When we talk about massages, images of luxurious spas or upscale health clubs might be conjured up. However, if you think getting massages is an indulgent activity, worthy only of special occasions, think again. Although it can be feel like a highly pampering experience, its benefits extend beyond that of being a relaxing treat. Massage therapy can be considered a powerful way to boost your overall health and wellbeing, and in reality we should all have them done far more frequently.

If you’re physically active, massage therapy can be highly beneficial. It reduces the pain and muscle tension that may occur if you exercise regularly or intensively. Massage can prevent injury, by keeping the muscles mobile and countering fatigue. Should you find your muscles feeling strained or injured, it can also reduce recovery time, since it causes an increase in blood circulation, delivering a fresh supply to the muscles and removing toxins. Sports massages combine different massage techniques to target affected areas and help release any lactic acid that may be the cause of tightness.

Although vigorous exercise can cause muscle soreness and tension, doing just the opposite of that (i.e.being sedentary) is also a huge culprit of muscle pain. If you spend a lot of time sitting at a desk, odds are you’ll have tightness in your neck and shoulders. Since massage relaxes tense muscles and encourages blood flow, you get a delivery of increased oxygen and nutrients to the affected muscles. This helps to ease pain and reduce the stiffness you probably experience while being hunched over a computer all day.

All of the physical benefits of massage therapy are only enhanced by massages effects on the mind as well. Regular massages can be a perfect tool for combatting stress. When pressure is applied to muscle areas, it reduces stress hormones like cortisol, while releasing endorphins (the hormone that’s responsible for relieving pain and inducing feelings of pleasure and happiness.) Massage is also thought to reduce anxiety, as it increases the body’s level of oxytocin and serotonin. Oxytocin is a hormone associated with fostering trust and social bonding, as well as inducing optimism and boosting self-esteem. If you find yourself frequently feeling down or overwhelmed, giving your muscles a little TLC can relax and soothe your mind.

Remember that massage therapy shouldn’t be treated as a one-time fix, but as part of your broader and long-term wellness plan. To make sure you get the most of your session, do any of your planned exercise before the massage, and make sure you drink plenty of water afterwards to rehydrate and build healthy muscle tissues. Remember, you don’t need to shell out for full 60 or 90 minute sessions. A half hour or even 15 minutes can target your most specific concerns, allowing areas that need the most attention to receive it. Exubrancy makes it easy to book in-offices massages for you and your team, so you don’t have to sacrifice convenience or your cash to reap all of its benefits!