The Benefits of Massage

Anyone who is a fan of exercise should strongly consider massage therapy as part of an overall lifestyle choice. Too many view massage as a luxury, but should we really be viewing it as a necessity.

At Amazon Creek we provide luxury holidays that combine the finer things in life, with ultimate adventures, be skiing in the French Alps, or hiking on the Mediterranean coastline of Corsica. We believe that the key to a great adventure is a balance of adrenaline, activity, recovery, and relaxation. Considering everything from healthy chef prepared meals to after sports massage therapy. With a passion for  health and wellness and all things luxury living we decided to take a deeper look into the benefits of massage and outside the sporting world the overriding opinion that ''a massage is a luxury'' is preventing people from performing and feeling their best.

"The notion that massage is ‘just an indulgence’ is antiquated,” says Brent A. Bauer, M.D., director of the complementary and integrative medicine program at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. “There are over 1,000 studies and published reports that offer scientific evidence on the health effects of massage therapy. There are certainly direct effects like changes that happen at the muscle level and pain pathways and a reduction in stress hormones, such as cortisol. But there are also indirect effects like being in a comfortable setting and a compassionate human presence that can all lead to profound effects on our stress levels and emotional state.”

The effects massage can have on our mental state.

When you’re anxious and feeling the pressure, your body pumps out the stress hormone cortisol. Unfortunately, this just makes you feel even more stressed and anxious. Here’s where a massage can help. Massage is actually wonderful for mental health—whether the daily stress of everyday life or something requiring more serious intervention—and it should be part of everyone’s toolkit of when the going gets tough. Massage has been found to affect body chemistry, even increasing serotonin and dopamine, the neurotransmitters involved in depression.

The benefits of massage on our sleep 

Many of us have trouble falling asleep at night and nearly 10 percent of people suffer from chronic insomnia. Massage treatment will lull you into a state of relaxation with the techniques designed to induce calm and deep sleep. Research has shown that massage both reduces stress and leads to increased levels of serotonin—making it possible to relax so that you can fall asleep.

The benefits of massage for an active lifestyle

The overall sentiment behind how you feel after a massage is relaxed and relieved of any tension. But the benefits do not stop there and it is perhaps this misconception that affords massage therapy its title as one of life's luxuries. There are in fact many more befits and effects that massage has on the body.

The feeling of relaxation often occurs immediately with some types of massage, other types like deep tissue massage can be quite painful however and so it is hard to consider the benefits knowing you are first going to experience some level of discomfort.  The proof of massages many benefits for those with an active lifestyle is in the number of professional athletic organizations that have registered massage therapists on their payrolls. Both massage therapists and sports massage therapists are considered not only a valued member of the team but a necessary member.

Multiple studies have shown that massage therapy for physically active people who participate in regular exercise programs from running to organized sports can provide many benefits. Benefits that are not just restricted to aiding recovery but that cover injury prevention and increasing performance.

The most important benefits of massage on an active lifestyle are:


  • A reduction in muscle tension and hypertonicity
  • Improved soft tissue function, muscle flexibility, and range of motion, which results in increased power and performance. Helping you work efficiently and with proper intensity to facilitate the body’s muscle-building response.
  • Improved exercise performance as well as a decrease in fatigue, muscle stiffness following exercise. Waste products such as lactic acid build-up in muscles after exercise. Increased circulation to these muscles through massage helps to eliminate toxic debris and shorten recovery time.
  • Improved circulation and general nutrition of muscles. This appears to be the most valuable fitness-related benefit. Massage is accompanied or followed by an increase interchange of substances between the blood and the tissue cells, which increases tissue metabolism. Massage maximizes the supply of nutrients and oxygen though increased blood flow, which helps the body rebuild itself
  • Decreases in delayed onset muscle soreness and swelling. By stretching connective tissue, massage improves circulation to help prevent adhesions. Massage also influences the excretion of certain fluids necessary for tissue repair.
  • Enhanced athletic performance and reduction and prevention of sports-related injury with regular treatment
  • Assists in monitoring athletic muscle tone
  • Promoting relaxation

One of our trusted massage partners had this to say about the benefits of massage:

'"Over the past 15 years, seeing thousands of active sports athletes on my massage table, I can only testify that massage really can make a difference. Many of my clients are elite and pro athletes as well as eager sports enthusiasts. They have truly seen benefits in regular body work. It helps them to detoxify, realign, and re-balance muscle groups as well as relax and improve sleep. Some clients like regular treatment when they are increasing their training and also building up to races. It can help to minimize injuries as well as aiding muscle growth by by increasing circulation, thus eliminating the waste products and toxins of the muscle working hard. So massage is a great way to ease pain and stiffness that can build up if you begin a new exercise program, try a new sport or increase your daily workout routine".

Self Massage 

Self-massage is a great way to heal those aching muscles at home and is a great way to complement professional treatment. Aptonia (a professional triathlon brand) has this to say about self-massage:

"Self-massage is essential to recovery, regardless of your level or sport. Recovery is a key phase that starts as soon as your workout is over. It improves your progress and is a determining factor for your performance. A post-workout self-massage is also a simple and effective way to prevent muscle soreness and injury. Add it to your training programme!"

Let's face it most people own a foam roller, but do you know how to use it? Take a look at their great article here all about When and How to self-massage . Self massage is all good and well but at Amazon Creek we believe the best way to get the most out of your massage is to have a professional take care of you.

So whether you view massage as one of life's luxuries or have been convinced that it is a necessity to a healthy lifestyle, you can be safe in the knowledge that when you're on a luxury chalet holiday or Mediterranean villa vacation with Amazon Creek we will be on hand to provide the perfect combination of adventure, recovery, and relaxation.