If you’re a Singaporean, chances are you have travelled at least once to our neighbour to the north — Johor Bahru. Thanks to the magic of the currency exchange rate, the Singapore Dollar is (at the time of writing this) a whole three times more than the Malaysian Ringgit. It’s no wonder many Singapore residents brave the insanely long queues at the checkpoints to spend their weekends in Johor — to get the most bang for their buck. Good food at low prices, bargain-basement shopping – you can get almost anything for cheap in Johor.
One thing most people love getting in JB is massages. From foot rubs to full body kneading, a massage is a great way to help relieve aches and pains. It’s a great and effective way to improve not just your physical health, but mental health as well. So what are the benefits of getting a massage?
Maximum Relaxation & Stress Relief
The daily rush to get from place to place and the long hours of demanding work life can take a real toll on us — both physically and mentally. When we’re exhausted and filled with anxiety, our bodies produce high amounts of cortisol — the hormone that causes us to feel stress. This can contribute to many negative effects on us in the long run — weight gain, unable to sleep well, headaches, problems with digestion, to name a few.
To circumvent this, massage therapy can actually help to decrease our cortisol levels. It helps us to feel relaxed by triggering the release of endorphins, serotonin, and oxytocin — the chemicals in our brain that make us feel good. It keeps us relaxed for longer, improves our mood, and reduces anxiety and stress. Moreover, with regular massage sessions over an extended period of time, it can boost our energy levels, reduce body aches and pain, and overall just makes us feel better.
Lowers Blood Pressure
Consistent massage sessions have also been shown to lower high blood pressure. Blood pressure is the force of the blood pushing against the lining in our arteries, and when that force increases or stays higher than normal for a long period, you have high blood pressure, otherwise known as hypertension. If left unchecked, it can damage your arteries and lead to internal bleeding, heart failure, and brain damage which could lead to a stroke. Sounds terrifying, doesn’t it?
Luckily for us, massage therapy can aid in reducing high blood pressure levels. Studies have shown that regular sessions can reduce both systolic and diastolic blood pressure. As a result, the risks of heart attacks, strokes, and kidney failure can be drastically reduced.
Improves Blood Circulation
More benefits of regular massage therapy sessions include improved blood circulation within your body. Proper circulation helps transport oxygen-rich blood vessels to your damaged, stiff, and tense muscles, which helps to promote healing.
With hands-on pressure, massages also improve circulation by moving the blood through congested areas in your body, which then causes new blood to flow into your muscle tissues. The pinching, twisting, and pulling motions of a massage can also aid in removing lactic acid buildup in the muscle tissues, which relieves muscle fatigue and post-exercise muscle soreness.
Encourages Restful Sleep
We’re sure you know the innumerable benefits of a good night’s sleep — more energy, increased concentration, boosted productivity levels, and so on (bid farewell to dark eye circles!). Unfortunately, some people have a harder time than most others when it comes to bedtime. If you’re one of these poor souls, you might be happy to know that a good massage can also encourage your body to rest better and get overall better sleep.
Perhaps it is not surprising, given how massages are relaxing. With its stress-reducing powers, we will feel less worried and anxious, therefore letting us ease into a peaceful sleep. Just so you know, more sleep also contributes to a decreased risk of heart disease and strokes, so don’t stay up too late at night — get some good rest, and your body will thank you for it.
Stronger Immune System
When you’re stressed, your body is more likely to fall sick as you become more vulnerable to illnesses and injury. Combine that with restless sleep and poor nutrition, and the effects could be very detrimental to your overall wellbeing. You might be wondering just how massage therapy can help to boost your immune system — studies have shown that going for massages often raises the capacity of the body’s cytotoxic levels. This then enhances how your body delivers nourishment, and makes the process stronger and more efficient.
The Bottom Line
Based on all the reasons we’ve listed here, it’s not hard to see why people love getting rubbed down. If you’re feeling particularly stressed and in need of some relaxation, or if you have yet to experience what a massage can do for you, you should really consider taking the plunge and get a good back rub soon.