It's fundamentally a painkiller — particularly when your masseur gets his hands on your bare skin. Bare-handed or body-to-body 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 Nuru massage (a technique that involves 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 tumours, viral infections, and other pathogens
It improves your flexibility.If you can't even fathom contorting yourself into intimate positions like the Arc de Triumph, Erotic Accordion, or Pinwheel, there's hope: Two 30-minute massages per week can improve your trunk flexibility and relieve pain associated with lower back stiffness.
It reduces stress. Before a date, interview, or game, it can alleviate the tension in your muscles and your mind. 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 boosts your mood.Is it raining outside? Is it Monday? Is it any other day of the week that makes you miserable? Then you definitely need a massage. Authors of a 2005 review of studies on massage therapy found that, on average, massage increases your levels of serotonin (a neurotransmitter linked to happiness) by 28 percent and dopamine (a neurotransmitter involved in motivation, arousal, and reward) by 31 percent. Combined, this boost should pretty much make your day.
It can alleviate morning stiffness.Most people tend to sleep in a way that strains the muscles in the neck. (If you sometimes wake up with a stiff neck, you're probably sleeping wrong.) After the damage is done, an a.m. neck rub can help get the blood flowing, loosen up those muscles, and ultimately make mornings less painful.
It can hold you over when you're going through a dry spell. Professional massages is not necessarily been sexual, but skilled massage therapist who provides body-on human contact on demand provides at least one of the ingredients found in formal physical relationships: oxytocin, a hormone associated with bonding and orgasm.
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. 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.)