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A dummies guide to the powerful health benefits of a weekly massage

If you take the time to look for evidence of the health benefits of a weekly massage, you’ll have no difficulty in finding numerous studies to support this. 

From easing muscle pain after exercise to reducing stress & anxiety, there are literally dozens of studies that go back 20 or 30 years that show overwhelming evidence that massage can deliver real physical and psychological benefits.

The benefits of a weekly massage

An Australian study found that a 10-minute massage after a tough workout could reduce soreness by 30%. Another study found that levels of the stress hormone “cortisol” dropped 31% following a massage, while the amounts of feel-good hormones such as “dopamine” and “serotonin” increased by around 30%.

What are the health benefits of a weekly massage?

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Reduce anxiety and stress

Massage has been used since the dawn of time to reduce stress and anxiety. There is also strong evidence that they help to reduce the symptoms of depression, too.

Massage advocates report that massage offers all kinds of benefits for your well-being, such as more energy, better sleep, improved concentration, and even less fatigue.

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Pain relief

Full body massage can also reduce pain & stiffness in the body. When you get a full body massage, endorphins are released and this acts as a kind of pain reliever.

Many sufferers of migraines recommend massage to reduce their headache pain but the most common benefits of massage are to treat muscles that are tired and sore, such as after a tough workout or vigorous exercise.

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Better circulation

Massage increases circulation by helping oxygen & nutrients to reach body tissues and internal organs. A massage can also help to control your blood pressure, too!

While massage does not replace regular medical care, it can offer tons of medical benefits. If you have a medical condition, massage can compliment your care but should not replace it!

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Increased immune function

Regular massage stimulates the lymphatic system, which helps your immune system to protect the body.

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Skin Benefits

Many folks get a massage to help remove dead skin cells for better skin health.

The increased blood flow does wonders for the appearance of skin and can also promote tissue regeneration. This can certainly help with scars and stretch marks according to massage professionals.

In a report published by the British Medical Journal, researchers explain that the power of massage is particularly helpful for people that lack a strong support system.

Touch itself is likely to be therapeutic, particularly in those with limited opportunities for physical contact, such as patients without intimate friends or family or with painful physical conditions.

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What are the 7 types of massage therapy?

Massage therapy isn’t just as simple as a good rub-down! There is a high level of precision in every press, strokes, and stretch.

Since records began, massage has been highly valued method of therapy for treating the mind and body. We have compiled a list of the seven most popular massage therapies offered today and a brief explanation of the methodology behind each one.

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Swedish massage

This is one of the most popular massage types. It consists of five basic strokes: sliding, kneading, rhythmic tapping), cross fiber, and shaking.


A fellow named Johan Georg Mezger is credited with founding Swedish massage. Funnily enough, Swedish massage is only called that in English speaking countries, Holland and Hungary. It’s just called “classic massage” everywhere else.

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Lymphatic massage

This one is designed to stimulate the body’s lymphatic system with gentle, repetitive strokes. With this kind of massage therapy, the muscle cells are able to contract smoothly within the lymph vessels so that muscles can safely transport lymphatic fluid through the body.

It was discovered by 2 Danish doctors; Emi & Estrid Vodder. Lymphatic massage is not really suitable for those looking for a strong, pressured massage. It is of most benefit to people that wish to detox their body or to reduce swelling after an injury or surgery.

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Thai massage

This system of massage and stretching originates in the obvious place and dates back over 2,500 years. It is said that Shivago Komarpaj was the founder of this very complex form of therapy but it’s very difficult to credit just one person as the techniques used are extremely intricate and vary from therapist to therapist.

With Thai massage, there are no oils used. It’s usually performed with the recipient in loose-fitting clothes laying on a mat or sometimes on the ground. Then the masseuse positions the lucky massagee in different yoga-esque poses and then applies rhythmic pressure on the body (while in that position.)

Thai massage is not to be confused with a Bangkok Soapy Massage or a Thai Body Slide! These are a whole different thing altogether and will only take care of one particular body-part!!!

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Deep Tissue / Trigger Point massage

This one uses friction and strong finger pressure on the parts of the body that feel tension, aches, or pain.

It is highly recommended for dudes with hypertension and particularly useful on the neck and shoulders. Sometimes, it is used with other kinds of massage therapy to create a fantastic kind of treatment.

