There are a few luxuries that you'll do anything it takes to justify. That weekly manicure? It helps you to maintain a professional image. The salon blowout? Essential for confidence on that third date. When it comes to massages, you don't have to desperately develop an excuse to book one. The fact is that there are a number of health and beauty benefits to getting one, and if you've been considering heading to the spa, a massage is not a bad idea.
Still not convinced? Whether you've never had one or just need a little reasoning to back up your full-blown massage addiction, here are a few reasons it might be time to make a reservation.
- Having trouble catching some Z's? A massage may help you to drift off a lot easier by easing muscle tension and promoting relaxation. In fact, you just might find yourself falling asleep on the massage table.
- If you suffer during that time of the month with mood swings, bloating or other pesky PMS symptoms, a massage could be a major help. The Touch Research Institute reported that women with premenstrual dysphoric disorder who underwent regular sessions experienced decreased anxiety and improved moods. In case you needed some reasoning to keep booking appointments, the long-term impact was even more impressive, with women reporting less water retention and overall distress.
- Of course, taking vitamins and eating right can help you to keep your immune system in tip top condition - but you can also give it a boost with a massage. A study published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine revealed that participants' white blood cell counts went up after a good kneading. Additionally, Newsweek reported that several studies have shown that there is less of the stress hormone cortisol in a person's system following a massage. Since cortisol is responsible for lowering your body's defenses, you may be able to avoid illness if you can keep levels of this hormone down.
- Popping a pain reliever may help when you have a headache, but a massage might also relieve the symptoms. Research from Granada University in Spain determined that just a single session lowered the severity of tension headaches.
- When you really need to focus, you might be in the habit of reaching for a cup of coffee or an energy drink, but a massage might be a healthier option. A study by the Touch Research Institute revealed how this kind of treatment can surprisingly enhance your brainpower. After adults were given a chair massage lasting merely 15 minutes, they were not only more alert, but also completed a math quiz more quickly and accurately.
- Let's not forget about the beauty perks. It goes without saying that you look a lot prettier when you're relaxed, and certainly some time on the table will help you to gain a sense of calm. Moreover, Kimara Ahnert, a New York City skin-care studio owner, told Women's Health that a massage can facilitate blood flow, which plumps up your skin, helps your cells to drain toxins and can make a dull complexion look overall more lively.