The Ultimate Massage Guide (Everything You Need to Know About Massage) — How It Works And Scientific Findings

How Does Massage Work?

People feel better after getting a massage as it improves blood flow to many restricted muscles and improves circulation of the lymphatic system. This is the network that transmits infection-fighting cells from the body. Massages also help relax the muscles that result in reducing nerve compression. What’s more, massage reduces blood pressure and heart rate, which is why you feel a lot relaxed after getting a massage.

There are many ways through which massage therapy helps to ease muscle pain. Consider this, hyper-sensitive muscle knots might get built up in the body, which creates a feeling of soreness in the body. Rubbing the disturbed area with hands as a way to massage the area is a good way to alleviate pain and get rid of the knots. The pain may stem from a point in the upper trapezius muscle if you have a temporal headache, for example.

Finding out the root cause of the pain will also help you address the root problem. You will need to apply pressure where the individual might tolerate it. Slowly massage the points from eight to ten seconds which will help release and elongate the muscles. This way, the muscles will get re-educated to stay loose and long rather than being bunched up.

As a preventative measure, massage helps to promote a relaxed state in body muscles which helps to maintain a good posture, with joints in a better alignment. A good posture will go a long way toward getting rid of pains and musculoskeletal aches.

How to Do Massage?

There are different ways of doing a massage. Some people would go for massage ball therapy, while some would like to simply have a relaxing session in a massage chair. Whatever be the case, the benefits are pretty much the same.

1. Neck Pain Massage

Neck pain is usually caused by poor posture and overuse of muscles. It may happen from day-to-day activities, such as hunching over a phone or a laptop or reading in bed without having adequate support for the neck.

If the neck feels painful and tight, you can try the therapeutic technique for self-massage. It might come as helpful if you have a knot in your neck.

How to Do it:

  • You will need to lower your shoulders away from the ears and then straighten up your back and neck.
  • Figure out the painful regions on your neck and press them firmly using your fingers
  • Gently make circular motions using your fingers and repeat the process in the otherwise direction.
  • Continue for three to five minutes.

2. Self-Massage

If you experience any sort of headache, self-massage might aid in releasing tension and improving relaxation. It might become highly beneficial if your headache is induced due to stress.

How to Do It?

  • You need to lower your shoulders away from the ears. Straighten the back and the neck
  • Locate the skull base and then place the middle fingers and the pointer of each hand towards the centre with your fingertips touching
  • You may apply some gentle pressure while sliding your fingers downwards or outwards, moving into the specific direction, whichever feels the best.
  • Move the fingers in some circular motions. Try focusing on the tense spots as well as the areas around them.

This technique will work best for massaging your lower back without the need to use any kind of equipment.

3. Massage Ball Technique

This is also a method you can use for releasing tense muscles, especially in your back.

How to Do It?

  • Sit on a flat surface with both your legs crossed and straighten your back
  • Place the thumbs on either side of the sacral bone with the flat triangular bone towards the bottom most of your spine
  • Move both your thumbs in circular, small movements up and down the sacrum
  • Apply some pressure on the tense spots, take a pause, and then release
  • Continue the process if important and take deep breaths

Top scientific and Health Benefit Aspects of Massage

The benefits of massage are a lot more than feeling relaxed – science suggests various benefits of getting a massage. Let’s see some studies that explain how:

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality showed in review 20 studies that compared body massage to other care interventions and found that there was evidence suggesting massage to be helpful in reducing chronic low back pain. What’s more, the agency also considered six studies that evaluated different massage types, showing positive benefits for the individuals.

A review from a 2015 Cochrane study suggested that massage might be beneficial for short-term relief from mild to moderate low back pain. The guidelines from the clinical practice in 2017 were issued by the American College of Physicians mentioned massage therapy as a choice to treat acute and subacute lower back pain.

What’s more, massage helps in the proper blood circulation in your body. That means your body organs get ample nutrients and oxygen when blood is circulating around them. Also, your lymphatic drainage system starts working more effectively. If there are any dead cells or toxins built in the draining nodules, a quick message has the capacity to help your body detoxify the unwanted content efficiently. Therefore, you will have a stronger immune system, and there will be a decreased chance of having any inflammation in your body.

Massage for People with Chronic Diseases

With some considerable precautions, massage therapy might be a part of supportive care for a number of cancer patients who would want to consider it. What’s more, there is evidence suggesting it may relieve anxiety and chronic pain as well in cancer patients. The clinical practice guidelines for women with breast cancer include massage as one of the best approaches that appear to be beneficial in reducing stress, fatigue, anxiety, depression, and quality of life.

