A growing body of research supports the health benefits of massage therapy for conditions such as stress, fibromyalgia, low-back pain, and more. See all the ways you can benefit from adding massage therapy to your health and wellness routine.
We know that Massage therapy can be used to help manage a health condition or enhance wellness. Massage has been practiced in most cultures, both Eastern and Western, throughout human history, and was one of the earliest tools that people used to try to relieve pain.
So what exactly are the benefits of receiving massage or bodywork treatments?
While personal experiences very, massage is useful for all of the conditions listed below and more.
Alleviate low-back pain and improve range of motion
Ease medication dependence
Enhance immunity by stimulating lymph flow—the body’s natural defense system
Exercise and stretch weak, tight, or atrophied muscles
Help athletes of any level prepare for, and recover from, strenuous workouts
Improve the condition of the body’s largest organ—the skin
Increase joint flexibility
Lessen depression and anxiety
Promote tissue regeneration, reducing scar tissue and stretch marks
Pump oxygen and nutrients into tissues and vital organs, improving circulation
Reduce post-surgery adhesions and swelling
Reduce spasms and cramping
Relax and soften injured, tired, and overused muscles
Release endorphins—amino acids that work as the body’s natural painkiller
Relieve migraine pain
A Powerful Ally
There’s no denying the power of bodywork. Regardless of the adjectives, we assign to it “pampering, rejuvenating, therapeutic” or the reasons we seek it out “a luxurious treat, stress relief, pain management”, massage therapy can be a powerful ally in your healthcare regimen.
Experts estimate that upwards of 90 percent of diseases are stress-related. Perhaps nothing ages us faster, internally and externally, than high stress. While eliminating anxiety and pressure altogether in this fast-paced world may be idealistic, massage can, without a doubt, help manage stress.
Enhanced sleep quality
Furthermore, clients often report a sense of perspective and clarity after receiving a massage. The emotional balance bodywork provides can often be just as vital and valuable as the more tangible physical benefits.
In response to massage, specific physiological and chemical changes cascade throughout the body, with profound effects. Research shows that with massage:
Arthritis sufferers note fewer aches and less stiffness and pain.
Asthmatic children show better pulmonary function and increased peak air flow.
Burn injury patients report reduced pain, itching, and anxiety.
High blood pressure patients demonstrate lower diastolic blood pressure, anxiety, and stress hormones.
Premenstrual syndrome sufferers have decreased water retention and cramping.
Preterm infants have improved weight gain.
Research continues to show the enormous benefits of touch—which range from treating chronic diseases, neurological disorders, and injuries, to alleviating the tensions of modern lifestyles. Consequently, the medical community is actively embracing bodywork, and massage is becoming an integral part of hospice care and neonatal intensive care units. Many hospitals are also incorporating on-site massage practitioners and even spas to treat post-surgery or pain patients as part of the recovery process.
It’s true! Kindness is the best medicine. It not only strengthens our hearts but also helps to keep us healthy, happy, and energized! Recently scientists found that when people do kind acts they often experience an emotional warmth that produces oxytocin in their brain-and this chemical creates a sense of well-being.
Kindness gives us healthier hearts. It also strengthens our immune system, reduces aches and pains, makes us happier, and boosts energy and strength in elderly people. Acts of kindness are often accompanied by emotional warmth, which produces oxytocin in the brain and throughout the body. This chemical is responsible for creating a sense of well-being and connection. Of recent interest is its significant effect on the cardiovascular system. Oxytocin causes the release of nitric oxide in blood vessels, which expands them, reducing blood pressure. Thus oxytocin is known as a ‘cardioprotective’ hormone.
Kindness also slows aging. On a biochemical level, aging is a combination of many things, but two culprits that speed the process are free radicals and inflammation, both of which can result from unhealthy lifestyle choices. Remarkable research now shows that oxytocin reduces levels of free radicals and inflammation in the cardiovascular system, thus slowing aging. Free radicals and inflammation also play a major role in heart disease. So kindness is very good for your heart and for your overall health!
Using the Tibetan Buddhist loving-kindness meditation, one study found that kindness and compassion did, in fact, reduce inflammation in the body, most likely due to its effects on the vagus nerve. One simple practice you can perform to stimulate the vagus nerve, and slow heart rate at the same time lowering blood pressure is deep diaphragmatic breathing with long, slow exhalations.
At Zen Massage Salt Lake City, we encourage you to get massaged frequently. Caring touch stimulates the release of oxytocin. And when you use your attention to mindfully slow down and give length to your breathing while you are getting worked on, you double the benefits of your bodywork session. Bring loving-kindness to your heart and nervous system!
