The Benefits of Massage Therapy
Who doesn’t love a spa day? We all know that getting a massage is a great way to unwind and relax, but many of us also think of it as an indulgence that we can only justify spending time and money on once in a while.
We’ve learned from a variety of research that the benefits of massage therapy go far beyond simple self-care and stress reduction. Keep reading to find out why you should consider adding massage therapy to your wellness routine more regularly.
Reduced stress and improved mental health
One of the most immediate benefits you’ll recognize after getting a massage is a feeling of relaxation and calm. This is what most of us think about when we imagine getting a massage, and it’s worth mentioning as one of the biggest benefits of the practice in today’s world of constant busyness and stress. Massage therapy is proven to reduce levels of stress hormones in the body and prompt the release of endorphins - the brain neurotransmitters that produce feelings of happiness and wellbeing.
Research shows that massage relieves stress in many different groups of people including psychiatric patients, people with chronic pain, cancer patients, and children with illnesses. After just 10 to 15 minutes of massage therapy, subjects have shown lower levels of several indicators of anxiety including oxygen consumption, blood pressure, and salivary cortisol.
Improved flexibility and circulation
A good massage will loosen your muscles and tendons significantly, and this alone provides multiple benefits to your body. First, relaxed and loosened muscles will allow your body to achieve a wider range of motion and reach its full potential during exercise and other activities that require movement.
Additionally, more relaxed muscles lead to increased blood flow and improved circulation, which comes with a multitude of benefits including pain management and reduced fatigue. The pressure created by various massage techniques moves blood through congested areas, and the release of the pressure causes new blood to flow in. Massage also flushes lactic acid from your muscles and improves the circulation of the lymph fluid - all great things for your overall health!
If you’ve ever had trouble sleeping because of muscle pain or tension, massage therapy could help. It loosens your muscles and causes your body to relax overall, which will help you get to sleep and have a more restful night. The stress reduction that comes with massage therapy will also help you sleep better and feel more energized the next morning.
With recent events in mind and cold and flu season approaching in a few months, many of us are looking for ways to boost our immune systems. Massage therapy has been shown to assist our body in defending against viruses by stimulating the lymph nodes. This also links back to the stress reduction benefits of massage therapy, as higher levels of stress hormones like adrenaline and cortisol are proven to impair the immune system.
Massage therapy can have a truly positive impact on your mental and physical health, especially when practiced on a regular basis. If you have questions about massage therapy, we’d be happy to discuss how it might benefit you.