Massaging Brain Health

Category: Health Posted: 28 Sep 2020

Posted: 28 Sep 2020

massaging the brain better, food health

To achieve optimum health, you need to focus on both physical and mental wellbeing. 

Borrowing from Heineken’s successful advertising campaign, we like to think our real massages refresh the parts other massages cannot reach. 

But what about the brain? Do  massages reach the brain? And how else can you aim for optimal mental health?

The Science

Comprising just 2% of total body weight, the human brain is arguably a very small part of us. But we all know the brain is much more important than its relative weight might suggest. When you consider it consumes around 20% of the body’s total energy resources, things start to make a bit more sense. 

Medical experts and scientists generally agree that issues in the transmission of impulses between nerve cells in the brain (neurons) can lead to mental health problems. It has been shown that people suffering from depression exhibit lower levels of serotonin, the essential chemical for effective transmission between neurons.  

We would say the brain is the most important part of you when it comes to achieving good holistic health. 

The Touch

As we’ve long said, a well performed massage treatment delivered with empathy can do wonders for your state of mind. 

Targeted touch from an experienced therapist not only relaxes muscles and makes you feel calmer, but the kindness with which good therapists execute their therapeutic sessions can go much deeper than physical aspects alone, releasing feel good hormones such as oxytocin and endorphins, dopamine and serotonin.

The Nutrition

But before you book yourself a pack of therapeutic massages in London to improve your mental health and wellbeing, there is something much more fundamental that you can do.

Eat brain food. 

Yes, really. The absolute best way to massage your brain health better is to begin by consuming food that has been scientifically shown to add benefit in that area. 

Have you ever considered what the brain is actually made up of? Apart from water, the rest of your brain is primarily made up of fats and proteins. 

Hold on a minute! Before you grab a deep-fried breaded chicken breast to ‘feed the brain’, let’s just consider what kinds of fats and proteins we are talking about here. 

You’re looking for Omega 3 and Omega 6 as the fats you need to maintain good brain health. That fried fast food chicken meal will instead be full of saturated fats, which scientists believe can actually jeopardise brain health. To keep your brain cells in tiptop condition, instead go for mackerel and salmon or nuts and seeds that are packed full of omega fats. 

So what about those proteins? Proteins and amino acids contribute to how you act and feel. Remember those impulses being transmitted between neurons in the brain we mentioned earlier. Well proteins and amino acids are the building blocks behind those messages and govern moods between feeling alert or lethargic, for example. 

Ever noticed how one-pot rice dishes are popular comfort foods after which you feel ready to chill? Or how a salmon salad keeps you feeling alert? These are examples of what you eat affecting the messages your brain transmits and how you feel as a result. 

Combined with a good massage, some of these good foods can also help release those happy hormones. 

Feel good food really is a thing. 

The Idea

The next time you book a massage, try eating a grilled salmon and lentil salad and a handful of nuts a couple of hours before the treatment. 

Even if you are feeling a bit down, avoid high glycaemic food like chocolate or sugary drinks. These pump you with a rapid shot of glucose that does indeed improve mood but only for a short sharp while, and that feeling of elation is usually then followed by a longer period of feeling low. 

Instead choose foods that release glucose at a less rapid rate. These will help you feel better too, perhaps less quickly, but for longer and in a more calming manner. Then top up that feel good factor with a therapeutic massage a few hours later and you’ll be well on the road to all round long-term holistic health! With World Mental Health Day on 10 October now is a great time to start.