We all know that a short foot massage every now and then can really help us relax, most everyone enjoys it, particularly after a long day of standing up and walking around when our feet tend to swell up. But most people ask does it really have any benefits other than making us feel a bit more relaxed and relieving some of the pain?
We will take a look at some of the benefits of foot massage that are supported by actual scientific research – benefits that are either immediate or can be seen and felt after a couple of weeks, even with as little as two to three sessions per week.
1. Improves circulation
Due to a mostly sedentary lifestyle, we have become unaccustomed to using our muscles on a regular basis. The muscles in the feet get hardly any exercise and circulation is often impaired by tight and uncomfortable shoes. A 10–20 minute massage session before going to bed can greatly improve circulation in the lower extremities, which is particularly important for people suffering from diabetes.
2. Helps prevent foot and ankle injuries
Massaging the feet can help with joint pain and aid recovery after an injury, as well as reduce muscle soreness. However, when massage is combined with foot and ankle strengthening exercises and stretching it can prevent future injuries, as well as speed up recovery of existing injuries. A short session three to five times a week will ensure that you minimize the risk of injury. We all have our moments of clumsiness, but a strengthened and flexible ankle and foot ensure that we can avoid unpleasant injuries.
3. Reduces the effects of depression and anxiety
Looking at some of the studies that have been done on the effects of reflexology, it seems that this type of foot massage goes beyond simply putting people in a relaxed state for the duration of the massage.
Frequent sessions have been shown to significantly reduce anxiety in cancer patients. The techniques can be learned fairly quickly and can serve as an effective way of dealing with depression and anxiety.
4. Helps with headaches and migraines
A study conducted in Denmark showed that people suffering from headaches and migraines showed great improvement after receiving reflexology treatments. The test subjects stopped taking their medication, and three months after completing their treatments, 65% had reduced symptoms while a small number had been cured. It is believed that those who had reflexology foot massages managed to make additional positive lifestyle changes that may have contributed to their impressive results.
5. Lowers blood pressure
High blood pressure has become fairly common in modern men and women. It can be caused by a number of things such as stress and an unhealthy diet, but in most cases, it has no particular cause and is believed to be a result of environmental factors and genetics. A study conducted on healthcare staff working with elderly people suffering from dementia – a job that is highly stressful and both physically and mentally taxing – showed that a 10-minute foot massage session up to three times a week resulted in improved mood, less anxiety, and lower blood pressure.
6. Helps with flat feet and plantar fasciitis
People with flat feet do not have a normal foot arch due to ligament laxity, which causes the arch to collapse. It can have no major effect on a person, but some people experience foot pain after even mild physical activity due to flat feet. Chronic heel pain can be caused by inflammation or deterioration of the plantar fascia (the connective tissue that supports the arch of the foot). Regular foot exercise coupled with deep massage, where you apply strong pressure on the arch, can help significantly lessen the pain and even cure these conditions.
7. Helps alleviate symptoms of PMS and menopause
The most common symptoms suffered during PMS include feelings of sadness and unhappiness, irritability, anxiety, tension, insomnia, fatigue, headaches, and mood swings. Most of these symptoms can be alleviated with daily foot massages during this period.
In the same vein, symptoms of menopause, which are similar to those suffered during PMS with the addition of hot flashes and depression, can be effectively minimized with regular massages.
Like any type of complicated system, your body requires regular maintenance to perform at its best. While bodily performance means different things for different people, most would agree that they appreciate having the physical and mental energy to cope with all of life’s demands.
So we put together a list of five things you can do each month to keep your body as healthy as possible, including getting a massage in Salt Lake City.
Visit the Chiropractor
Anyone can benefit from a chiropractic adjustment, but it’s especially useful for those who sit all day at an office job. A chiropractor can often find and correct potential issues before they become more pronounced and you need to go on medication to manage them. Improper alignment of the spinal cord is just one example. While getting a Zen Massage in Salt Lake City and chiropractic care have some similarities, such as both being alternative practices, practitioners receive very different training to prepare for their careers.
Shop Ahead & Meal Prep
Consider challenging yourself to start a new habit if you eat out frequently. For example, you could try shopping for groceries and then preparing meals for a week at a time. This means you will have fresh food available when it comes time to decide what’s for dinner instead of choosing to go out to eat because meal preparation will take too long.
At the end of the first week, stop to consider how you feel having consumed home-cooked rather than restaurant meals. You will have taken in fewer calories, grease, and fat, something that your body is sure to notice. Hopefully, this will inspire you to prepare for a week’s worth of meals more often.
