In this hectic world, people from all walks of life can benefit immensely from a careful and strategic kneading of their bodies. Countless studies have proven that dedicating an hour or so to massage can yield numerous advantages beyond giving you time to slow down and free your mind of typical cares.

Benefits of Therapeutic Massage

Despite being the standard type of massage, therapeutic massage can benefit your health and well-being in numerous ways beyond relaxation. Eleven other remarkable benefits are discussed below:

1. It improves blood circulation which is important for brain health.

One of the leading causes of memory loss among older individuals is the decreased blood flow to the brain

Therapeutic massage, with its careful stretching and pulling, releases contracted muscles and naturally occurring toxins in the body for improved blood circulation around all vital organs. Therefore, it can help resolve circulation problems that lead to poor memory and diminished cognitive abilities.

2. It can help develop a stronger immune system.

Therapeutic massage therapy can boost the activity level of white blood cells. These cells are crucial to the immune system as they produce antibodies that destroy certain pathogens. At the same time, white blood cells also ingest pathogens that cause communicable diseases and kill them off.

3. It can reduce anxiety.

Massage has the ability to neutralize stress hormones (cortisol) by stimulating the release of endorphins, also known as the “happy hormones.” Endorphins improve mood as well as relieve pains that aggravate anxiety. Likewise, they help create better quality sleep, which is integral to mental health.

4. It can improve quality of sleep.

Therapeutic massage sessions have been found to improve quality of sleep.  This is mainly because massage stimulates the body’s release of serotonin. This is a neurotransmitter that not only helps people feel calm but also diminishes pain.

Here’s another fun fact about how massage is linked to sleep: An hour of massage is actually as good as a full night’s sleep. So, if you simply cannot catch some zzzs because of your busy schedule, get a massage.

A single session is all you need to rest and reinvigorate your body.

5. It can improve or restore the body’s flexibility.

If you wish to increase the range of your physical motions, therapeutic massage can help significantly. Since it pulls and stretches muscles, connective tissues, ligaments and joints, your body always feels more fluid after.

If you have suffered an injury that constricted your movements for some time, therapeutic massage can provide the necessary stimulation for improved blood circulation. This, then, will make sure that blood gets to deliver oxygen and essential nutrients to your muscles and joints for faster recovery so your body can move like it used to.

6. It can improve your posture.

Therapeutic massage can counter the effects of sitting in an awkward position for long hours. The pain that is concentrated on the neck, shoulders and lower back are quickly relieved during a massage session. There are many different ways to improve your posture, from training to your upbringing and habits, but one tool that’s designed specifically for this is called a posture corrector, and works similar to a brace for your teeth by physically holding your spine or back in place correctly.

Massage can be a good idea for less serious posture issues, and after the session, you will find that it is so much easier to hold a healthy posture. There’s no more of that stiffness you feel around your shoulders and lower back when pulling your spine straight.

7. It can normalize blood pressure.

While there is no established study that proves how massage actually normalizes blood pressure, there are substantial bits of evidence of therapeutic massage resulting in the drop in blood pressure of patients with high blood pressure.

According to, it may have been due to the fact that high blood pressure is often triggered by stress. And since massage is known to diminish stress, managed stress, then, leads to managed blood pressure.

It is important to mention, however, that massage for people with hypertension should only be performed with the approval of a physician.

8. It can prevent reliance on pain medication.

People who suffer from chronic pains (such as fibromyalgia and arthritis) can grow less reliant on medication. With the ability of therapeutic massage to reduce or eliminate pain, those with chronic pain can take their medication less frequently, which can actually contribute to better physical health.

Synthetic medicines can damage the liver and kidneys in the long run. They contain ingredients that are completely alien to the body, thus requiring the organs a much longer time to “identify and accept.”

This process overworks the organs and always leads to some damage that gets worse over time.

So, if you are someone who experiences chronic pain, you can reduce the frequency of taking you pain medication and be able to prevent your organs from getting overworked to failure.

