Stressed? Muscles tense? Do you have 10 minutes How about a quick massage? A 60-minute session can seem like a luxury, but it turns out that even a quick 10-minute massage at home can help people who are stressed out and need to take some time to relax.
Researchers in Germany studied the effects of massage on mental and physical relaxation. The results of their small study showed that while 10 minutes of simple rest helped relaxation, 10 minutes of massage was more. Reducing mental stress can in turn help improve physical health.
60 women with no health problems either had a vagus nerve massage, a gentle shoulder massage, or no massage at all, just rest. A vagus nerve massage targets the head and neck to slow the heart rate and breathing, while a gentle shoulder massage strokes the base of the skull from the spine to the back of the head. At the beginning, all women were asked to sit still for 5 minutes to see how stressed or relaxed they were. The women then participated in 10 minutes of massage or rest. The researchers then reevaluated the women and asked them to fill out a questionnaire.
According to the researchers, all women said they felt more relaxed after their 10-minute session, but the women who received massages felt more relaxed.
Maria Meier, PhD student in the Neuropsychology Laboratory and first author of the study, said in a press release: "We are very encouraged by the findings that short periods of separation are enough to relax not only the mind but also the body. You don't need a professional Treatment to help you relax. Caressing your shoulders gently or resting your head on the table for ten minutes can effectively increase your body's physiological engine for relaxation. "