivera
Every once in a while, it is nice to indulge and pamper yourself to ease the stress caused by the trappings of daily life. Whether it is work-related problems or simple woes that you need to stop dwelling on, getting a massage is a great way to re-energize the mind and body, as well as to calm anxiety.
One type of massage that is meant to do just that is the relaxation massage. It is a combination of Swedish and circulatory massages where your muscles are treated through gentle kneading to help stimulate blood circulation, improve flexibility, and promote relaxation.
During the massage session, you will be asked to lie on a massage table with most of your clothing removed. The massage can usually be customized according to your desire or relaxation needs. The session is done in a quiet relaxing atmosphere and soothing ambiance, with music and candlelight added per your request.
The massage therapist applies gentle to medium hand pressure to the body and expertly manipulates the muscle tissues to induce a relaxed feeling. The massage, however, is not deep tissue massage that is used for stimulating the deeper muscles. It is more of a mild rubbing and kneading of the body’s outer tissues. The massage works nearly every area of the body including the neck, arms, back and legs.
The relaxation response
Relaxation massage creates physiological changes in the body. One is the relaxation response, which is the expected yet involuntary reaction of the nervous system to touch, strokes, and kneading used in massage. The therapist’s expert and caring touch is often the key to relaxation. A professional touch that relieves pain and stress usually generates this type of response.
The relaxation response is a condition wherein breathing and heartbeat slow down, stress hormone production decreases, blood pressure falls, and the muscles lose tension. This state of relaxation seems to stimulate the brain to manufacture more serotonin, a neurotransmitter that is linked to positive thoughts and emotions. While this may sound like good news, more research is required to prove that massage can really increase the brain’s serotonin production.
Relaxation response can also diminish the damaging effects of stress and lower the chances of disorders such as insomnia, anxiety, chronic fatigue, abnormal heartbeats, digestive problems, lowered libido, high blood pressure, and psychological problems.
If you so choose, you can enhance the effects of the massage by adding aromatherapy treatment. Wonderfully scented oils can intensify the massage’s holistic experience, creating heightened relaxation and renewal of your energy reserve. Unscented oil can work just as well. The oils make the skin more slippery so friction will be minimized as the therapist goes to work. During the massage, you can either stay quiet and lost in your thoughts or you can strike up a conversation with the therapist. Everything can be personalized according to your preferences.
Many people endure a lot of stress at home or in the workplace. They have to take a well-deserved break, and a relaxation massage is what they need to unwind. A typical massage session can go from thirty minutes to two hours. Whether you like a long massage or a short one, that depends on the severity of your stress and how bad you need to get relaxed.
Relaxation massage is a mild and comfortable way to relieve aching muscles, improve blood circulation, increase joint and muscle flexibility and promote calmness of the body and mind. With all the stress and anxiety that hit you everyday, wouldn’t it be nice to treat yourself to a relaxing massage?
About the Author
Ryan Rivera exercises daily to keep his anxiety well under control. He runs a website about controlling anxiety at calmclinic.com.
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