We all know massage is relaxing, but it can provide the ultimate energy boost, too. Here’s how…
Not sleeping well? Stressed? Working too hard? These energy zappers mean we drift through the day on autopilot, but there is a solution. ‘Massage is great for relieving tension held in the body and it also helps clear the mind, leaving you stress free and mentally recharged,’ says Umpiga, expert massage therapist. ‘Energizing oils such as bergamot, lemongrass and jasmine can be used to stimulate the mind and body, acting as an additional pick-me-up.’
Research has shown that massage aids blood flow, and so delivering oxygen to all the body’s cells, which we need for energy.
Massage also helps your lymphatic system, which is responsible for removing toxins, waste build-up and bacteria. One of the lymphatic system’s most important roles is to fight infection, as part of the immune system. So when you feel run-down and stressed out, you’re more likely to develop a cold or other illness, and feel lethargic.
‘Through applying pressure and massage through specific points and channels, it can boost your lymph system, meaning your body can detoxify itself more effectively. This helps your blood circulate better, getting rid of that sluggish tired feeling. For days after the massage, you’ll still feel fresh and energetic,’ says Umpiga.
Not only does it leave you feeling groggy and unable to concentrate, but a lack of sleep leads to increased levels of the energy-zapping stress hormone cortisol.
However, massage has been found in studies to decrease levels of cortisol and increase levels of the chemical serotonin, which produces melatonin, helping promote a restful sleep. ‘With the convenience of a therapist coming to your home, you don’t have to go anywhere afterwards, so you feel totally relaxed,’ says Umpiga.
Flagging during your exercise session? Massage could benefit you. In a study, people who worked out for 70 minutes and then had a massage showed a marked increase in their muscle cells’ energy production, showing endurance exercise may be enhanced by massage.
‘Most of my clients play sports and exercise and they say massage is essential for optimal performance,’ says Umpiga.