anxiety relief

Self-Massage a Pleasurable Way To Reduce Anxiety

7 min read

Massage is one of the most relaxing and invigorating alternative therapies, and after all, who doesn’t like it? 

Many still consider massage as a sporadic alternative, and not as a treatment or a prophylactic measure, which can avoid a range of problems and future complications.

But massage brings a huge variety of benefits, and the act of self-massage is an act of self-love, with both physical and emotional benefits, that you can practice at any place and at any time. 

Self-massage allows a connection between body and mind, essential to promote physical and emotional balance. Self-massage also provides muscle relaxation, decreases muscle pain and tiredness symptoms, activates blood circulation, and improves the body’s oxygenation, favoring the elimination of impurities. 

With constant practice, self-massage strengthens the immune system and reduces the production of cortisol, responsible for stress, besides promoting the release of dopamine and endorphins, which produce a feeling of well-being. 

Very simple maneuvers, performed daily, can help improve sleep quality, increase mood and make your day much more productive. And perhaps at this point the most important benefit is the relief from emotional tensions caused by the coronavirus outbreak.

Self-Massage and Coping During COVID-19 

The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak is a stressful situation for most people. Fear and anxiety about this disease and the uncertainty regarding the future can be overwhelming and cause strong emotions in both adults and children. 

Coping with stress and centering yourself will make you, the people you care about, and your community stronger. How you respond to the outbreak can depend on your personality background, but stress during this outbreak can cause, fear, frustration, worry and anxiety, changes in sleep or eating patterns, difficulty sleeping or concentrating, worsening of chronic health problems and mental health conditions, and an increased use of alcohol, tobacco, or other drugs.

During this outbreak especially being socially distanced due to the COVID-19 and we humans being social creatures, self-massage can be a means to reduce the negative feelings resulting from this situation and help you find internal and external comfort. 

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The Main Benefits of Massage

Increased mobility and ease of movement

Massage has the incredible ability to improve our flexibility. Massages such as deep tissue massage act on the innermost regions of the musculature, reducing muscle stiffness, bringing muscle mobility again. In addition, other techniques, such as massage for myofascial release, work by softening the muscle connective membrane, also facilitating the movement of muscles that, as a consequence, increase their flexibility.

More relaxation and less stress

Who has never felt less irritable, nervous, anxious and much more relaxed after a relaxing massage session? A well-executed massage can increase the amount of well-being hormones, causing a series of relaxing and comforting sensations. 

Our muscles and minds become more relaxed, we become more concentrated and focused. Ready to face life’s challenges with much more disposition and resilience.

Improves sleep quality and eliminates insomnia

Whoever has had insomnia and difficulties sleeping, knows how exhausting it is the next day to perform routine tasks without proper rest. In addition, sleepless nights can trigger a number of serious and worrying illnesses and physical and mental problems.

We need restful nights of sleep, and nothing better than relaxing with an adequate massage, which will help us to regain sleep and rest properly.

It is known that massage can increase and stimulate the levels of hormones responsible for triggering sleep, facilitating rest.

Reduction of pain and discomfort

Muscle pain and discomfort are serious evils of modern life. When we are nervous, we tense the muscles and, thus, cause chronic and recurring pains that impair our quality of life.

Massage can relieve tension, reduce headaches, and migraines, resulting from constant stress and lack of necessary rest.

Back and lumbar pain, from nervous tension and poor posture, is reduced with targeted and personalized therapeutic massages, according to the specific needs of each person.

Improves immunity and the immune system

It is proven that regular massages can intensify the activity of white cells present in our organisms, responsible for immunity and combating harmful agents, such as viruses and bacteria.

Thus, with massage we are able to strengthen our immune system, making us more resistant to diseases and illnesses that can seriously compromise our health and lives.

Reduction of anxiety and depression

With the relaxation that comes from the massage, we become less irritable and less anxious. The body becomes more relaxed, influencing the mind to be still and enter a state of tranquility and calm for much longer.

Depression is also favored by massage, as thoughts and, consequently, behavior is also influenced.

Increased energy levels

Massage manages to improve our blood circulation, which in turn improves the nutrition of cells, in addition to bringing more oxygen for energy production.

Also, fatigue and tiredness are reduced with targeted therapeutic massage, increasing the recovery capacity of our bodies, allowing us to have much more energy and disposition.

Reduction of tension

A permanent tense and rigid musculature blocks the ability for rest and restoration, as seen in cases of contracture with exaggerated tension, the pain is very intense and prevents people from performing other activities, further intensifying stress.

An appropriate massage solves the problem, as it relieves stiffness, eliminating tension knots, allowing a faster recovery.

Scar tissues appearance improvement 

Anyone who has undergone surgery knows that scarring is probably inevitable. However, the scar tissue can have its volume reduced with the proper massage.

The adhesions and flexibility of the compromised tissues can be improved, softening the scar, eliminating its showy and typical appearance.

A correct approach to massage, with good hydration, promotes the rupture of the healing beams, significantly improving the aspect of the wound. A good oil for treating keloid scars is Rose Hip Oil, and you can apply and massage recent scars or even old scars with it. Use preferably a Certified Organic oil. 

Recovery from strenuous physical activities

If you are practicing some intense physical activity like marathons, weight training and others, you must know how strenuous they really are. Depending on the training or even the competition, physical activity is extremely exhausting, preventing us from continuing our training more quickly.

Sports or sports massage helps athletes, professionals and amateurs, precisely to recover their strength more quickly after a more intense and demanding training, increasing their capacity for rehabilitation.

How to Self-Massage

Turn off your phone or anything that might distract you. Sit comfortably or lay down. It can help to close your eyes. Take slow, deep breaths. Rub your hands well to warm them, or use massage oil, preferably lukewarm. You can use olive oil, sesame oil, almond oil, or any vegetable oil of your choice. Apply gentle, firm pressure and remember to breathe. You can breathe also into the area that you are massaging, this practice will increase the benefits and help to ground yourself into the moment.

Feet and ankles – massage well your toes one by one and in between, and also the soles;

Legs and knees – apply some pressure, feel the consistency of your muscles well;

Belly – massage in a clockwise direction, promoting the regularity of your intestine;

Lumbar region – massage downward;

Dorsal region (in the middle of the back) – do your best, even if you arrive only with the tips of your fingers;

Hands, wrists, and arms – apply some pressure, feel the consistency of your muscles well;

Chest and shoulders – massage with circular movements;

Cervical region (neck) – this is one of the areas where we accumulate more tension, so massage this area well;

Face – perform circular movements, stimulate circulation and reduce wrinkles. Massage at the temples and ears;

Head – apply some pressure and, if you have long hair, pull it out to increase the oxygen supply.

Always remember to breath in and out consciously… 

Attention: If your anxiety interferes severely with daily activities, talk with your doctor. Serious forms of anxiety need a multi-disciplined approach, medical treatment and/or psychological counseling (psychotherapy) for symptoms to improve.

Are you convinced that massage can bring you many benefits? So start implementing it in your routine and then tell us here on the blog your experiences and progress made. We’re glad you’re here!

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