Massage therapy is a treatment approach which is steadily growing in demand and popularity. Once considered an alternative or fringe approach, massage is now becoming much more mainstream. This form of therapy involves hands-on techniques to improve the body, both mentally and physically. If someone is tense and in need of relaxation, or they have been injured and have extensive muscle and/or nerve tissue damage that plagues their body, massage therapy might be worth exploring. Here are some of the key benefits of consistent massage therapy.
1. Relaxes the Body
When the body is tense and under stress, it produces unhealthy levels of the well-known stress hormone, cortisol, which can contribute to weight gain, sleeplessness, digestive problems, and headaches. Massage therapy has been shown to decrease cortisol levels in the body which enables the body to enter a recovery mode. This form of therapy also triggers lasting feelings of relaxation, improved mood, and reduced stress levels.
2. Promotes Muscle Relaxation
The purpose of massage therapy is to target the source of the body’s pain by eliminating tense muscles, increasing flexibility, and providing relaxation to the affected muscles. Massage promotes circulation to the affected or injured muscles, which increases nutrients and oxygen to the damaged tissues. In turn, this increased activity to the affected sites reduces stiffness and swelling in the muscles and joints, as well as increases flexibility to help reduce pain. Moreover, this form of therapy also releases endorphins, which boost the dopamine and serotonin levels in the body. These hormones assist the body in many ways–physically as well as emotionally.
3. Reduces Stress
Not only can massage therapy help with stress relief, but regular massage sessions over a prolonged period of time can boost energy levels, reduce pain, and stimulate individuals on physical as well as emotional levels.The more tense the body tends to be over time, the more wear and tear it can take on the mind. Massage releases tense muscles and allows individuals to feel better as a whole.
4. Lowers Blood Pressure
Regular massage therapy sessions have been found to reduce blood pressure levels. In fact, some long-term studies have shown that a consistent massage program can reduce both systolic and diastolic blood pressure. As mentioned above, consistent massage sessions can also reduce trigger sources for anxiety, hostility, tension, and depression. In turn, lower blood pressure levels can also reduce the risk of heart attack, stroke, and/or kidney failure, as well as many other health issues driven by blood pressure.
5. Improve Circulation
Improved circulation is part of a snowball effect that occurs in the body as a result of receiving regular massage therapy on a consistent basis. This is because proper circulation brings damaged, stiff, and tense muscles the rich blood supply they need to promote healing.
Moreover, massage promotes improved circulation via the use of hands-on pressure, which moves the blood through the damaged and congested areas of the body. In turn, the release of this same pressure causes new blood to flow into tissues. The squeezing, twisting, and pulling action of the massage technique also removes lactic acid from the muscle tissues. As a result, this action improves the lymph fluid circulation, which carries metabolic waste products away from internal organs and muscles.
6. Improve Posture
Many people experience back, neck, and muscle pain. However, the primary cause of this pain results from poor posture. The added strain often causes spasms, pain, and tense muscles in the hips, glutes, back, neck, and legs. Massage therapy can help get the body back into proper alignment and improve posture. Massage allows the body to relax and loosen the muscles made tense and sore due to bad posture. This allows the body to position itself in its organic and pain-free posture. As part of a consistent massage therapy program, the body’s muscles are loosened and relaxed. The joints also have greater freedom, flexibility, range of motion, and pressure points are relieved.
7. Strengthen the Body’s Immune System
Individuals who experience high levels of stress are more vulnerable to illness and injury. When stress is combined with sleep disturbances and poor nutrition, the impact is directed at the body’s immune system. Its ability to naturally protect itself against infections, pathogens, and bacteria is greatly reduced. Studies have indicated that regular massage sessions not only help reduce stress, but can also boost the immune system’s cytotoxic capacity and enhance the body’s ability to deliver nourishment. Moreover, massage therapy can be a great addition to any exercise program.
Getting an occasional massage works well for giving yourself a treat, to relieve stress, or if you have a minor area of discomfort that can be addressed in one session. It is important to realize, though, that scheduling regular massage can dramatically improve long-term results both for those who want to be proactive about their well-being and those who have ongoing muscle-related aches or tension.
This type of regularly scheduled self-care can play a huge part in how healthy you’ll be and how youthful you’ll remain with each passing year. Budgeting time and money for massage is truly an investment in your overall health, which includes flexibility, full range of motion, and pain-free movement. So remember: just because massage feels like an indulgence at times doesn’t mean it is any less therapeutic! Give our office at Camino Massage a call today to schedule your next appointment!