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Myofascial Release

This is an alternative medicine therapy that is used to treat skeletal muscle immobility and associated pain by relaxing the contracted muscles, increasing blood / lymphatic circulation, and by stimulating the stretch reflex in the muscles.

The use of myofascial release as a massage treatment is not supported by much medical evidence and is not recommended without thorough research first.

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Reiki

Reiki is a different “kettle of fish”. It’ a spiritual practice of energy work that has its devotees and skeptics.

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Reiki uses an application of a number of hands-on holding positions that correspond to vital organs and nerve plexes. The main idea is that the treatment helps the body to heal itself and t create an overall equilibrium in the mind and body.

It is often favored by folks that suffer from stress. It was developed by a Japanese Buddhist named Mikao Usui in 1922. The most traditional form of Japanese Reiki uses intuitive hand movements, whereas the Western variation uses a series of systematized hand placements.

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Reflexology

Reflexology is huge right now. This foot-based therapy works on the idea that all of the body’s organs are mapped to the feet. By applying finger pressure to the feet, hands, or ears, it links pressure points to the various internal body systems.

 

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Reflexology was first used in 1913 by an American doctor named Dr. William H. Fitzgerald.

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The benefits of face massage?

When it comes to massage, we can easily forget about the face and head. Massage is a great way to alleviate stress, help lymphatic functioning and keep your face looking healthy and younger.

But how? – The act of massaging moves toxins out and away so that those wonderful nutrients can replenish our cells. Many guys choose to get facial massages as a way to deal with stress headaches and migraines. If you’ve ever experienced a facial massage, you will know that it can be so relaxing that it’s common to fall asleep mid-massage.

The reason it feels so darn good is that the face is full of nerves and pleasure-centers. Not only does it feel incredible, but it also has a host of benefits. So if you’re looking for an after-work pick-me-up or a relaxing escape, after looking after the kids all day, then take a quick peek at the benefits of a facial massage below;

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Elevates your mood

A good face massage will decrease stress and lift you out of your “funk.”

In a 2008 study by the User Science Institute, psychological tests conducted 45 minutes after a facial massage resulted in obvious improvements in both mood and anxiety levels.

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Wrinkle prevention

The stress of our daily lives results in a buildup of tension in the muscles.

As we get older, our foreheads furrow and lines develop between the eyebrows and around the lips. A soft facial massage helps to relax these tight muscles and will (after a few visits) decrease your worry-lines.

This kind of massage should be performed with a hydrating moisturizer to zap your wrinkles and keep your man-skin as supple as your partners!

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Removes congestion

This ones amazing – good therapeutic massage can also help you to combat allergy symptoms, like sinus congestion.

When mucus builds up in the sinus area, it can cause pressure, puffiness and sometimes headaches. A combination of steam inhalation and a gentle face massage works wonders to shift secretions, improve drainage and relieve your congestion.

Warning – If you have a serious and long-term sinus condition, such as an infection, then please consult your doctor before attempting any facial massage.

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What is a sports massage?

Sports massage is used by athletes to prepare their bodies for peak performance, recovery after sports, or to function better during training sessions, but you don’t have to be a sports star to benefit from it!

Sports massage puts a particular emphasis on the prevention and healing of injuries to muscles and tendons. It can be invaluable for gentlemen with injuries, severe pain or a restricted range of movement.

Generally, a sports masseur usually concentrates on a specific problem that has developed following a sports activity, such as weight-lifting, running, or tennis. Sports massages can be broken down into four categories; Pre-event, Post-event, Restorative, and Rehabilitative.

A sports massage is usually the best choice for those with a specific problem such as a pulled hamstring, a frozen shoulder, or a painful knee and is not to be confused with a full body massage. The main aim is to alleviate pain that has been caused by injury and to return the body back to peak health.

A final word – Do not get a sports massage from anyone other than a specifically trained professional with a wide range of techniques and the knowledge of when and how to use them effectively.

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The benefits of foot massage

We all know how pleasurable a foot massage can be, but did you know it can also promote health and well-being, too?

According to Chinese medical practitioners, most of the sensory nerves of our internal organs are mapped in the feet. In a typical reflexology session, the masseur uses the foot as detailed body-map to treat just about any health ailments.

The system uses massage and pressure on the meridian points of the body that correspond to specific organs, and supposedly sending energy to them. You can use also foot massage to promote psychological health.

In a study carried out by Brighton University, the patients that received foot massages after receiving coronary artery bypass surgery reported higher levels of calmness and increased feelings of well-being than those who didn’t get foot massages.