9. It teaches people to relinquish control.

Individuals who constantly need to be on top of things lead high-tension lives. But once they start getting therapeutic massage, they come to understand and appreciate the importance of surrendering certain situations to more able hands.

That is the massage experience. It’s all about recognizing that there are people who can take care of you better than you can. So, “surrendering” is necessary to regain your well-being.

After seeing and feeling the positive results of your “surrender,” you will find yourself more yielding to other people’s contribution to your wellness.

10.  It can make skin healthier.

As previously mentioned, massage can get rid of toxins in the body. These toxins can target the skin in different ways. They can clog pores and make skin sensitive and prone to flare-ups.

Likewise, massage can promote healthy sebum production, which is crucial in fighting aging. The right amount of sebum can prevent the early appearance of fine line and wrinkles.

It’s worth noting as well that therapeutic massage can prepare the skin for the proper absorption of nutrients from essential oils and skin care products. Nourished skin is resistant to infection and it heals so much faster.

11. It can relieve headaches.

Whether it’s a regular headache or a full-blown migraine, massage can definitely help. The strategic manipulation of the joints, ligaments and muscles can trigger the production of the body’s pain-fighting hormones – serotonin and endorphins. These hormones can block pain signals and provide relief from your headache.

Another thing massage does to relieve a bad headache is it promotes better circulation. The brain needs adequate amounts of oxygen and nutrition, and massage is one effective method of ensuring this vital organ gets what it needs to function and “feel” good.

All these cement the fact that massage is good for you. If there’s any form of self-care that you should be doing now, it’s definitely a massage.


Marc Innes is the Owner and Principal of the School of Natural Therapies , a training school for Massage & Holistic Therapies located in London. Marc developed an interest in all things complementary to Allopathic Medicine, in particular, Reiki Healing and EFT, which culminated in running a successful teaching and ‘energy healing’ practice. Marc is passionate about the massage and complementary therapy industry.

It’s no wonder that after the unbelievable amount of work you do throughout the year, you feel maxed-out after a while. You’re a human being, after all, bound to reach a breaking point every now and then.

It is in these moments, when you’re feeling down and out, that you should consider going on vacation so you can relieve all the pent-up stress. No need to overthink it. Just act spontaneously, pack your bags, and head over to one of the most beautiful places on the planet: Japan. I’m here to help you make the most out of your trip, by narrowing down the following must-see locations.

Kyoto’s Arashiyama Grove

Sometimes, the best way to feel alive is by going to your roots and connecting with your inner-self. A silent stroll through a quiet, calm natural scenery can conduct such magic. Arashiyama’s spiritually enlightening bamboo forest is the perfect spot for letting go of your tensions and meditating. Its trails are about 500 meters long, and are lined on both sides by towering bamboos, which then lead to a famous shrine and a temple. You can reach the Saga-Arashiyama Station by train, then cycle your way up the trails. This grove has served as creative inspiration for Hayao Miyazaki in his world-famous Japanese animated films, which you can stream right on your high-definition Xfinity TV, if you want to see the lush greenness before experiencing it.

Kyushu’s Gokase River

In the prefecture on the southern side of Kyushu Island lies a quaint little town with a wonderfully vast river, mystic waterfalls, and weeping cherry blossom trees. During the summer, you can go on an exhilarating kayaking adventure on the crystal clear Gokase River, and get the rowing experience of your life. Or you can trek through the place and dive into the refreshing waterfalls, which hide away in nooks you’ll want to explore. If it is winter, snowboarding and skiing will get your energy right back up.

Hida Takayama’s Street

If you’re looking for an escape from your gritty reality, plunge into the fantastic culture of Hida Takayama. A walk through Sanmachi Street presents a preserved chunk of Japan’s splendid Edo period when it was at its highest. Dark-wood houses of magnificent architecture line the broad street. There are coffee and sake stalls, plus shops selling antique trinkets. All you need to do is cross the bridge and lose yourself in a magnificent past picture of Japanese culture.

