Most people think of a massage as a luxury simply meant to pamper those receiving it. While there may be pampering involved, massage is about much more than just relaxation and momentary pleasure. Many do not realize that massage therapy has been found to have health benefits ranging from stress reduction to improved blood circulation.
Let’s take a closer look at some of the medical benefits of massage therapy.
Research has shown that massage can increase the production of endorphins (“feel good” chemicals) in your body. The relaxation from massage also leads to the release of serotonin and dopamine which results in a feeling of extreme relaxation. Additionally, massage lowers levels of cortisol, a hormone produced in response to stress. Consistent massage therapy will lead a consistently lower level of stress.
Massage can help those who have trouble sleeping. Research has found that massage impacts delta waves; which are the brain waves connected to deep sleep. Certain massage techniques have even been used to help infants sleep better.
Boost the Immune System
Your immune system is the key to your health because it is your body’s defense against disease and infection. Clinical studies have shown that regular massage treatments increase a person’s disease-fighting white blood cells and reduce the number of T-cells. Increased serotonin levels and an increase in cells make your body better equipped to fend off potential illness.
Chronic migraines and tension headaches are a problem that many people have to face. Massage can help during a headache or in a proactive roll. If you are suffering from a headache, a massage can ease the pressure of your headache and decrease pain and discomfort. If you are trying to prevent chronic headaches, massage can help by reducing stress through the release of serotonin and other chemicals. Stress relief and better sleep brought on by consistent massage therapy lead to a reduced chance of chronic headaches.
Massage can be used to help increase flexibility by easing your muscles and joints. Consistent massage keeps your muscles looser and your movements more fluid. Keeping your body flexible with a good range of motion is important because it reduces the risk of injury during physical activity.
Eases Physical Pain
This is probably the most obvious health benefit on the list: massage eases physical pain. Anyone who has had a massage can tell you of the wonders that it can do for muscle soreness. Massage will lead to reduced stiffness in muscles and is known to reduce inflammation. The release of chemicals like serotonin and dopamine lead to extreme relaxation which also reduces physical pain.
Reduce Blood Pressure
Lower stress levels brought on by massage have been known to reduce blood pressure. Additionally, massage can improve blood circulation, which can impact blood pressure. Overall, studies have shown that a consistent massage program can decrease diastolic and systolic blood pressure.
Improved Blood Circulation
Massage techniques help blood circulation by moving the blood through congested areas. Squeezing and pulling flushes acids from the muscles and improves overall circulation. Improved circulation can lead to reduced blood pressure and overall health.
If you are recovering from an injury or are just sore from activity, massage can get you on the correct path to recovery. By increasing circulation and easing tension, massage keeps your muscles loose and allows your body to better send oxygen and nutrients to all parts of your body. The better you treat your body the sooner you will be back at full strength.
Relaxation and Breathing
As mentioned earlier, massage decreases cortisol levels (a hormone produced in response to stress) in the body. This, along with the release of other chemicals, puts your body in a state of relaxation that lasts after the massage is over. Relaxation can benefit your health by helping contain stress and stress related disorders. The relaxation and reduction of stress in your muscles can also lead to better breathing patterns. By loosening the muscles on your chest and back, the massage therapist is creating more room for your lungs to expand for healthier breathing.
Massage is not only enjoyable, but it benefits your health in the long run. So what are you waiting for? Contact Threads today and let us reduce your stress and improve your overall health.