Some evidence suggests massage therapy to be a lot helpful in alleviating the risk of depression and anxiety in people having HIV/AIDS and other diseases. Some of the other conditions in which massage may also be helpful include acute pain or fever. Also, massage helps to improve the quality of life in patients with communicable diseases like HIV/AIDS.

A meta-analysis and systematic review of 10 studies contrasted the different effects of massage therapies in 2015. It found that most of the styles of massage came with beneficial effects on the life quality of patients with fibromyalgia.

The Risks of Not Massaging Your Muscles

Now that you know about the variety of benefits that massage comes with for healthy individuals as well as individuals with the disease, you might want to know if there are any risks that come with never massaging your muscles.

For instance, if there is a middle-aged man with full-time work stress and has a family to look after, he might not get any time to take care of his body. Sitting at a desk from 9 to 5 may interfere with his physical health – his stress levels will rise, his muscles will begin to get tense, and he might even experience some pain or soreness in different areas of the body, especially the back and the neck.

It turns out when you remain in a sedentary position and don’t do much to unwind those knots of muscles that get built up in that way; you are likely to develop these things. Moreover, there might be less lymphatic drainage in your body if you don’t do anything for the blood circulation to keep going in a flow. So, the best way to address this situation is to be mindful of it – you might want to get a massage chair if you don’t have the time to go to a massage therapist, or you might want to book an appointment from time to time to get those knots released and destress your body from head to toe.

This will help you to have better physical health and mental health. Proper blood circulation, for example, will help you to protect yourself against a number of conditions such as inflammation. Moreover, it may have a positive impact on your immune system as well. If you don’t pay heed to your body getting stiff and deprived of getting the proper blood circulation it needs, then you might experience conditions that decrease the quality of your life.

History of Massage Chairs

Massage chairs are becoming more common nowadays. However, there is back a long history of massages and their benefits. In the late 1980s, the massage chair was initially offered to the general public. The main purpose of the massage chair was to treat stress, tension, and back discomfort by simulating the motions and methods of a real therapist.

Several clinical investigations have shown considerable improvements in blood circulation, immunity, muscular rehabilitation, and hypertension management. If you have any pre-existing medical issues, we strongly advise you to seek permission from your doctor before using any massage chair. Massage’s health advantages are increased mobility, muscular repair, and pain management. It can also help with neck, upper back, and lower back problems. 

Regular massage helps improve problem-solving skills, which many people are unaware of. Medical study has shown this to be the case. It can also help with anxiety and stress reduction. That’s why massage chairs are frequently recommended for use in business environments, hospitals, and other locations where individuals are frequently stressed. Massages can assist with anxiety, sadness, insomnia, and sleep difficulties. We now know that anxiety is at the root of many ailments; therefore, treating it eliminates a slew of other symptoms. It was discovered that giving massages to white-collar executives and healthcare workers improved their emotional well-being and, as a result, their work performance. It was discovered that it reduced the rate of work-related injuries as well.

So here comes the benefits of massage chairs

Reduces Anxiety and Stress

The most significant benefit of the massage chair is reducing your stress and anxiety. The massage was a great stress reliever if we see the historic importance. However, the same benefits are continuing. A massage chair is a robotic machine that works on your muscle’s relaxation. Muscle relaxation is directly connected to stress relief. Many employers recommend their employees get a massage chair after their hectic work routine. This is why massage machines are so popular with full-time workers.

Here is the link to a clinical study about massage machines as stress reliever.

In the above clinical research or study, it is mentioned that massage machines are a great stress reliever. They took participants from the Oncology nursing profession, the most attention-demanding profession. Many would-be burnt out after a busy day, but according to the research, Chair massage reduced stress and pain interference in the team’s everyday tasks, resulting in a good influence on work stress and pain among Oncology nurses.

Muscle pain and soreness

Massage machines are important in improvement in muscle pain and soreness. Muscles get painful due to exercise, sports, or a hard day at work. The hurting is produced by a lactic acid buildup surrounding the muscle tissue.

Softly rubbing the raw regions stimulates blood flow, which supplies more oxygen to the area and assists in removing lactic acid in that area. A massage chair with a new heating function is another way to relax after work, and it may be even more efficient in relieving tired muscle soreness after your workday. However, you should limit how often you use a massage chair and avoid overdoing it. Hydromassage is also an efficient way to relieve painful muscles.

Muscle recovery

Many of you might work out and would be burnt out after your workout session, but some people use a massage machine hack. Massages are great muscle recovery therapy. But if you don’t have time to go to the massage center, then a massage machine would do the same. Just 5 to 10 min session of your massage machine’s full deep tissue massage and heating cycles would make your mood refreshing, and you would feel your fullest muscle recovery. 