Kinosaki’s Onsen

Water is a healing element. It has a curious way of untying many of the knots which build up in your body over time. Just let it wash over you, and take all your frustration away. And what’s better than visiting a Japanese town built on the very concept of onsen (hot spring revitalization)? Once there, you can get a full body massage, relax in the hot springs, walk around in a yukata (light kimono) and geta (wooden clog sandals), eat the traditional food at the ryokan, and calm yourself by taking in the natural scenery.

Hokkaido’s Furano Fields

There’s something about flowers which make them so attractive. Either it’s the color, the texture, the scent, or perhaps it’s all of these factors. Together, they appeal to our senses more than anything, setting our imagination on fire. Hokkaido’s Furano Fields leave precisely this impression on one’s soul. Wherever you look, there are endless fields of flowers, especially the soothing lavender. Take a walk through them, or a bus ride, and you’ll definitely not regret it.

So if you’re stressed out, stop waiting around and get your adventure on! Visit these Japanese natural sanctuaries, and give new strength to your depressed spirit.

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Varicose veins can often go untreated and many people do not know how or why they occur. Often, people see them as merely a skin defect and do not bother to have them looked at. The matter of fact is that this medical issue does need to be looked at by a doctor and treated accordingly. If anyone ever experiences bulging veins they should visit a vein clinic to get them assessed.

What are Varicose Veins?

Varicose veins are leg veins that do not pump blood to the heart the way that they should, if at all. Blood vessels contain small valves that push the blood upwards towards to heart and sometimes these vales no longer function. As a result, the blood in these blood vessels fails to be pumped properly and end up ‘leaking’ down the blood vessel due to gravity.

Because there is now extra pressure, they begin to bulge outwards. The rest of the functioning veins manage to compensate for the failure however it can lead to other health risks and should therefore be checked.

Should they be left untreated, there are a few potential medical risks that can arise. One of the earlier effects is that the surrounding skin becomes inflamed due to the blood that ‘leaks’ down the vein. If left untreated for an extended period, it can cause a brown pigmentation, hardening of the skin and even a skin ulcer.

Those with varicose veins are also at higher risk of a blood clot known as deep vein thrombosis. This is the most dangerous consequence if left untreated and requires immediate medical attention.

Causes and Risk Factors

Whilst the exact cause of varicose veins is unknown, one of the biggest risk factors is the family gene pool. There is a strong link between family members experiencing the issue. It is believed that pregnancy and standing for a long period of time can also be a contributing factor.

It is said that professions requiring standing for long hours in the day such as tradesman and hairdressers are at higher risk and therefore it is recommended that they take a moment to sit down every hour for a couple of minutes to reduce the strain on the legs.

For anyone experiencing pain in their blood vessels or those involved in these professions requiring long standing hours, it is also recommended that they avoid exposure to excessive heat at these times e.g. hot tubs, spas, saunas. This is because heat increases inflammation and swelling and will also increase vein distention.

For anyone experiencing any pain in their leg veins, it is recommended that they attend a vein clinic to get them looked at.


Varicose veins can sometimes be painful and are most often characterised by a large bulging vein in the leg. The pain can lead to a dull ache or heavy feeling in the legs. Many people experiencing this issue may often have restless legs.

Occasionally, a brown pigment can be seen around the blood vessel which is a sign that it is of a more severe nature and should be treated immediately at a vein clinic to reduce the risk of any further damage.

Ultimately, a healthy lifestyle is one of the best ways to reduce the risk of varicose veins by keeping fitness levels high to encourage a strong heart and other muscles. Remaining active to constantly engage all muscles in the body will help to reduce to burden placed on an individual’s legs and therefore reduce the risk.

For those in a family with a history of varicose vains, it is important to understand the symptoms and keep an eye out for them as well as living a healthy lifestyle.