Well the simple answer is; it can be both! If you have a massage because you think you ‘deserve it’ and it’s to give yourself or someone a treat, you will benefit from it in ways you never realised. Massage can lower Cortisol levels (which is a stress hormone) by relaxing the mind, and in turn, increasing Endorphin levels (which are the feel-good hormones). The life we live is stressful & busy and we seem to be always be running towards our next task. It makes you actually STOP for a short period.
It can assist in productive blood flow, relieving tension & pain, increasing healing time after a soft tissue injury, aid in better sleeping patterns, help with postural alignment and a massage generally makes you feel better. The touch from one human to another has also been known to have a healing effect on the emotional status of a person.
We all know that professional sports people incorporate massage as a necessary part of their training, rest & recovery program. The athlete performs so much better at their chosen sport because massage therapy has assisted in the removal of lactic acid build up and at the same time, elongating the muscle fibres, preventing injuries. So for these people, yes it is necessary, but they also gain the benefits of having a more relaxed mind & increased blood flow, such as those of you who ‘treat’ yourselves to the relaxation massage.
It is suitable to any age. Babies have been known to respond extremely well to the very gentle therapeutic touch, as have the elderly with weary joints and arthritic-related problems.
So to sum up the original question; having a massage, whether it is remedial, hot stone, myotherapy, relaxation or other; is a luxury that is very necessary!!!