We are winding down to our final benefit of massage (although we feel like we could go on forever), and this one is our favorite, and also the #1 reason people worldwide go to the spa: Massage is a serious stress buster. There are endless sources of stress in our daily lives and you may not realize it, but stress could be causing more than just a heavy foot on the gas. Poorly managed stress is one of highest causes of physical and emotional ailments. The signs and symptoms of stress overload can be almost anything. Stress can drain the joy from your life, lead to heart disease, cause inexplicable fatigue, and leave you less able to enjoy your relationships and the things you once enjoyed. Massage therapy is one of the best antidotes for stress. Stress shows itself in the form of firmness and stiffness in muscles, and massage can remove this tension. Prolonged periods of tension weaken the muscles and can bring about a state of chronic fatigue and tiredness. Massage also brings in fresh nutrients and helps in purging the body of toxins accumulated due to long periods of stress and tension. It causes more oxygen to flow in the body, which helps the body to revive and rebuild itself. With this flow of fresh oxygen and nutrients to the entire system, the immune system is strengthened. Additionally, massage clears your mind of exaggerated anxiety and makes you capable of thinking with an unclouded mind. When you are bodily and mentally relaxed, you are capable of taking a more balanced and fresh perspective of your life situation. This emotional release and improved balance in body, mind and emotions, will not only reduce stress, it will increase energy and improve your outlook on life. Coupled with modest changes in nutrition and activity levels, massage can be the start on your road to wellness. Here are some final stories from Spa Week spas’ massage therapists and their love work of healing both body and mind. “All clients have different needs and wants they seek from the massage. Helping clients relax for an hour, sleep or just forget about their stress is rewarding on its own. We all need R&R time.” — Rebecca Scallan, Rejuv Massage Therapy Center in Metairie, LA “Being able to provide relief and renewal to stressed out Americans is very rewarding. Just the other day I gave a massage to one of our frequent spa visitors and was using her favorite essential oil, eucalyptus, giving her an aromatherapy face massage, she would breathe deeply and express relief. She then told me that every time I would apply more eucalyptus she could see colors. This simply is a testament to how massage and aromatherapy affect us physically and mentally.” Jennifer Robles, Rio Spa in Las Vegas, NV “Recently I had a woman who was under extreme stress. After the massage she said the massage was like having a friend who listened to her whining and irritating complaining, but no judgment was rendered. For me whenever I hear something like that, it gives me a sense of relief. I know I not only fulfilled my job as a massage therapist, but also I was being human in the most compassionate way I could.” Dareyth Thornton, Rio Spa in Las Vegas, NV “I love being a massage therapist very simply because I get to make people feel good…for a living! And to be a part of something that teaches people how to manage their stress and their health & fitness goals is tremendously satisfying! Bodywork has been an amazing journey for me.” Angi Kempken, Well Spa in Indian Wells, CA All of these massage therapists will be massaging for $50 during Spa Week next week, so be sure to click through to each spa to see which massages are being offered, and take advantage of their magic hands!