Hi Everyone! I’m back from a wonderful trip to Cancun. I’ll have to share more about the trip in a later post, but since it is Monday, I wanted to write something health and beauty-related.
Mom treated both my sis and me to hour-long massages on the beach. Heaven! That being said, I wanted to highlight the importance of getting regular massages (although I need to follow my own advice. I rarely get massages!). Anyway, we all should be getting massages fairly regularly. According to a recent New York Times article, it was found that a single massage session caused positive biological changes.
Volunteers who received a Swedish massage experienced significant decreases in levels of the stress hormone cortisol in blood and saliva, and in arginine vasopressin, a hormone that can lead to increases in cortisol. They also had increases in the number of lymphocytes, which are white blood cells that are part of the immune system.
Volunteers who had a light massage experienced greater increases in oxytocin, a “happiness” hormone, than the Swedish massage group, and bigger decreases in adrenal corticotropin hormone, which stimulates the adrenal glands to release cortisol.
While more research is needed to confirm the benefits of massage, many studies show massages may boost immunity, reduce stress, and help people with a range of conditions from PMS to high blood pressure. It also seems to help soothe pain from arthritis, burns and even surgery.
Other noted benefits include:
Managing anxiety and depression
So, head to your local salon and book at least a 30-minute massage (for health reasons! Really!) Or better yet, go to a lovely beach resort where they offer massages on the beach. Yes, you are pampering yourself, and it is worth it!
Massage hut on the beach
Two beach-goers getting “teaser” massages