Most people have their own ideas when it comes to relaxing in their free time. Some do it with a nice cup of tea and a book, some by staying in bed till noon, others go for a spa day, while some for a massage. It is commonly thought that massages are something to splurge on when you want to treat yourself after a hard week, and others think of it as no more than a voucher to get someone when you can't think of a gift. However, massage therapists believe that it sometimes can be a life necessity.
Other than the comforting feeling of being in a candle-lit room with the aroma of soothing oils, here are the other perks of massages that can benefit your physical and mental health.
1. Reduce Anxiety and Depression
If you are diagnosed with an anxiety disorder or depression, getting regular massages can help reduce their symptoms. Depression, for example, can lead to muscle pain which increases feelings of fatigue. Massages are proven to release endorphins, which produce feelings of wellbeing and happiness. As for anxiety, it is directly connected to the nervous system, and a massage helps increase the parasympathetic nervous system which is the one responsible for calming. Meanwhile, it will put your sympathetic system that controls your 'fight or flight' instinct, on hold.
2. Improve Posture
Whether it's spending your entire workday sitting on a chair or on your feet, you most likely suffer from poor posture. Massages come to the rescue with their ability to loosen your joints and put everything back where it's supposed to be by inducing flexible, healthy movements. If you can't bother to get a massage appointment after a long day at work, you can give one to yourself anytime. Whether it's using a shower brush to massage your back or using heating pads, you just need the right tools. The reviews at MassageWellnezz.com give you better insight into what you need and how they work to really result in an effective massage. This will save you trying out different massage therapies until you find the perfect one.
3. An Aid to Health Conditions
Several health conditions are improved by getting regular massage therapy sessions. For example, both parts of your immune system; Th1 and Th2, need to be balanced in order to have a strong resistance to any disease. Massages help reduce stress hormones like adrenaline, norepinephrine, and restore the balance in your immune system, which makes it perfect for people suffering from autoimmune diseases. Massages also enhance blood flow; delivering nutrients and oxygen to your cells, and lowering blood pressure. If you often suffer from painful headaches, a quick massage will relieve tension and muscle spasms in the shoulders and head.
4. You'll Sleep Better
Are you tossing and turning in your bed all night instead of getting enough sleep before another long day of work and other responsibilities? We've all been there and those sleepless nights are the worst! They are usually due to hyperactivity in your nervous system and the built-up stress on your joints. A massage can slow it all down with the applied pressure and also increase serotonin levels, giving you a good night's sleep. So forget about sleeping pills and get yourself a deep massage for deep sleep!
5. Enhances Focus
Many people struggle to keep their attention centered on one thing for more than 15 minutes. Have you ever struggled to stay in the zone at a long meeting or kept reading the same page of a book or a work report five times in a row? Having too much tension on both your muscles and nervous system leads to an elevated heart rate, which is the reason why it's so hard for you to focus. Massages target the nerves in your brain that are connected to the heart and decreasing its rate, therefore improving your focus and attention span.
6. Eases Chronic Pain or Injuries
People who suffer from chronic pain in their back or joints can turn to massage therapy to reduce their discomfort. A chronic syndrome like Fibromyalgia can cause extreme joint pain, headaches, muscle spasms, and fatigue. These symptoms can be reduced significantly with a massage since it reduces the substance responsible for the pain. It's also an ideal solution for people with old injuries still causing them discomfort, especially athletes. Injuries cause soft-tissue restrictions that may lead to joint deterioration. Massaging these restrictions regularly will prevent joint decay and prevent other problems to develop from the injury.
Now that you know all the perks of getting a massage, you only need to figure out how often you should have one. This decision depends mostly on your lifestyle and your budget. If you lead a stressful life or suffer from muscle tension, getting a massage once or twice a year isn't gonna completely change your life. It's ideal to have one once a week until you feel a difference then you can narrow it down to once or twice a month.
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Help! My Friend Is a No Show
Dear Armchair Psychologist,
I have a friend who doesn't reply to my messages about meeting for dinner, etc. Although, last week I ran into her at a local restaurant of mine, it has always been awkward to be friends with her. Should I continue our friendship or discontinue it? We've been friends for a total four years and nothing has changed. I don't feel as comfortable with her as my other close friends, and I don't think I'll ever be able to reach that comfort zone in pure friendship.
Dear Sadsies,I am sorry to hear you've been neglected by your friend. You may already have the answer to your question, since you're evaluating the non-existing bond between yourself and your friend. However, I'll gladly affirm to you that a friendship that isn't reciprocated is not a good friendship.
I have had a similar situation with a friend whom I'd grown up with but who was also consistently a very negative person, a true Debby Downer. One day, I just had enough of her criticism and vitriol. I stopped making excuses for her and dumped her. It was a great decision and I haven't looked back. With that in mind, it could be possible that something has changed in your friend's life, but it's insignificant if she isn't responding to you. It's time to dump her and spend your energy where it's appreciated. Don't dwell on this friend. History is not enough to create a lasting bond, it only means just that—you and your friend have history—so let her be history!
- The Armchair Psychologist