Change Your Workout Routine
If you already workout regularly, consider implementing a major change once a month to see if it makes a difference. Instead of going to spin class at the local workout club, for example, try signing up for dance lessons instead. Swap yoga for swimming laps in the pool. Even if you don’t notice a difference in how you feel, it will help keep you committed to working out because you didn’t allow yourself to become bored with the same routines.
Challenge Yourself to Slow Up on Caffeine and Drink Water Instead
Many Americans find they can’t remain productive throughout the day without the caffeine jolt they receive from soda or coffee. Unfortunately, these habits can quickly become addictive and cause problems such as headaches, nervousness, and irritability. At least one day each month, make it a point to reach for water when you would normally consume a caffeinated beverage. The goal is to stretch the habit into as many consecutive days as possible and then try it again next month if necessary.
Get a Monthly Zen Massage in Salt Lake City
Zen Massage offers several types of massage for a variety of needs. Regular massage helps to release pressure and stress from various trigger points as well as help you feel completely relaxed and pampered. Please contact us to learn more about the specific massage types we offer or to schedule an appointment.
Deep tissue massage uses firm and deep pressure. If you’re suffering from muscular pain or if you feel like Swedish massage doesn’t give you the relief you crave, you should look into deep tissue massage.
When you receive a deep tissue massage at Zen Massage, one of our massage therapists will apply intense pressure to various areas of your body to help alleviate pain and tension. The pressure reaches the deepest layers of your fascia, muscles, and tendons. While a deep tissue massage can benefit nearly any client, some situations call for it more than others. We discuss some of them below.
To Relieve Frequent Headaches
When you have chronic pain in your back, head, and shoulders, this can eventually lead to frequent headaches or migraines. Severe migraine pain can interfere with your daily life by making it impossible to work or socialize. It might even be difficult to turn your head all the way to the right or to the left.
By getting regular massages, you may be able to prevent headaches from developing in the first place. Reducing stress in your life can also help to prevent headaches. The good news is that frequent massages can help you let go of stress before it has a negative impact on your health.
When You Are Under a Lot of Stress
Stress might be a mental phenomenon, but it affects you physically in many ways. For example, you may hold tension in your jaw or neck. It’s also common to suffer from frequent stomach upset or insomnia. If you can relate, a Zen Massage may be just what you need to start feeling more relaxed about life. For the entire duration of your session, you just lie on one of our tables and relax in a peaceful setting. A massage therapist works your deepest muscles to help you let go of the stress you may not even know that you carry.
When You Maintain a Active Physically Lifestyle
If you are an athlete who regularly practices and competes or a person who engages in frequent physical fitness, your body can become stiff and sore as a result. Deep tissue massage is beneficial for athletes and active people because it helps you to guard against injury, allows your muscles to recover, and gives you all the benefits of a stress-relieving massage at the same time. We recommend scheduling a deep tissue massage at least a few times a month to stay ahead of injuries and keep yourself at the top of your game.
When You Haven’t Had A Massage in Years – If Ever
A deep tissue massage is most effective when you receive one regularly. However, you need to start somewhere. Once you have had your Zen Massage, you will wonder why you waited so long. A deep tissue massage can lower blood pressure, elevate your mood, increase joint flexibility, and help to release the tension you have been storing in your body. We recommend that you receive one at least once a month unless you are very active or an athlete. Bi-monthly appointments would be more effective in that case.
Are you ready to schedule a deep tissue massage? We invite you to visit Zen Massage of Salt Lake City to request an appointment and experience the atmosphere for yourself.
When it comes to massage therapy, no amount of exotic marble, fountains, lights, and monograms on fancy terry cloth robes and slippers can equal the skilled, experienced hands of a master massage therapist. A luxurious interior can make a great impression, but when you’re back in your clothes again walking out the door, the only thing that matters is how you feel in the real world. The quality of any spa experience is quite literally in the hands of the therapist. Nobody understands this better than ZEN Massage of Salt Lake City. Our partner-therapists make ZEN Massage what it is. We partner with only the best therapists who share a sincere passion for the craft of healing and the art of massage. But most of all, our partner-therapists are approachable. They know how to listen and to understand. They want to make you feel great. They enjoy what they do because they do it exceptionally well.
Dr. Helen Litovsky, LMT
“My goal is to show our clients how to minimize work-related repetitive stress injuries and help people recognize and control stress-driven habits like smoking, drinking, and over-eating. My approach focuses on producing immediate physiological changes in the body which lead to increased awareness of the client’s mental and physical condition. My technique targets stress areas in the client that are responsible for chronic pain, discomfort, and loss of sleep. With proper application, the application of ZEN therapy restores the body’s natural posture and resolves the discomfort which interferes with prolonged and restful sleep.”
