What is a Zen Massage: Definition and Benefits
Relaxation, stress relief, and downtime are all essential for a healthy life and massage can encompass all of these things. From correcting energy flow to relieving pain from old sports injuries, booking in time with a massage therapist can help you to feel relaxed and restored.
If you've been looking into massage therapy, you've probably seen the words 'zen massage' flying around and you might be wondering what this actually means. Well, have no fear, we've got you covered! We've been doing some research on zen massage and we've gathered all we've found right here!
To find out everything you need to know about zen massage, from the definition to the amazing health benefits this kind of body massage can offer, keep reading now!
What is zen massage therapy?
Zen massage combines the Buddhist concept of zen with the remedial therapy of massage. The concept of 'zen' in Buddhist teachings can mean inner calm, self-contemplation, and the idea of emphasising meditation and intuition over ritual and worship.
A zen massage can refer to a range of massage therapies which are all practised in the Buddhist sense of the word 'zen.' The massage therapists who you work with are likely to recommend the kind of massage that your body requires and could be anything from a full-body massage to a massage with hot stones.
The idea of a zen massage is to experience the therapy of massage and all of its benefits in a healing, self-contemplative, meditative state.
Remedial massage, deep tissue massage - what does it mean?
When it comes to massage, there are lots of different terms that get thrown around. If you're contemplating getting a massage you might be in need of a quick breakdown of the different terms. We've made a list of a few different massage terms below, take a look now to find out more.
- Remedial Massage. Remedial, coming from the word 'remedy,' is a therapeutic form of massage. This kind of massage is usually used to target old injuries, relieve pain, and release tension.
- Deep Tissue Massage. Working deeper with the body to release tension, a deep tissue massage uses more force and is generally catered to your needs.
- Massage Reflexology. Or a reflexology massage is usually used as a low-risk therapy for relieving pain as well as treating psychological symptoms.
- Hot Stone Massage. This kind of massage includes the use of hot stones, either as an extension of the massage therapists hands or by being placed on the skin. The stones are smooth and warm and can help release tension in muscles.
- Swedish Massage. The most commonly used practice in the west, Swedish massage is performed in the direction of the heart and is used for relaxation and tension relief. It is the ultimate relaxation massage.
What are the health benefits of zen massage?
Now that we know what zen massage is and what kinds of massage a zen massage session could include, let's find out what kind of health benefits a zen massage can offer. As massage is good for both mental and physical health, we've divided the benefits up into these two categories! Find out more below.
Physical health benefits
As a physical therapy, massage has physical health benefits that can make you feel restored, relaxed, and rejuvenated. We've done a bit of research and we've found all of the different physical benefits of massage. Check them out below.
- Reducing muscle tension
- Improving blood circulation
- Stimulation of the lymphatic system
- Reducing the production of stress hormones
- Relaxation of the body
- Increased joint mobility
- Improved flexibility
- Improvement in skin tone
- Supporting of the recovery of soft tissue injuries
As well as deeply restorative physical health benefits, massage therapies can also be great for your mental health and wellbeing. To find out more about the mental health benefits of massage, keep reading.
Mental health benefits
Massage, and zen massage in particular, are rejuvenating for the body but can also have incredible power over your mental health. Zen massage is performed through the concept of 'zen' or self-contemplation. This means the massage is performed in a meditative and contemplative state, helping you to self-reflect, calm the mind, and manage negative thoughts while you are massaged.
The mental health benefits of massage are far-reaching. We've listed a few of them below for you to check out.
- Stress relief. With the reduction of the release of stress hormones, massage can help you to relieve stress, feeling calmer, and less anxious.
- Increase of 'happy' hormones in the body. Research has found that massage can actually stimulate the release of serotonin and dopamine, helping you to feel good.
- Calming your mind. As we've discussed, zen massage fuses self-contemplation with massage, helping you to still the mind. Combining this with the use of aromatherapy oils, like lavender and sandalwood oil, both known for their calming qualities, massage can be a deeply calming and soothing experience.
- Easing symptoms of depression and anxiety.
- Improving sleep by relaxing the body and the mind.
Other elements of massage
Massage therapies can sometimes include other elements, such as:
- Calming music. There may be calming and relaxing music playing in the background of your massage session.
- Massage oils. Oils tend to be used during a massage. Some massage therapists blend their own oils while others use bought blends. Massage oils can include hemp oil and sweet almond oil, as well as targeted oils for deep tissue massage, Ayurvedic oils, and aromatherapy oils.
Zen massage is a deeply restorative therapy with both mental and physical health benefits. If you're feeling stressed out or anxious, booking in for a zen massage might be just the thing you need!
Frequently Asked Questions
What is zen massage?
A zen massage combines massage therapy with the zen concept from Buddhist teachings. This means that the massage is combined with self-contemplation as a way of calming and stilling the mind. This kind of massage can be restorative for mental health and wellbeing, as well as for your physical health. It reduces and soothes the symptoms of mental health conditions like anxiety and depression, reduces stress and stimulates the release of serotonin and dopamine, which help you to feel good.
What is Swedish massage good for?
A Swedish massage is a form of massage performed in the direction of the heart. It is the most common form of massage found in Western massage therapy. Swedish massage is designed to relax muscles, release tension in the body, and soothe the mind. Along with this, Swedish massage can also improve circulation in the body and stimulate the lymphatic system.
What should you not do after a massage?
After a massage appointment, there are a few things you should avoid doing to ensure you experience the full benefits of the massage. These include:
- Drink some water! Massage can leave you feeling a little dehydrated so it's essential you drink some water!
- Wait an hour or so before you jump into the shower. You may feel the need to wash the oils off of your skin but showering immediately can actually just heat the oils back up! Wait an hour or so and then shower.
- And when you shower, use colder water.
- Don't eat too much. A heavy meal could dampen your new energised state. Opt for a healthy snack if you feel the need to eat!