Massage doesn’t only benefit your muscles, bones, and psychological wellbeing, it also improves the look of your body’s most visible organ – your skin!
We’ve all seen and heard the countless commercials for the contemporary bevy of health and beauty lotions, ointments, moisturizers, salves, balms, appliques, and so on (and on, and on…). We almost seem to have a love affair with youthful skin, apparently our definition of ‘beauty.’ And while those products are often effective – sometimes, horrifically so (botox over-use, anyone?) – it’s entirely possible to get clear, youthful-looking skin in a more natural way. Drop the over-the-counter chemicals; your body has its own natural skin-improving tricks up its sleeve. And, yes, these skin-clearing body-based de-toxifiers can be stimulated and encouraged through the use of massage.
As mentioned in previous “Benefits of Massage Therapy” entries (Part 1 and Part 2 here), a good therapeutic massage session can improve blood circulation in your body. It also improves lymphatic circulation.
Lymphatic circulation is a vital factor in the emission of waste and debris (mostly in the form of common toxins) from the body, primarily through the pores. An efficient lymphatic system will quickly and effectively get rid of toxins that build up beneath your skin; the effect is a beautiful, shining glint to your skin that will make your skin appear younger and more supple. Lymphatic drainage also helps reduce “puffiness” in the skin, particularly in the cheeks and under the eyes. Puffiness can stretch the skin around your eyes and mouth, which helps pronounce wrinkles. A good massage will relieve the skin of its built-up toxins and will help ameliorate wrinkles and puffiness.
This same effect can even be extended to scar tissue; studies have shown that deep tissue massage can also help remove excess scar tissue in modest quantities. Think of massage like a good “buffer” for your skin: it won’t remove your scars and wrinkles, but it will make them a little less pronounced and look softer (and, hence, younger).
As mentioned before, massage can also improve the effectiveness of your circulatory system. For example, it dilates your superficial capillaries near the surface of your face, which allows for blood to pass through quickly and more easily. The healthy result of this is expedited nutrient delivery throughout your body (including to your skin cells, which are responsible for quickly healing superficial wounds); the cosmetic result of this is a more youthful, rosy color to your cheeks. Good facial massage can even modestly stimulate the production of sebum, which increases your skin’s suppleness, and helps get rid of underlying toxins.
It’s a wonder, really, that with all these substantial physical and psychological benefits as well as cosmetic benefits, people still hesitate to get a massage. If visiting a massage therapist is too inconvenient or costly, why not consider a massage chair? Even a monthly massage can have lasting benefits to your overall body health, flexibility, and appearance.