How Can Massage Help To Reduce Stress?

Health Benefits Of Massage Therapy That You Didnt Know
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Everyone loves a massage but not many recognize the health benefits involved. In today’s modern age, stress abounds everywhere you look - in social media, at work, with family and friends.

Daily stress factors add up and massages can aid a person through mental and physical relaxation. Like many things in the world, there are hundreds of massage options, styles and techniques available online with a quick search.

The trick to knowing which is the one for you depends on how you currently manage your stress.

The Dangers of Stress

Stress has bogged down every single person on this planet at least once in their lifetime. Frequent episodes of stress or the inability to correctly manage stress levels can potentially lead to more serious illnesses.

According to certain researchers, stress plays a role in major illnesses and is directly linked to the following symptoms:

  • Headaches
  • Fatigue
  • Sleeping problems
  • Anxiety
  • Irritability
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Depression
  • Restlessness

The fact that stress may arise from ordinary and daily tools, such as your smartphone, is another worrying element to the equation. It’s very difficult to remove yourself from stressful factors - for personal or work reasons. Therefore, you need to find other solutions.

Maintaining good, overall health is only achievable if you’re well in all aspects of life: socially, emotionally, mentally, spiritually and cognitively.

How Massage Therapy Reduces Stress

Massage therapy works by first and foremost, relaxing your muscles, mind and body. In layman’s terms, stress is basically a lack of relaxation.

During a massage, the physical contact and the professional touch will help loosen your muscles while your mind gently relaxes. This relaxed state will help you forget about all the troubles you’re currently facing and enjoy the period of bliss.

Another way massages provide relief and happiness is thanks to the increase of the hormone oxytocin. This boost of oxytocin allows you to promote and induce a sensation of tranquility throughout your body - add a dash of serotonin and you’re good to go.

Oxytocin and serotonin are two of the four hormones that contribute to happiness. The high levels of these hormones will help you feel happier and this, in turn, will make a physical appearance through loose muscles and a relaxed stance.

Massage therapy works from the first session and benefits are reaped rapidly. As human beings, we have many touch receptors that get worked on during a massage.

There’s no massage that doesn’t involve physical contact - aside from the use of special instruments - for this reason. When heated objects, such as river rocks or the practitioner’s hands are used, the heat allows further muscle relaxation throughout your body.

When a muscle is relaxed, tension is released as a result. This release leads to the effective unwinding of the body.

Furthermore, as your body learns to loosen up, your mind will as well. This is due to the fact that your brain and your body are intricately connected.

Hence, a tense brain will lead to strained bodily reactions and vice versa. It works the same for a relaxed state of mind too. A massage, coupled with other relaxation techniques, works wonders for stress management.

Thus, it's safe to say that massage therapy, with its direct contact and relaxation ability, is a wonderful stress reducer. 

General Benefits of Massages

Aside from reducing stress levels, a massage can do so much more. Massages are known to improve and stimulate blood circulation, promote healing, reduce pain, aid immune system activity and restore a normal digestive routine.

In fact, these physical benefits will also aid you in relieving stress as well. This is because, for instance, experiencing some sort of physical discomfort is very stress-inducing. So, when the massage has soothed your pain, your stress levels will also significantly decrease.

The specific benefits that you'll experience will depend on many factors and no results are guaranteed. Massages that are specifically for stress relief, or any kind of health-related aid, should be done by a licensed and well-trained practitioner.

Other Stress Relief Factors

A successful massage session implies complete relaxation by the customer, while the licensed therapist goes to work on sore muscles and strained areas. However, a massage session can be greatly improved with a few simple tricks, such as candles and low lighting.

The possibilities are essentially limitless and left to the creativity of the person or company. Aromatherapy is an excellent way to experience further relaxation, not to mention the wonderful scent.

Another great element is music, which can be used as a background during a massage. Having a comfortable robe and bed to rest on is also an important factor to consider, especially if the massage session is more than half an hour.

You're also able to chip in and suggest certain tweaks to your massage therapy if you know what will help you relax one hundred percent.

Moreover, any questions you may have about the session should be addressed before you book the massage in order to prevent misunderstandings and embarrassing moments.


Rest assured that a massage session will definitely be an improvement and not a time-wasting experience, especially if stress has inhibited you from enjoying your life to the fullest. Managing stress, with a variety of methods, is an effective way to maintain your health in a good state.

Furthermore, experiencing half an hour or an hour of you-time is essential in today’s hectic and fast-paced world. Though you may love the massages your partner gives to you out of love, or sheer pestering, there’s nothing like a massage from someone who’s an actual professional.

That being said, once you get a massage, you’ll definitely see and feel the benefits afterwards. Namely, you’ll realize that you feel better and that your stress levels have significantly decreased after the session.

     Helen Heiz     

Helen Heiz is a massage therapist and instructor at Dave Taylor Training who has been practicing different massage techniques and teaching them for more than 15 years now.

She has learned diverse type of massages in the past years leaving her not only pain free but willing to learn even more to teach and help others.