Massages have to be one of the most loved activities we all enjoy, whether it's in a spa on vacation, with your partner, or with yourself. Not only is it a solution for soothing sore muscles , it's a great way to boost intimacy with your partner or get in touch with your own body, both physically and spiritually. When it comes to massage with your partner, many studies have been done linking touch and intimacy, but the universal takeaway from them is that "the language of touch is universal," says marriage counselor, psychotherapist, and Wright Wellness Center co-founder, Rachel Wright, MA, LMFT. On the physical end of things, "massage relaxes the body by bringing awareness, circulation, and pain relief to different areas," says Rachel Beider, licensed massage therapist and owner of Massage Outpost in Brooklyn. When it comes to giving yourself or your partner a massage at home, Beider recommends using coconut, jojoba, or sweet almond oils to enhance the sensual experience.
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In a massage, a caring, safe touch is an invitation to relax. This, together with pain relief, generally produces a "relaxation response. The relaxation response is a state in which your heart and breathing rate slow, your blood pressure goes down, your production of stress hormones decreases, and your muscles relax. The relaxation response also seems to increase the available level of serotonin, which is a chemical in the body that positively affects emotions and thoughts. While this information is promising, more studies are needed to directly confirm the relationship between massage and levels of serotonin in the brain. The relaxation response may decrease the physical effects of stress and reduce the risks associated with stress, such as hypertension, cardiac arrhythmias, anxiety , insomnia, persistent fatigue, sexual dysfunction, digestive disorders , and psychological issues--to name a few.
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Swedish massage and deep tissue massage are both popular types of massage therapy. While there are some similarities, they are different from each other. The differences are:. Swedish massage is one of the most commonly offered massage techniques. The technique aims to promote relaxation by releasing muscle tension.