Massage therapy is one form of bodywork that has become more popular. This is due to its relaxing and therapeutic benefits. Massage therapists work with clients to improve their health and wellness by manipulating body soft tissues.
There are many different styles of massage, and each can be used to achieve different results. From relieving stress to improving athletic recovery, massage is an effective treatment for a variety of conditions.
Here Are 8 Health Benefits of Massage Therapy.
1. Massage Therapy Relaxes Muscles
Massage involves manipulating the skin and muscles in the body using different techniques like kneading, stroking, and tapping to release tension in these parts. The procedure can be performed manually or automatically by a massage chair.
In most cases, a massage therapist performs the procedure manually by applying pressure on the affected areas. The pressure applied during massage manipulates soft tissue and muscles which has a calming effect on the body. You may experience some soreness after the massage which is a sign that the procedure was effective.
Massage therapy will relax your tired muscles. This can help people with muscle tension caused by daily activities, injuries, or conditions such as fibromyalgia.
2. Massage Improves Sleep Quality
Some people have trouble falling asleep. Others have trouble staying asleep. Both can affect your quality of life. The good news is that massage therapy can help.
A study in The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine showed that massage therapy helped improve sleep quality for people who struggled with insomnia and those who didn’t.
“Massage therapy helps improve sleep by reducing muscle tension, decreasing pain, and lowering anxiety,” says Jonathan Legg, licensed massage therapist at Massage Envy. “It also stimulates the release of hormones like endorphins, serotonin, and dopamine, which all help regulate sleep.”
3. Massages Increase Blood Circulation
It’s true; massage therapy helps improve circulation and blood flow.
It increases blood flow to the area being massaged. When the muscles are relaxed, the blood vessels dilate and promote circulation.
This is especially important for elderly people or those who sit or stand for long periods of time. It’s also important for people with diabetes or high blood pressure.
Increased circulation means more blood flow throughout the body, including to major organs like the heart and brain. Improved circulation can speed healing in injured tissues, and improve the body.
When a body part is injured, it becomes inflamed as the body begins to repair itself. Massage helps reduce this inflammation by increasing circulation to the affected body part. As more blood flows into the area, swelling goes down and pain decreases.
Faster Healing of Wounds
Massages help increase circulation and promote healing from wounds and injuries faster than if the body part were left untreated. For example, when someone breaks an arm, massage increases blood flow to the site of injury to help speed the arm recovery.
4. Pain Relief
Pain comes in many forms, from chronic pain caused by fibromyalgia or arthritis to sports-related injuries to acute pain following surgery or from a traumatic accident. Massage therapy can help in all of these cases and more.
Massage therapy is a natural treatment for pain that not only provides relief but also helps your body heal. There are several different types of massage, each one tailored to the type and intensity of pain you’re experiencing.
Relieves Back Pain
Massage therapy has been found to be effective in treating lower back pain, headaches, and neck pain when compared to other traditional treatments such as acupuncture, medication, and physical therapy.
A study done by the Annals of Internal Medicine found that massage therapy was more effective than physical therapy sessions for treating chronic lower back pain.
5. Stress Relief
Massage therapy can also help you reduce stress by relaxing your mind. When you are stressed out, your heart beats faster, your breathing becomes rapid and your muscles tense up.
Massage therapy helps to calm your nervous system and slows down your heart rate and breathing. It also helps relieve tense muscles so that your whole body can relax.
Stress reduction is important because it can help reduce the risk of depression, which has been shown to be related to high blood pressure, heart disease, and other health conditions.
It’s essential to find ways to relax and unwind to help keep your blood pressure under control and lower your risk of heart problems. Massage therapy is an effective way to reduce anxiety and stress.
6. Lower Blood Pressure
High blood pressure can cause heart disease and stroke. According to this study, massage therapy can lower your blood pressure by 10 points after just one session.
This is likely due to the relaxing effects of massage on the body. A research review published in Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine found that no matter what type of massage you get; it may be beneficial for lowering blood pressure.
7. Increased Mobility
It’s all connected. As a massage therapist, I often hear clients say things like, “I don’t really know why my neck, back, and legs hurt, and I always have pain when walking.” Our bodies are a complex network of systems and structures that work together. That’s why massage therapists often address the body as a whole rather than just focusing on one painful area.
A full-body massage can help improve mobility and range of motion, relieve muscle tension and increase flexibility. Massage therapy will address muscle tension that contributes to restricted movement.
8. Boosts the Immune System
Massage therapy boosts the immune system. A massage increases the activity of natural killer cells, which fight infection and cancer, as well as lymphocytes, which are white blood cells that help to destroy viruses and bacteria.
Massage also increases the number of antibody-producing B-cells in the body. Antibodies are proteins produced by white blood cells to neutralize or destroy disease-causing micro-organisms such as bacteria and viruses that cause conditions like strep throat and flu.
In fact, research shows that just one hour-long therapeutic massage session can boost levels of circulating lymphocytes by as much as 15 percent for up to 72 hours post-session.