BENEFITS OF MASSAGE
Massage can be a relaxing treat, but it can also be a huge boost to your health and wellness. Massage can help manage many ailments – from physical pain, to stress and anxiety. People who choose to supplement their healthcare regimen with regular massages will not only enjoy a comforting hour or two, but can experience the beneficial effects of massage beyond hands-on table time.
10 GREAT REASONS TO GET A MASSAGE
1. REDUCED STRESS
Life is filled with stress inducing activities! It is common to have to confront multiple challenges every day, such as meeting deadlines at work, navigating relationships, raising children, paying bills, and coordinating a hectic schedule. According to the American Psychological Association, chronic stress can result in your body’s sympathetic nervous system — the “fight or flight” response — being stuck in the “on” position, which can have serious consequences for your health due to either the changes that take place in your body related to the chronic stress state or the effects that other bad habits people use to cope with stress can have on the body.
A relaxing massage is a natural and effective way to unwind and de-stress because massage helps activate the parasympathetic nervous system— the "rest and digest" response— which is responsible for slowing the body down to begin repair processes.
2. HELP REDUCE ANXIETY
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, an estimated 31.1% of the U.S. adult population will experience some type of anxiety disorder in their lifetime.
Research suggests that stress management techniques, such as massage therapy, can assist in reducing the symptoms of anxiety. However, massage therapy should act as complimentary to your standard care regimen and should not take the place of your doctor's recommendations.
3. REDUCED PAIN
Chronic pain affects the mental and emotional health, quality of life, and the ability to work for many individuals. Considering the number of reported side effects, pain medications may not necessarily be the best option for all people. Additionally, with the current opioid crisis, the American public has become more interested in integrating complimentary and alternative methods of pain relief.
Research indicates that massage therapy can aid in pain relief for many conditions. For example, massage can be great for working out problem areas like the low back or help with management of chronic pain conditions, such as fibromyalgia.
4. REDUCED MUSCLE TENSION
Manual manipulation of the soft tissues of your body will help to melt away muscle tension. Loosening muscles and tendons allows for increased blood flow to the area of focused work. Inviting relaxation and increasing local circulation can have a number of positive effects on the rest of your body, including reduced fatigue and decreased pain.
5. IMPROVED FLEXIBILITY
A skilled massage can loosen and relax your muscles, helping your body to achieve its full range of movement potential.
6. IMPROVED SLEEP
Quality sleep is vital to promote optimal health and wellness. According to the Center for Disease Control, insufficient sleep is a common symptom of multiple chronic medical conditions and this poses serious implications for the management and outcome of these conditions.
Research is indicating that massage therapy can help improve sleep for individuals with a wide array of medical concerns by encouraging relaxation. Additionally, going to bed with relaxed and loosened muscles promotes more restful sleep so that you can feel less tired in the morning.
7. PROMOTE PROPER IMMUNE FUNCTION
It is no secret that ongoing stress makes us more susceptible to illness and disease. During a stress response, the body's endocrine system releases a variety of hormones to get us ready for an emergency situation, however, these same hormones tend to suppress our immune system. Since the effects of stress accumulate over time, even ordinary daily stressors in our lives can lead to more serious health conditions down the road. It is for this reason, that it is important to be self-aware of our own stress levels and actively find ways to invite time for relaxation into our lifestyles.
Massage is a wonderful way to relax and let the stresses of the day melt away. Additionally, massage stimulates flow of lymph within the lymphatic system, re-charging the body's natural defense system.
8. RELIEVE TENSION HEADACHES
Tension headaches are the most common type of headache. Mental and emotional conflict can cause the muscles of the neck, shoulders, scalp and jaw to contract, leading to headache symptoms.
Massage can be an effective therapy to manage tension headaches by softening the offending muscles and targeting areas of held stress.
9. HELP MANAGE DEPRESSION
Depression is a common but serious mood disorder. It can cause changes in the way a person feels, thinks, or handles daily activities that can affect his or her quality of life. Not all people with depressive illnesses will have the same symptoms or find relief with all strategies. Please work with your primary care provider to find the best path for you.
As a complimentary therapy, massage can be effective in reducing the symptoms of depression by helping to release endorphins in your body, helping you to feel happy, energized, and at ease.
10. ENHANCED SENSE OF WELLNESS
Wellness includes the elements of increased quality of life and improved mental, physical, emotional and spiritual well-being. Massage makes a great addition to anyone's personal wellness program to manage stress, reduce pain, and overcome feeling of fatigue.
The information presented here is for general educational purposes only and is not intended to replace the advice of your physician.