The perfect New Year’s Resolution: regularly scheduled massages


As 2019 quickly approaches, what New Year’s resolutions have you mapped out for yourself?Lose weight? Eat healthier? Exercise more? Be calmer? Improve your work/life balance? Sleep better?

What if I told you that studies show that massage actually can help you meet any one of these resolutions?

People who have regular massage sessions report feeling more balanced emotionally and less stressed, experience fewer aches and pains and feel less depressed.

Because massage relaxes us, we can think more clearly, control our emotions more easily. Simply put, we feel better.

In fact, medical doctors often recommend regular massage to patients who have heart disease, cancer, diabetes and depression. (Note: Although rare, sometimes massage is not recommended for certain health conditions. Check with your doctor before treating your symptoms.)

Emotional health and well-being

Another bonus of massage is that it provides safe, non-pharmaceutical relief from a number of health conditions such as chronic pain, depression and high blood pressure.

Massage therapy can reduce cortisol, a stress hormone that suppresses the immune system, digestive tract, reproductive system, and cell growth. During a massage, hormones such as serotonin (sleep hormone) and dopamine (happy hormone) are released, promoting improved sleep and good moods. Feeling anxious? Massage can reduce the symptoms of anxiety.

Massage can boost the immune system and aid indigestion. For those who experience frequent bouts of nausea, massage therapy can help soothe an upset stomach. One study found cancer patients who received Swedish massage before and after chemotherapy experienced a substantial reduction in nausea and vomiting.

Sports pain management and performance improvement

There is a reason that athletes incorporate massage therapy into their workout schedule. The restorative effects of massage therapy and the corresponding psychological benefits promote athletic success.

Massage allows muscles to recovery more quickly, reduces pain and increases an ability to focus. As the muscles are stimulated, blood circulates and provides them with the oxygen and nutrition they need. An Ohio State University study found that massage therapy provided relief after the repetitive muscle contractions associated with exercise.

Additionally, it is common for doctors to recommend massage for patients recovering from injury and/or surgery. Massage assists in improving range of motion and flexibility, balance and healing.

Energy and balance

Restful sleep is another benefit of massage. We all know that if you feel more rested, you feel better. In the case of New Year’s resolutions, if you feel more rested you are more likely to be motivated to stick with your plan for increasing exercise or making a lifestyle change.

Massage offers relief from a number of health ailments from fibromyalgia to heart disease, Parkinson’s disease, muscle-skeletal concerns and depression. Massage therapy even can assist in reducing the frequency – or eliminating – migraines. To learn more on this topic, see the Oct. 28 column “Headache relief with the touch of a finger”.

Massage Concepts therapists in Del Mar offers a variety of massages to help everyone feel their best and to meet their personal goals. For more information on relaxation massages or to make an appointment, call (858) 847-2777 or visit