Furthermore, a foot massage is great for your plates of meat (feet). It stimulates foot and leg muscles, improves circulation, reduces stiffness & tension, and can even eliminate pain, according to the Harvard Medical School.

One of the biggest benefits of a weekly massage for your tootsies is that you can do it yourself! Just buy a good quality foot roller, take off your shoes, and roll the foot roller backwards and forwards for a speedy and invigorating massage. Don’t forget to use the rollers on the top of your feet as well as the soles though, as this part is important, too!

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How often should you get a massage?

How often to get a massage depends on several things such as your physical needs, emotional needs, stress levels, and obviously your budget but there is no doubt that you will get the most health benefits from massage when you get it regularly.

Benefits of massageWith frequent massage, the benefits include calming the nervous system, improved blood / lymphatic circulation, relief from muscle pain, and help with pain management for conditions including arthritis and sciatica.

A yearly massage may be relaxing, but it won’t undo a lifetime of muscle tension. A massage once every week is ideal for keeping your muscles in tip-top shape and your stress levels to a minimum.

If you are suffering from chronic pain or have a particular issue to take care of, you might need to get a weekly massage (or even twice a week) until your symptoms subside. When your physical and emotional health is where you want it to be, massage once a month may be enough to maintain the health of your body tissue.

If you have suffered from a particular issue for a long time and then you stretch-out the time between treatments, your muscles can easily revert back to their old patterns (even more so if your issues are stress-related.)

Another important point is that if you wait too long between massages, you may have to start your treatment from scratch to restore suppleness and pliancy. The golden rule is to listen to your body and not to wait too long between massages just to save money.

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What the benefits of massage for weight loss?

Massage for weight loss is a bit of a contentious issue with many health professionals believing that massage can be effective for people that want to lose weight, but massage alone doesn’t make weight loss happen.

One opinion is that massage can be a useful part of any weight loss program but it’s never going to be as important as eating a calorie-controlled diet and getting enough physical exercise. Only after fixing your diet and burning some calories should you seek out a licensed massage therapist who can help keep your body feeling strong, flexible and relaxed.

However, there has been some interesting research done on massage and weight loss. There is strengthening evidence that massage can help people to lose weight by optimizing the body’s nutrient delivery system and shortening muscle recovery time between workouts.

The argument is based on the fact that massage can help you to build and strengthen your muscles more quickly and that more muscle is going to result in increased fat loss because when we are involved in intense workouts (such as weight training), those muscles are not just burning calories for energy but are also burning calories for the whole day both for fuel and in to repair micro-tears in the muscles.

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Are massage chairs good for you?

The initial cost of a decent massage chair can be pretty steep but over time, you will save bags of time and more importantly – money!

A typical massage session in the U.S. can cost between $50 and $200 for a 60-minute session. There can also be extra fees when you want to use specific oils or hot stones for example. For those that want regular massage sessions, a good quality massage chair will pay for itself in no time at all!

You can get many of the benefits of a weekly massage by actually buying your very own massage chair. Granted, the effect of a chair massage is not quite as deep as a masseur but there are definite benefits to owning one. In our opinion, a massage chair is not a substitute for a qualified masseuse but if you own one, you can go much, much further between human massage sessions!

The main reasons for owning a massage chair are the pure unadulterated pleasure of it and unless you’re a pro-athlete (with a physio on hand), that they work out cheaper in the long run.

To summarize, massage chairs are not exactly replacements for proper masseuses, but a good chair definitely works well for folks that suffer from aches and pains and need very frequent massages.

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What is the best massage oil?

Massage oil is designed so the masseur’s hands glide longer and more effectively when performing a massage. 

Plant-based oils are a top choice for massage therapists because they are great for the skin. Options include almond oil, coconut oil, apricot kernel oil, grapeseed oil, jojoba oil, and sunflower oil.

Our favorite massage oil is Melt Sensual Massage Oil. It’s one of the highest rated oils on Amazon and comes in a whopping 16oz bottle.

With a purchase of Melt massage oil, customers also get (at time of writing) a bonus travel bottle which can be filled up for daily use while the big bottle stays in the fridge for an extended shelf life. The little bottle is a perfect size to take on those romantic and hopefully erotic weekends away.

