A massage can go a long way toward ushering nutrients to sore muscles, improving flexibility, and building immunity. Here are four ways a massage can improve your overall health.

Relax muscles

Ask your massage therapist to identify muscles that are extremely tense—typically in the neck—and to use Swedish “rolling” massage. The soothing effects are nearly instantaneous, and it goes a long way toward lowering stress and improving your heart rate.

Release tension

Painful trigger points—which are common in the back—are created by old injuries and can be relieved with specific massage techniques. Trigger point massages help target areas that radiate pain, signaling the body to release these ultra-tight muscles and get blood flowing again.

Fight disease

Use lymphatic massages to target nodes in the armpits, neck, or groin, and help white blood cell circulation. Studies have shown that massages targeting lymph nodes help to move the body's natural filtering fluid through the body, cleaning junk out of your system.

Recover

Target the big muscles you use the most—like quads and hamstrings—with deep-tissue massage and supplement therapy. It's best to also target these muscles with self-massage at least three times per week.