A while ago, as I was getting a rare facial treatment at a local spa, the aesthetician told me that spas across the city were experiencing a slump in business. When things get “tough”, people see something like going to the spa as an extra, inessential splurge. Than, 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!
Five 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?