Melt massage oil is an all-natural product. It’s perfectly balanced and therapeutically moisturizes the skin. It is a good all-rounder as it’s a very smooth oil with an even absorbency rate so is safe on dry, oily or combination skin.

Melt is guaranteed cruelty & paraben free and is made using only 100% cold-pressed sweet almond oil.

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What is the best massage table?

Whether you are looking for a massage table for work, or you just need one for the home, a folding table is usually the best choice. They are both lightweight and portable, and if you are a bit short of space, you can conveniently fold it away and keep it in the corner of your room.

There are lots of massage tables on the market, all of which seem to be offering different features so make sure that you consider your needs before choosing the right one.

Our pick of the best massage tables is the BestMassage PU Portable Massage Table which comes with a free carrying case. We love this massage table because of it’s sturdy construction and very competitive price.

It’s made from strong birch wood and is durable enough to be repeatedly folded away and moved around. For the money, there is no better massage table on the market. It comes with lots of accessories including detachable cushions (so that you can fold it away and store it in any small space.)

Folding and setting up the table is really easy and can be done in seconds. The table’s surface is covered with 2-inch thick high-density foam. It also utilizes a small cell texture which in plain English, means that it won’t flatten or lose its shape even with regular use.

The comfortable foam cushioning is topped with high-quality PU leather which has been treated so it’s both oil resistant and waterproof for easy cleaning.

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What is the best massage chair?

Real Relax brand is one of the leading manufacturers of massage chairs in the world. Their flagship chair has a very classy look and is available black or brown. The materials used are of excellent quality, making the chair extremely comfortable and moisture proof.

The best feature of this amazing massage chair is the high quality of foam which contours to your body shape and gives an amazing massage session. The Real Relax is fitted with an intelligent control panel and an emergency on/off button, should you need it. It is fitted with a 230-watt high power motor with 120V / 60Hz AC voltage which is more than adequate.

The Real Relax Zero Gravity Massage Chair is fitted with airbag wings (which wrap around your upper body), 360 degree embedded seamless airbags (which surround your arms), and massage points for the neck, bottom, feet, calves, and waist.

Air fills the bags and then they pulse rhythmically to promote perfect, circulation, relief from aches & pains, and a stimulating massage for your entire body (as long as you’re under 6.5 feet in height.)

The Real Relax massage chair comes with a detailed instruction manual plus a video to show you how to assemble it in around 20 minutes.

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What is the best massage face cradle/pillow cover?

A massage headrest consists of three parts – a face cradle, a face pillow, and a face pillow cover.

While headrests are functional without a cover, there is a slight risk of bacteria forming on the pillow. That’s why we recommend buying a face cradle cover for your massage bed, especially if you are a professional masseur, and need to protect your client’s health.

Headrest covers can be washable or disposable. While you may save a buck or two on laundry bills by purchasing a washable version, we really cannot recommend this kind of cover. It is by far the safest and most hygienic option to get disposable covers whether you are using a massage table for professional or home use.

Our pick of the disposable massage headrest covers is made by EARTHLITE. These top quality covers are made of medical-grade fiber and are ultra soft, thick, and never stick to your face and neck.

The EARTHLITE Massage Pillow Cover does not leave face wrinkles on your forehead and face and is designed to fit almost every massage table headrest and face-rest cushions. The fabric has a soft feel and does not feel like paper (like many other covers). The covers feel similar to soft cotton and they are also hypo-allergenic.

The covers are available in a resealable, economical 100 pack or 2x 100 pack from EARTHLITE – the world’s leading and most trusted massage equipment company, since 1987.

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What is the best massage tool?

One of the best products on the massage market today is the Myofascial Releaser Ellipse Pro. The Ellipse is a beveled IAFM (Instrument-Assisted Fascial Mobilization) tool made by the clever folks at Myofascial Releaser.

The tool is designed to help detect and loosen fascial adhesions so that you can create optimal mobility and a better range of motion. The Ellipse has a sleek, ergonomic shape and is extremely versatile.

The tool was originally made for clinicians and athletes but now you can get your very own. The multiple edges and grooves allow for contouring to different parts of the body with total ease and no training is needed.

The Ellipse massage tool has double-beveled edges and one acusphere, together with three indentations for an optimal grip. Each edge of the tool has a name so that you can easily consult the included manual to find out which edge should be used on each specific anatomical area.

The Ellipse feels perfect in your hand. It’s built-to-last but is also extremely light, portable and can be used by left or right-handed people.


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