Most people don’t equate massage therapy as a means to a healthy life. Sure, you’ll see the doctor several times a year, pump antibiotics and vitamins into your system, torture yourself with the latest fad-diet and workout like a crazy person towards that “perfect” body. But have you considered the benefits of getting a regular massage every four to six weeks? If you haven’t, I urge you to think again!

I’ve been a massage therapist for more than four years, and to this day, I am still amazed at how many different ways this beneficial form of therapy contributes to overall health and wellness. Here’s a list of 10 reasons why you should get into the habit of restoring your mind, body and soul through regular massage.

Massage therapy contributes to overall health and wellness.

1. You don’t have to live with aches and pain. Relieve it!

A frequent massage can provide a considerable reduction in pain. Whether you have pain in your back, neck, shoulder, joints or muscles, or suffer from arthritis, migraine headaches, Fibromyalgia or muscle injuries, coming in for a regular massage can release all of this unnecessary tension.

2. Say goodbye to stress!

Stress is something we all encounter – but how we manage that stress is key to living a healthy, balanced life. According to Ronda Del Boccio, a Nationally Certified Therapist of Massage and Bodywork, experts believe that stress accounts for 80-90% of all illness. Can you believe that? We could significantly reduce much of what ails us today if we listen to what our mind and body is telling us – it’s time to RELAX!

When you come in for a massage, you allow your body and mind to delve into a deep state of relaxation, which relieves muscle tension and lowers your blood pressure. In addition, you’ll feel more alert and revitalized – not just physically, but mentally too.

3. Banish your body’s built-up toxins.

Massage helps remove waste products from your muscles, tissues, and skin more easily. According to the American Massage Therapy Association, a massage can release the lactic and carbonic acids built up in your muscles during exercise (these acids are the reason you feel pain and occasional cramping post-workout), thus increasing muscle recovery rates. Why do you think pro-athletes receive regular massages? (Hint: It’s not because they are spoiled!

4. Find your inner R&R.

I can’t recount how many clients I see who benefit from a regular massage as an alternative to coping with depression. When you treat yourself to a regular massage, you’re doing more for yourself than you realize! A massage can boost your self-esteem, improve your mood, reduce the symptoms of depression, diminish anxiety, and alleviate insomnia. Moreover, there’s a bonus for all of you ladies – massage also can ease PMS symptoms.

Massage can improve your mood, reduce unwanted stress and eliminate toxins from your body.

Massage can improve your mood, reduce unwanted stress and eliminate toxins from your body.

5. Get your groove on with better flexibility and mobility!

Massage therapy is a fantastic way to improve one’s motor skills, and it maintains posture in the skeletal system. Think of how much better you’ll feel with all of the “kinks” worked out!

6. Fight the signs of aging.

Perk up your immune system functions. Alleviate muscle aches and stiffness. Improve your tissue elasticity and joint flexibility. Enhance your blood and lymph circulation. Renew your once-healthy, vibrant skin. ‘Nuff said.

7. Get better – faster.

Accelerate the healing process when it comes to your muscles, tissues and skin. Massage therapy is great for athletes, as well as for those recovering from surgery or workout soreness.

8. You won’t just feel better – you’ll LOOK better!

A regular massage invigorates skin gland production. What does that mean? Clear, healthy skin. Studies have also shown that massage therapy can help reduce cellulite and superficial scar tissue.

9. Duh! It also feels AMAZING.

Who doesn’t love a good massage? Seeing your massage therapist on a regular basis can be a wonderful experience for deep relaxation, leaving your body and mind feeling rejuvenated and at ease.

10. It’s a healthy investment in you.

If the first nine reasons didn’t convince you, then think of it this way – when was the last time you were able to take a vacation and retreat from the everyday stresses of life? A regular massage will not only make you look and feel years younger, it’s an opportunity to give your mind and body a mini-vacation without leaving far from home. Cheers to good health!