Helen Litovsky received her Doctorate of Medicine from the National University of Ukraine in 2002 and successfully defended her license before the US National Board of Medical Examiners. With all of the great opportunities in medicine, it is truly a testament to the innovation and potential of ZEN that she has postponed her clinical residency to help oversee and develop the ZEN Bodywork System.
Keegan Hughes, LMT
She quickly became the most requested and greatly ranked therapist at Zen Massage. She attended school at the Utah College of Massage Therapy in 2013 where she quickly developed a passion for the holistic healing of massage. Her goal as a therapist is to provide a relaxing and therapeutic experience while also giving you the tools you need to heal yourself outside of your sessions. Most of her work consists of deep tissue with Swedish mixed in for relaxation. However she also really enjoys injury work! Many of her clients come to her with a medical issue they need assistance with. Give us a call and ask how she can help you or book your appointment online today!
Ian Mitchell, LMT
Ian has a deep desire to create positive change in people through massage. Ian graduated from the Utah College of Massage Therapy and has been a Licensed Massage Therapist since 2000. He is proud to have been a member of the 2002 Winter Olympics Sports Massage Team and enjoys working with athletes to maintain and enhance athletic performance. Ian loves to help people relax and get relief from pain and tension using a blend of Swedish, deep tissue, and muscle-specific trigger-point techniques. He uses thoughtful communication while listening to the body to reach the specific goals of each client.
Brice Bowhay, LMT
Brice is a Board Certified Structural Integrator and a Licensed Massage Therapist. He has been a licensed EMT and has a diploma in personal training. He got into bodywork after becoming frustrated from chronic pain and discomfort stemming from imbalances and scoliosis. He sought out experts in many other fields, but it wasn’t until he experience structural integration bodywork that he found permanent solutions and was equipped with relief. Structural Integration is a philosophy of the important fact the body is an interconnected system of nerves and connective tissue. He uses a series of sessions to progressively and incremental make long-term changes to connective tissue quality and movement patterns. In short, it resets posture, and disperses spots on chronic tension, offering a permanent solution for unwinding and releasing patterns of pain, stress, and trauma that accumulate from decades of injuries, physically and emotionally.
This involves safe, comfortable touch, and gliding strokes of medium pressure, which should feel extremely relaxing and help improve breathing and walking efficiency. Structural integration is a collaborative partnership, and clients can expect to stand up and notice that their body “feels different” and “lighter” and “more grounded” after each session. These changes persist from one session to the next, making Structural Integration a powerful catalyst to facilitate interpersonal transformation, which was the intention of S.I. according to Dr. Ida Rolf, the founder of the field who pioneered the first blueprint for how to organize the body in line with gravity.
Shar Dawson, LMT
Shar’s specialties are neck and back work. She enjoys doing all forms of Massage, but she specializes in Swedish, Deep Tissue, and Reflexology.
Zen Massage offers many different styles, prices, and massage specials so you can live life without stress holding you back.
Zen Massage Luxury Massage in Salt Lake City, Utah
No one can deny the restorative healing power of massage. Reducing pain, depression, anxiety and stress, along with boosting our immunity. All of which have an effect on our mental and physical well-being. Pain affects our lives and our quality of life.
Massage is known to help reduce pain by increasing blood flow, easing inflammation, and reducing muscle tightness.
It’s a well-known fact that individuals who have a high level of stress are more prone to injury and illness. Reduction of stress is another benefit of massage. Stress is known to elevate your heart rate, cause elevation of the stress hormone cortisol, which inhibits weight gain, elevate blood pressure, cause headaches, digestive problems, sleep problems, heart disease, memory and concentration issues just to name a few.
These all affect our immune system and make us physically ill. You may not be able to remove all the stress in your life, but you can take stress-reducing measures which are healthy choices.
Research has shown that receiving regular massage therapy helps boost our immune system and flush toxins, increasing blood flow throughout the body. Massage increases the activity of white blood cells that help our body fight diseases and may help with the reduction of cortisol.
Remember to only receive a massage when feeling healthy, as a regular routine. Massage in combination with other complementary and conventional treatments can help you look and feel your best. When you look and feel your best you are at the top of your game and you become more productive at home, work, sports, and in your everyday life.
Massage therapy is an excellent choice as a complementary therapy to conventional health care.
Be open and honest with your massage therapist, if you are under the care of a physician for a specific ailment, check with them about massage. It may be an option for you. It’s not meant to take place of, nor postpone seeing your health care provider for any medical or mental issues. If you have a health condition and are unsure if massage would be right for you, please discuss any concerns with your healthcare provider.
