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Have a Massage

COMPLETED BY 138

LISTED 209

Research suggests that getting massaged can actually benefit your health.

It's basically a painkiller — especially when your masseur gets his hands on your bare skin. In one study, when neuroscientists compared brain activity of people undergoing different touch-treatments (e.g., with and without rubber gloves, with and without movement, etc.), bare-handed massages activated the same part of the brain that is activated by opioid painkillers such as codeine.

It boosts your immunity. Massage doesn't just get the blood flowing – it actually changes your blood's composition for the better. After a 45-minute Swedish massage (a technique that involves long strokes, deep kneading, and circular movements to push blood toward the heart), recipients had significantly higher levels of blood proteins that play a major role in protecting the body from tumors, viral infections, and other pathogens, compared to blood samples taken from a control group, according to a study published in The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine.

It reduces stress. Before a date, interview, or game, it can alleviate the tension in your muscles and your mind, says Dolvett Quince, the lead trainer on NBC's The Biggest Loser and a massage and wellness consultant for Brookstone. An overwhelming amount of evidence suggests that massage can actually slash most physiological markers of stress. One Korean study found that patients who got hand massages five minutes before cataract surgery had significantly lower heart rates, blood pressure, and levels of the stress hormone cortisol than those who went into surgery without any kind of rubdown.

It fends off headaches. Lots of things can trigger a headache, but many stem from tension in the neck that restricts blood flow to the brain. Oftentimes, a neck massage can boost blood flow and alleviate the pain, Walsh says. Also, research (including one four-week study in which participants got two 30-minute massages per week) suggests that massage also reduces frequency and severity among chronic headache suffers.

It may help put you to sleep. No more counting sheep. (As if anyone ever does that.) One small study found that a 20-minute facial massage can reduce blood pressure and increase sleepiness pretty much immediately. Researchers also tested foot massage: The treatments reduced blood pressure, just not as much as facial massage — a fact you can easily omit the next time you ask your partner for a late-night foot rub.

It improves your circulation to help you relax. Your body constantly pumps blood to and from the heart to carry oxygen to your tissues and sweep away cellular waste products. It's tough work. According to Walsh, Swedish massage is designed to push blood from your limbs toward your heart to make things a little easier. This gives your muscles a chance to relax, so you feel refreshed when your massage is over — kind of like you just took a nap. (But obviously better.)

Thai massage

Traditional Thai massage is an ancient healing system that combines broad and targeted acupressure, stimulation and manipulation of energy lines called sen, and assisted yoga postures. Treatment effects are enhanced when the patient is fully relaxed and breathing deeply. This traditional healing practice, called nuad or nuad boran in the Thai language, stands in sharp contrast to western massage therapies.

Traditional Thai massage rarely uses oils or lotions, and the recipient remains clothed during a treatment. There is constant body contact between the practitioner and client, but rather than rubbing on muscles, the body is compressed, pulled, stretched and rocked in order to clear energy blockages and relieve tension. The practitioner uses thumbs, palms, forearms, elbows, knees and feet to create a dance of movement on the body of the recipient. In this process, joints are opened, muscles and tendons are stretched, internal organs are toned, and energy is balanced. The overall effect is one of deep relaxation, rejuvenation, and physical and mental well being.

 

Success stories

Kendell McKern

Dec 09 at 08:54 am
Got a few in Thailand. They are so cheap!

Dominique White

Dec 05 at 11:32 am
It was awesome

Kačka Divišová

Nov 13 at 02:21 am
Best experience, going regularly now

Bahaa Elias

Sep 26 at 12:25 pm
I did it.

alice -

Sep 25 at 11:10 am
first time try.

Japke Kuipers

Jul 27 at 21:57 pm
@bali met Marleen, Harmen en Remon

Sandra v. d. Linde

Jun 12 at 04:16 am
...

'Q' Bjorndalen

Apr 27 at 09:14 am
Worth it

Jessica Morales

Apr 14 at 06:24 am
nice!

Valentina Lomborg

Apr 08 at 06:32 am
Last week

Melissa Mahan

Mar 15 at 09:26 am
did it

Caitlin Breen

Mar 14 at 04:34 am
Once.

London Leopard

Mar 12 at 09:02 am
I had 2 massages in Thailand

Cherie Stratton

Mar 05 at 11:01 am
...

Amberly Harris

Mar 02 at 21:09 pm
It felt great!

Naomi Ohayon

Feb 17 at 01:56 am
Its like heaven

Alyson Doucette

Feb 14 at 07:05 am
Amazing

Jesse Pons

Feb 13 at 17:07 pm
it's really relaxed

ine verbrugge

Jan 24 at 21:28 pm
wellness

Caroline Couture

Jan 21 at 05:23 am
was so good.

Lauren Edwards

Jan 17 at 02:13 am
Spa day with my Mum

Vahe Andreasyan

Jan 16 at 11:51 am
Afdbasdfbvs

Valene Joshua

Jan 14 at 23:29 pm
naked massage!

Rosalind Pingleton

Jan 12 at 17:33 pm
once

Karen Tarroyo

Jan 08 at 15:21 pm
didany times both massage chair and a full body.

Matthew McSweeney

Jan 01 at 23:11 pm
Swedish Massage - Scotland.

Erin O'Brien

Dec 30 at 05:24 am
goid

Shannon Kokkonen

Dec 29 at 08:36 am
...

Emma Dane

Dec 28 at 21:19 pm
NFL

Claire Hall

Dec 19 at 12:06 pm
Radisson limerick

Jules S

Dec 18 at 14:47 pm
Felt refreshing and well sleepy after it.

Paula Sandrak

Dec 09 at 00:28 am
yay

Kimberley Ann

Nov 07 at 14:06 pm
you can never have too many masages

Shawna Liddy

Oct 30 at 22:04 pm
....