Did you know that almost all varieties of massage can provide stress relief? There isn’t necessarily one defined massage for stress relief, however, there are certain types of massages that people tend to find work better for stress relief than others.
Here, you will find some of the best types of massages to relieve stress, but let’s also look at how massage aids in stress relief.
How Does Massage Therapy Relieve Stress?
In researching exactly how massage therapy can relieve stress, one can find technical and medical studies outlining hormone levels, blood pressure levels, heart rate, and more. However, to sum it up quickly: Stress increases muscle tension and massage decreases muscle tension.
Additionally, stress causes an increase in hormones called Cortisol. Increased Cortisol levels increases a person’s heart beat, increases blood sugar levels, increases respiratory rates, and can even mess with your digestive system, just to name a few. Some studies have shown that Cortisol levels are lower after receiving a massage.
Massage also releases hormones like serotonin, dopamine and ocytocin – essentially, your body’s own natural defense against the effects of stress and elevated Cortisol levels. These hormones calm the body, create feelings of peace, and also aid in soothing the body to sleep.
Pain is another cause of stress for many people. Whether it’s acute pain due to an injury or chronic pain from an illness or ailment like Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMJD), Sciatica, or Arthritis to name a few, pain wears on a person not only in the physical sense, but also in the emotional sense. Massage therapy is proven to alleviate or lessen pain levels for many patients. Reducing or eliminating pain is great way to relieve stress.
Best Massages for Stress Relief:
- Swedish Massage – is the most common and widely used for of massage in the U.S. Swedish Massage uses smooth flowing strokes, mild kneading and gentle manipulation of the muscles at a level or pressure that is of the optimal comfort to you. The focus in on most of the major muscle groups of the body, as opposed to concentrated areas in other types of massage therapy. The primary goal of a Swedish Massage is Relaxation.
- Hot Stone Massage – an intense but effective massage. The stone masssage uses stones that are heated (or cooled) to a certain temperature and then placed on the body. The stones can also be used to administer massaging movements by being coated in oil and gently pressed against the muscles.
- Aromatherapy Massage – who doesn’t become relaxed by a comforting, pleasant smell? During this type of massage, you experience a soothing body massage accompanied by scented essential oils. These oils are designed to enhance the healing effects of the massage. Lavendar is one of the most common oils used due to its pleasant aroma and calming effects.
- Prenatal Massage – in addition to the physical demands of pregnancy (sore back, sore neck, weight gain, swollen feet and ankles – the list can go on and on), pregnancy, although a typically happy experience overall, can also be quite stressful. A prenatal massage can assist with in treating both the physical ailments, as well as, giving the deserving “mommy-to-be” a relaxing, stress/anxiety free experience. (Note: prenatal massages are not recommended in the first trimester or with certain conditions. Always consult with your doctor.)
Stress Relief massages are available at Massage Retreat and Spa, with several convenient locations around the Twin Cities.
Massage Spas Near Me:
- Eden Prarie, MN
- Maple Grove, MN
- Savage, MN
- Woodbury, MN
- Edina, MN
- Plymouth, MN
- Shoreview, MN