5 Health Benefits of a Massage

Should a massage be a regular part of your life?

health benefits of a massage

Photo by Milada Vigerova on Unsplash

Many people view massage as either a luxury or as a pain management strategy.

This is a shame. A good massage can drastically improve how you feel both mentally and physically.

It could possibly change your life. It can also be difficult to justify getting one when you are not already in pain.

A good massage can feel amazing but is that enough to justify getting one?

In this article, I am going to outline five health benefits of a massage so that you can have a good reason for making massages a regular part of your life.

1. Promotes general relaxation

Many people have hectic schedules and numerous responsibilities making it difficult to find the time to relax. This can lead to some of the most prevalent health issues including:

  • heart disease
  • high blood pressure
  • stroke
  • diabetes
  • depression

Unchecked stress wreaks havoc on the body, especially the cardiovascular system and the brain.

Massages are an extremely effective way of relaxing. They are a time to let go of your worries and pamper yourself.

Relaxation of the mind is deeply tied to relaxation of the body. Massages cause the muscles to relax. When muscles in the body start to relax, the mind starts to slow down too.

Massages have also been shown to stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system– the part of the nervous system that calms you down. This can explain why it is so great at promoting general relaxation.

2. Relieves Muscle Tension

Everyone has experienced muscle tension at one point or another. Simply carrying yourself the wrong way or sitting with poor posture can cause tense muscles.

Oftentimes, the tension goes away on its own, but sometimes it become chronic.

When the muscles are constantly tense, they drain your energy and reduce your quality of life.

Even worst, we become so used to having tense muscles that we don’t even notice it after a while.

Massages are also great at relieving muscle tension. Oftentimes a good massage is all you need to get the tension out and possible prevent problems down the line.

3. Boosts the Immune System

Massages can also keep you healthy

Inside of the body, there is an entire army of cells prepared to attack disease. These immune cells are extremely important for keeping us healthy.

A good massage goes hand in hand with an increase in some of the important immune cells that help the body fight and resist disease.

No one quite knows exactly how this works though some believe that it may be related in the decrease in stress hormone that goes along with a massage.

Regardless, an improved immune system can have a positive impact on your health.

The immune system is closely related to another system in the body. Everyone is familiar with the circulatory system: the heart, arteries, and veins that pump blood throughout the body, supplying the tissues and organs with life-sustaining oxygen.

Fewer people know that there is another set of vessels in the body, the lymphatic vessels, that are vitally important  for clearing waste out of the body.

In addition, these vessels are essential to the immune response. They help transport immune cells throughout the body and make it possible for these cells to stimulate and immune response.

Unlike the blood vessels, the heart does not help the lymphatic fluid move through these vessels. Instead, muscles in our legs and our breathing helps this fluid to flow.

Some believe that massages also help the lymphatic fluid flow throughout the body making this system of vessels more effective and bolstering the immune response.

4. Improves sleep

If you experience a lot of stress, it is difficult to turn it off at the end of the day and fall asleep.

This is because the stress response involves the increase of certain hormones in the blood.

This is very difficult to resolve in a short amount of time. Imagine if you add dye to water. It is freely floating, making it challenging to separate out.

Many times even if you do fall asleep the stress hormones are still in the blood preventing you from getting a truly restful sleep. Thankfully there are things that you can do to help the body decrease stress hormone.

Massages not only reduce the stress hormones, but they also increase the hormone serotonin which in turn increases melatonin, the sleep hormone.

When you combine this hormonal response with the relaxation response, it is easy to see why massages are so good at improving sleep.

==>> Check out some other ways to improve your sleep here

5. Raises energy levels

The last of these 5 massage health benefits is that massages improve energy levels. Many people feel like they are dragging through their day. A number of things can cause this.

Sometimes it can be a serious health issue. More often than not it is a result of the muscle tension and sleep problems that come from daily stress.

Since massages target both of these things, you are likely to see an increase in energy from massage therapy.


Massage therapy has many benefits. It promotes relaxation, relieves muscle tension, and improves the immune system, energy levels, and sleep. It may even improve your life in unexpected ways.

You don’t even need to leave home anymore to get a great massage. You can get a massage cushion or neck massager and enjoy a massage anytime you want.

==> Check out my list of the best neck massagers here!

I hope that this article encourages you to take advantage of this wonderful, life-changing therapy. It is more than just a self indulgence or a treatment for pain- it is something that can help you become more engaged in life and function on a higher level.

Let me know down in the comments if you have ever had a massage. What type of a massage was it? What type of effect did it have on you?

massage therapy benefits

health benefits of a massage

  1. I seriously need to get a massage, especially after reading this. Haven’t had one in a long time, but the few times were really good, now I know why massages feel so great!
    Before I run out and try to find a masseuse, what sorts of massages for relaxing and stress relieving would you recommend for a beginner to start with? I know there are some really aggressive massages that may be relaxing, but kind of jarring too :-S

    • I would recommend a Swedish Massage. They are easy to find and quite gentle. If you get one, be sure to communicate with your masseuse. With me, many times they use a light pressure because I seem frail, but a moderate pressure works better, so you must communicate and be open to trying out new things. 

  2. Hi Eva,
    Many years ago I was given a gift of a massage and it was an incredible experience which left me feeling completely relaxed. The one negative thing was that straight after the massage I had to get up and drive home. I felt so relaxed I could have easily stayed for a while longer relaxing!
    Do you have any specific recommendation of what type of massage I should go for next time? I have no idea what type of massage it was the first time. Thanks!

    • Hey Soraya,

      I’m glad that you enjoyed getting the massage… getting up and leaving really is the toughest part! I would recommend getting a Swedish massage. They are extremely relaxing and great on sore muscles. I honestly have loved every Swedish massage that I have gotten. 

  3. To me there is nothing more relaxing than a good massage. I have constant tension in my back and would love to be able to afford a massage at least once a week. We had a massage chair growing up and I really liked it for the most part but it didn’t replace the touch of human hands. It also scared my grandma so badly she literally jumped out of the chair. I like how you talked about other benefits besides just relaxation. Massage is a great way to help improve all other areas of your health.

    • Yes, a massage has many benefits. For me, the fact that it feels good is enough of a reason to get a massage. You should check out some of the newer models of massage cushions. They are relatively inexpensive compared to massage chair and many of them have 3-D nodes which are more like human hands. 

  4. I think you are very right that people don’t use massage to preempt ill health. I am guilty of that. A while ago I had to deal with some very painful lymph blockage and the only thing that worked for me was a hand vibrator made for massage. That has made me wonder if there is a type of massage specifically to improve lymph flow?

    • There actually is a lymphatic drainage massage. Your best bet is to find a professional who is trained to perform this. I believe that a regular Swedish massage could be effective for this. When you go in, make sure to tell the therapist the specific area that needs help. 

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