With a massage in Sydney typically costing over $100 for an hour, it has always been a very occasional treat. On my recent travels to Indonesia however, I found Balinese massages were offered almost everywhere – and the going rate worked out at somewhere between $4.50 and $12 an hour. With prices like that, I thought I’d conduct my very own experiment, which basically involved having as many massages as I could and seeing if I felt any better for it!
The first few were quite sore, probably because I had some muscle tension. By the end of the trip, the soreness had completely gone. I noticed my sleep was better (though being on holiday probably has a big part to play), I felt relaxed and I'm certain I am a bit taller!
Having got back and researched it a bit further, there are lots of reasons for having regular massages.
The Benefits of Massage:
1. Posture gradually improves as the muscles around the spine become more flexible and less tense.
2. Circulation is encouraged, which is good for muscle recovery and healing
3. Massage encourages deeper breathing, helping oxygen circulate encouraging healing and growth
4. Joint flexibility is increased and tension relieved
5. A calm mind is encouraged by massage along with a completely relaxed body.
6. A massage is claimed to boast alertness and improve attention.
7. The cortisol that is decreased by massage is said to boast your lymph flow and immune cells (though I think the massage I had by the sneezing, sniffing masseuse in Bali probably didn’t have such a benefit to my immune system)
8. The decrease in cortisol and increase in serotonin and dopamine provided by the massage may also reduce stress, anxiety and depression.
If only a daily massage was an affordable option!
What benefits have you gained from massages? Do you regularly have them?