By Nikola Minet, Ka Huna and Remedial Massage Therapist
Touch and physical connection with other humans is one of our greatest psychological needs. So you can imagine how beneficial for your overall wellbeing it is to receive regular touch. Sometimes, however, we are not in a place where we’re able to receive touch from those around us – perhaps we don’t live nearby to our family and friends, or we don’t currently have an intimate partner – and that is when qualified massage therapists can offer some of what you need.
We usually concentrate on the physical level of support massage can offer, but there are many other benefits regarding the psychological effects of massage. For example, did you know that massage can promote healthy sleep? This is because massage increases Delta brain waves, and signals the body to release serotonin, a ‘happy hormone’ that is important in deep sleep. Another way massage effects us on a psychological level is increased relaxation. When we are massaged, endorphins are released and stress hormones such as adrenalin and cortisol are reduced. In this way, regular massage can help us to manage anxiety and stress.
From a physiological standpoint, when we are stressed our shoulders and neck have a tendency to tense. When this tension is released, we can feel ourselves again, because the tension decreases. Next time you catch yourself in a slumped or ‘shoulders forward’ posture, do yourself a favour and book a massage. You can be sure you are doing more than you can imagine for your wellbeing and health.