Good Treatment for Lower Back Pain

The massage chair has good positive results on back pain. Almost every adult has faced back pain or joint pain in their life. Some are continuously affected by back pain and joint pain in their daily life. For this problem, a massage chair would be a great option. Massage chairs are effective in treating back pain or joint pain because they work on the effective area’s direct muscles, and their heating system works perfectly to lower the soring of muscle.

In the above study, they compared the physiotherapist’s effects and massage chair effects, so definitely manual physiotherapy would be more effective, but they have shown results that both are effective. 

Improvement in Blood circulation

It is also noticed that blood circulation after massage chair therapy sessions increased tremendously. A healthy circulatory system has several health benefits, and the greatest approach to get it flowing with strength is to participate in sports, although massage is a close second. Blood circulation improved after massage chair therapy because they tried to massage every muscle, and the blood in that particular area would circulate well.

Better sleep and relaxing state

A massage chair is one of the best me-time you would ever get. The best thing about using a massage chair is getting its after-effects. Massages overall affect our body’s working and mood. After regular massage sessions, you would see many changes; like many people, you see no muscle soring or muscle pains that further reflect your mood. They feel relaxed in their free time, especially after their massage chair sessions. 

Also, people experience better sleep due to blood circulation because they now have normal blood pressure, which further affects their body and mood. 

Here is the clinical research link on the effects of massage therapy on sleep.

Improvement in Neck problems

Many massages chair comes with a dedicated feature for the neck and shoulders. This is quite effective in relieving the pain of a stiff neck and reducing the headaches that normally accompany it. If you don’t want to spend the money on a massage chair right now, a massage gun may be a good alternative. Massaging that region also has the effect of reducing stress and increasing dopamine and serotonin levels. This also raises the pain threshold and aids in healing the injured regions.

Chiropractic Maneuvers for Sciatica

Doctors and chiropractors were involved in the creation of several massage chair models. As a result, these chairs have some outstanding features and ergonomic improvements. The major elements that alleviate sciatica-related symptoms include twist, tilt, heat, and deep tissue massage. These treatments have a high success rate in reducing shooting pain and maintaining it at bay in the long run. 

Economical viability

Well, massage chairs would seem expensive in the short term, but they are one of the best economical options in the long term. Imagine returning from work, being burnt out, and paying physiotherapists for your massages and all the muscle-related issues. Don’t forget the time you would put into these treatments. After analyzing everything, you would be surely convinced that massage chairs are the most economical option. 

Just 5 to 10 mins massage daily would make your day. You have just sat on your massage chair and completed your massage session, and that’s all now you are again in the refreshing mood and ready to perform other household works or just ready to watch your favorite TV shows. It’s all up to you. 

Great flexibility and posture improve

Chiropractors and physical therapists assisted in the creation of numerous massage chairs. This indicates they’ve been designed to limit your options.

Flexibility and stretch are common characteristics. When utilized, these will strengthen your bones and enhance your muscular flexibility and strength. It’s a good idea to start your day with a massage that incorporates a few stretch aspects. It will undoubtedly exercise your muscles and prepare you for the day ahead.

Massage chairs allow you to take care of your body regularly. This is when the importance of posture comes into play. The usage of a massage chair regularly helps to relax your muscles. As previously said, this will make you more malleable and adaptable. As a consequence, your standing and sitting posture will improve. This is why a massage chair is such an effective tool for improving posture and balance.

You can also give it a read about the benefits of a massage chair here:

Immunity system boost

Massage machine has other benefits, too, like improving oxygen flow to extremities, which helps in the pumping of blood and further helps in blood circulation. The massage chair also helps in immunity by flushing the lymphatic system. The lymphatic system flushes out toxic materials from our bodies. 

Also, massage chairs give us the best energy boost after their refreshing session. If you feel low in your day and a headache, you would feel great after your massage chair session due to immediate muscle relief. Also, if you get a shoulder and neck massage, it will improve your mood. 


Massage is a profitable investment. An investment that would reflect on your mental and physical health. A massage chair is a relaxing session for yourself. Every year massage chair comes with new features. Like the heating system, lower massage system, and neck or shoulder massage system, it all depends on which type of massage chair you are looking for. 

Massage works wonders for your body – it helps in improving your immune system, improves blood circulation in your body, alleviates pain, reduce stress, anxiety, and depression, and the benefits of this therapy in patients with different diseases are effective enough – that’s why massage is often included in the clinical practice guidelines for a number of conditions. Science has backed the benefits of massage with a lot of high-quality evidence. Considering all these plus points, it is wise to include massage in your daily routine – and there are various ways to do it; Ask your partner to give you a massage, get an appointment with a massage therapist, or get a massage chair.

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