Here are a few tips for reducing stress and boosting your immune system:
Accept that there are events that you cannot control.
Try to keep a positive attitude.
Try to halt stress in its tracks, yes it’s hard when you can’t control it.
Manage your time. Give yourself time to get things done; don’t overwhelm yourself, you know your limits.
Do things you enjoy, like cooking, reading or gardening.
Take 15 to 20 minutes every day to sit quietly and reflect. Learn and practice relaxation techniques like yoga or deep breathing.
Avoid alcohol, recreational drugs and don’t smoke.
Eat healthy, well-balanced meals.
Get enough rest and sleep, your body needs to recover and repair itself.
Get a regular massage which will help lower your stress level and increase your immune system.
Seek out social support.
See your healthcare provider as needed, especially if things feel beyond your control.
Today we’d like to introduce you to Olena Litovsky.
Alright, so thank you so much for sharing your story and insight with our readers. To kick things off, can you tell us a bit about how you got started? Massage was always a passion of mine. In 2006, as I was studying for medical exams we decided to open Zen massage. Started small as a way to stay in contact with my clinical background while going through steps of medical validation of credentials, but grew into amazing practice connecting two critical components of happy employees and satisfied clients.
Zen massage grew and constantly kept adapting to demand and changes in our social environment. Starting from the economic difficulties of the 2008 recession to the Covid19 shut down for six weeks.
I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle-free, but so far would you say the journey has been a fairly smooth road? Of course, during 15 years we have seen it all. Busy and slow. High unemployment rate and difficulties finding competent and compatible team players to add to our Zen family. Despite all of them we only grew stronger.
As you know, we’re big fans of you and your work. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about what you do? I do have a medical background (graduated from Medical school in Ukraine) but had neither business education nor experience. So, the beginning of the journey was easy and without expectations to make money.
It came later as a result of regulars returning customers, word of mouth, etc. Lots of our clients are close to us as a family too. Some have been loyal to us for 15 years, I am overwhelmed with gratitude every day. Being so happy to experience this perfect tango between business and passion, love to help people.
That is probably the key difference between us and other massage businesses. We don’t follow the traditional approach to staff and employment. We allow lots of freedom, encourage taking time off as needed to spend time with family, friends, to recover physically and mentally. Health is the main topic here. That includes physical, emotional, and spiritual aspects.
Risk-taking is a topic that people have widely differing views on – we’d love to hear your thoughts. I love taking risks. Without it, I believe, it is impossible to achieve success and growth. Major risk #1 for me personally was to come to the USA in 2004.
As for Zen Massage signing up for the construction of the new location, signing up for a personal guarantee right before the 2008 market crash and downturn of the economy. I take risks in numerous ways in my life, my personal safety, and my hobbies by training and competitions in jiu-jitsu.
Hiking, always trying new things like target gun shooting, ax throwing, ect. Trying new travels and experiences like yoga retreats. I challenge myself and others with physical and mental challenges. Risks are a big part of who I am.
When we feel a headache, backache, neck pain, or any other kind of pain, our first thought is to make it go away. However, it’s hard to find the solution to the problem when you don’t know the origin. A lot of injuries and accidents feel like they happen all of a sudden, but nothing happens without warning. Your lifestyle plays a huge part in how your body feels, and neck strain is a very common symptom a lot of clients experience.
Neck strain is an injury to the muscles and tendons that support and move the head and neck. The best way to prevent neck strain is to take precautions when doing these three things:
Talking on the phone: Of course, talking on the phone can’t be avoided. However, most of us use the phone for long periods of time. We also use the phone while doing other things. Can you recall the last time you held the phone without tucking it in between your neck and shoulder? The American Osteopathic Association recommends using both hands or a hands-free device when using the phone.
Desk Work: We often talk about the couch potato who spends all day on the sofa, but they aren’t prone to neck pains like the desk potato. More sedentary jobs require looking at a computer and typing on a keyboard for more than 50% of the workday. After a few hours of doing the same activities, your posture probably becomes poor. Activities like stretching, adjusting your monitor, and sitting correctly can alleviate upper body strain.
Workouts: Form is everything when working out. Good form prevents minor and major injuries from occurring. The right exercises can ease neck pain, but the wrong exercises can cause neck pain. For instance, think about an ab move like sit-ups. The wrong neck alignment can make the exercise very uncomfortable. It is always recommended to stretch and warm the body before any workout.
A massage treatment can help relieve upper body pain caused by talking on the phone, deskwork, and workouts. Massages help to loosen the affected muscles and tendons. Although massage therapy is a great treatment, prevention is key.