7 reasons every man should have a monthly massage
Whether Swedish or Shiatsu treatments, we’ve found sound, scientific evidence that one massage a month can improve your health. Here’s how…
There are tens of types of massage. There’s compression and craniosacral. There’s Reiki and reflexology. There’s trigger point and Thai — sports, Swedish and Shiatsu. And every one of these joint-working, muscle-stretching styles has its own singular benefits.
But some massages are particularly, specifically helpful to men. Whether these treatments (find the best options here) deal with low testosterone, relieve uniquely masculine health conditions or tackle male pattern baldness, we’ve rounded up a bunch of benefits that prove every modern man should book in a monthly massage.
It can alleviate male-specific heart problems
What’s the problem? Last year, a research study published in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine showed that men have roughly twice the risk of heart attacks of women — and over 8% of all men have coronary heart disease. This is because men possess a greater cardiac mass, and also tend to have more stress that results in diabetes and hypertension.
How can massage help? A massage relaxes the body, boosts your circulation and lowers levels of cortisol — the stress hormone. In 2008, researchers at the LSU Health Sciences Center in New Orleans studied 263 volunteers who had hour-long massages. Average blood pressure fell, and heart rate also fell by 10 beats per minute—after just a single treatment.
It will conquer insomnia — and help you sleep
What’s the problem? Insomnia. A 2022 global study published by the University of Macau showed that 22% of men have difficulty getting to sleep or staying asleep for long enough to feel refreshed the next morning. And insomnia can lead to further complications — including slower reaction times, mental health disorders including depression and increased risk of long-term conditions, such as high blood pressure.
How can massage help? By releasing another hormone — this time; serotonin. This ‘feel good hormone’ is released during certain massage moves (particularly wringing, kneading and myofascial release) and the pulling and releasing of muscles can force the body to relax, sending soothing signals to your brain and helping increase the quality and standard of your sleep.
It could combat your male pattern baldness
What’s the problem? Receding hairlines, bald patches and a whole host of other thinning issues. Men are much more likely to experience hair loss at some point in their lives than women (85% vs 55%), and male pattern baldness accounts for more than 95% of all male hair loss. In 2010, the American Hair Loss Association also found that, by age 35, two-thirds of men would have at least some degree of appreciable hair loss.
How can massage help? In 2016, scientists in the Department of Aesthetic Surgery at Tokyo’s Nippon Medical School found that scalp massage can increase hair thickness and also boost hair regrowth. This works by increasing blood circulation in the scalp and stretching both dermal papilla cells and subcutaneous tissue to encourage thicker, healthier hair.
It can relieve strains and stress
What’s the problem? Tension, pressure, strains and stress. Men, notoriously, are less likely to seek proper help or deal proactively with stressful situations than women — and this difference in the coping mechanisms is what leads to higher stress levels in men, which can affect our emotions, behaviour, cognitive abilities and even physical health.
How can massage help? Those very same physical symptoms can be alleviated with a good massage. From headaches to high blood pressure, all of these problems will melt away if you go for a regular ‘Shiatsu’ massage. Focusing on pressure points, this Japanese technique uses acupressure and tapping techniques to relieve tension.
It may help counter ‘Low T’
What’s the problem? Low testosterone, also known as male hypogonadism — a condition with several possible causes, including injuries affecting your pituitary gland or hypothalamus. It can be debilitating, leading to both lower bone and decreased muscle mass, reduced sex drive and mood changes such as irritability and depression.
How can massage help? From sports to Swedish massages, there is no one massage type that will directly increase your production of testosterone — but certain styles can combat the root causes of ‘Low T’ by helping your body rid itself of stress and tension by increasing blood flow and improving your quality of sleep.
It will lessen any lower back pain
What’s the problem? Aches and discomfort. Due to increased mechanical stress and physical injury, men are considerably more likely to develop lower back pain than women. In 2016, researchers at The Chinese University of Hong Kong discovered in a MR imaging-based survey that men were particularly susceptible to disc degeneration, and that 25% of us will experience lower back pain in any given three month period.
How can massage help? Perhaps the most self-explanatory entry on this list, massage can help alleviate back pain when your therapist kneads, rubs, and works the affected muscles to increase blood flow around your body. This then helps to deliver oxygen and nutrients to the muscles and can eliminate the acids and waste products that accumulate there — relieving pain as a result.
It should help your sports injuries heal faster
What’s the problem? That men tend to play rougher, tougher sports than women. Whether it’s rugby, boxing or even mountain biking, male-heavy disciplines mean we’re much more likely to get bashed or beaten — and this means that our pursuits are also more likely to bring about muscular soreness, traumas and sprains.
How can massage help? In several ways. Short-term, massages can ease the onset of muscular pain. But, longer down the line, certain strenuous sports massages can help speed up healing and boost your body’s circulatory and immune systems by either stretching any tight muscles, stimulating your inactive muscles and improving the condition of any affected soft tissue.
Want more wellness advice? We asked a leading cosmetic doctor for his top anti-ageing tips…
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