The other day, during a television interview, I was asked to provide on-air “ammunition” for wives who want to convince their husbands that they still need to go to the spa.
What I discovered surprised me – in addition to helping you convince your significant other, this should convince you that taking care of yourself in this way is truly essential to your health and success! Going to a local day spa is not only a treat, but it is also very healthy for your body and soul. There are immediate health benefits of going to a spa, a massage will improve blood circulation which delivers oxygen and nutrients to the cells. Sometimes we forget that our body needs some pampering and we often take that for granted. Studies show that spa and wellness services actually lower blood pressure and alleviate pain from our bodies. We all can learn from spas in a sense that we spend our waking hours checking our cell phones, being bombarded with emails, having an endless to-do list, or that nagging boss you hate so much keeps calling. The reason why we can learn from spas is because of Spa Etiquette, the treatment room separates the client from their cellphones and technology. The mere purpose of doing so is a healing experience, the environment the client is in (music, lighting, etc.) relaxes the mind and body; and they are given time in silence for reflection and/or mindfulness, and even before the therapy begins, they experience the presence and touch of a nurturing human being.
Here are five (more) health benefits of going to the spa (in this case, for a massage):
1) It reduces stress hormone levels
Several studies have shown that massage reduces levels of the stress hormone cortisol, which among many other benefits helps slow your heart rate, and brings your blood pressure down.
2) It boosts your immunity
By reducing stress and stress hormones, massage boosts the levels of “natural killer cells” in your body, which are your first defense against invaders. Massage has been shown to even boost immunity in people with severely decreased immune systems, such as patients with breast cancer.
3) It’s a great pain reliever
Whether you’ve got muscular pain, chronic headaches or a migraine, or even labor pains (!), massage has been shown to significantly decrease and relieve pain. I once had a headache three days in a row, a sign that I was trying to do too much in too little time. A one hour massage cured the headaches completely!
4) It boosts your mood
As if a wonderful, healing, relaxing visit to a spa wasn’t enough (I already feel better, just walking in the door), treatments such as massage increase your brain’s level of feel-good hormones like dopamine and serotonin.
5) It relieves PMS symptoms!
A small study of a group of women with severe PMS found that massage reduced a variety of symptoms such as pain, water retention, and mood swings. Now there’s some ammunition that might seriously convince your husband or partner of the necessity of your spa visit – maybe you can even get them to pay for it! Imagine how much happier a place this world would be, if all women were treated to a spa visit a minimum of once a month?
Now, I know I’ve been talking mostly about the benefits of massage, but just think about it – a pedicure usually comes with an brief massage, as does a facial, and even some manicures come with mini hand and arm massages. In fact, when they’re doing the massage part of your pedicure, you could say: “you know, I’m feeling like I might be coming down with something, and need to boost my natural killer cells – could you do that a little bit longer?” Who would say no?