What Are the Health Benefits of Massage?
88 percent of people have found massage therapy to be an effective way of treating pain and injury. If you haven’t tried massage for your ailment yet, it may be time to discuss it with your doctor.
At first glance, the effectiveness of massage can be confusing. How does rubbing a body help it heal? Before you decide to try massage, read here about the health benefits of massage and how exactly it works. You won’t regret having more knowledge and some hope for handling your pain.
What Is Massage?
Massage is a blanket term for several kinds of techniques and treatments. Generally, a massage is any physical technique for rubbing and manipulating skin, muscle, tendons, and ligaments. It can be used to treat specific health conditions, as a regular part of self-care, or as an occasional treat.
Some common types of massage are Swedish massage which is typically used to help with relaxation, deep massage for muscle damage, sports massage to prevent and treat injuries, and trigger point massage to heal specific areas. When you look for massage tips, make sure that you’re looking at the type of massage optimized for your needs.
Health Benefits of Massage Explained
Massage is a part of integrative medicine. This means that it won’t heal any condition entirely on its own, but it can be used in conjunction with other types of treatment for a holistic approach.
The basic function of any massage is that the rubbing and pressing will relax layers of the muscle underneath your skin. When the soft tissue relaxes, it releases pressure on the nerves and connective tissues. That pressure can cause pain, so it’s good to get rid of it.
Massage also stimulates blood and lymph circulation which leads to feelings of relaxation and improves bodily functions. Here are some of the conditions that massage therapy can directly help.
All that relaxation caused by better blood and lymph circulation can result in some pretty amazing effects on anxiety. It decreases the sympathetic response (aka fight or flight) and increases the parasympathetic (the body’s ability to calm itself).
You’ll feel that parasympathetic response during your massage as your body enjoys the massage and you take in the soothing music and smells of the parlor. But the great news is that your anxiety relief will last long after your massage ends. Especially if you keep your massage schedule regular, you’ll find yourself able to handle your anxiety much better.
Some people’s anxiety keeps them up at night. Other people have sleep disorders resulting in insomnia. Whatever the reason for your disrupted sleep, massage can help.
What prevents you from being able to sleep soundly is too much activity in your nervous system when your body is trying to calm down and rest. Luckily, massage causes your nervous system to slow down. So not only will you be more relaxed after your massage, your nervous system will be trained to calm itself down and prepare for sleep.
Massage can also help fight fatigue. With better sleep, you’re less likely to feel fatigued, and massage can teach your body to be more economical with its energy expenditure. Your body will learn to act when it needs to act and rest when it needs to rest.
Maintain Immunity Balance
Do you know what causes autoimmune disorders? There are a few causes, but there’s a simple system that you should know about. Your body produces Th1 and Th2 to fight infection and keep your immune system working. When they’re out of balance and you have too much Th2, you’ll start experiencing the symptoms of an autoimmune disease.
When you get a massage, your body slows down its production of stress hormones (that’s part of what causes all that relaxation). Less of those hormones leads to less Th2 so you’re less likely to develop autoimmune disorders, and it makes them more manageable if you already have one. You’ll also find a decrease in the pain related to your condition.
Do you find your mind wandering during meetings, tasks, or even hobbies? Massage can help with that!
An elevated heart rate can be one of the causes of lack of attention. If you slow your heart rate, your brain is more able to take in one piece of information at a time and process it more fully. This results in better focus!
When you get a massage, you relax, and your heart rate decreases. It also trains it to stay down unless it’s facing a situation in which an elevated heart rate is necessary. When you get regular massages, you’ll find that your newfound calm will result in better focus too.
Heal Injuries and Manage Pain
One of the most common uses for massage is to heal an existing injury. Injuries and long-term joint pain are caused by soft-tissue restrictions. Your soft tissue isn’t able to move properly, puts pressure on your nerves and joints, and causes pain.
A massage therapist can get rid of those soft-tissue restrictions so that you have a better range of motion. They also increase circulation so that your body has a better chance of healing itself.
If you leave an injury alone for a long time without treatment, it may result in joint decay or ligament issues. So, by getting a massage, you’re not only handling the current problem but preventing future ones as well.
It’s Time For Your First Massage
Massage can be used to treat a wide range of physical and mental ailments. If you suffer from anxiety, insomnia, autoimmune issues, or a physical injury, it’s time to look into the health benefits of massage. You won’t regret turning towards this effective, holistic treatment.
Ready for your first massage appointment? Contact us about our services today!