When people talk about massage, it often gets lumped in with other spa day favorites and labeled an “indulgence” or a “treat.” But massage therapy has so much more to offer. Continuing research is showing what massage therapists have known for years. Therapeutic massage offers a multitude of health benefits. It’s a healthy lifestyle choice, not just a luxury for that rare spa weekend.
Another Tool for Pain Relief
When something hurts, it’s our nature instinct to rub it. Massage turns that instinct into a complex therapy that can help muscles relax, improve circulation, promote healing, reduce swelling and provide a soothing touch to an aching area.
Recent research indicates massage may actually reduce the amount of inflammatory compounds released by aching muscles. Other studies indicate massage helps with pain from specific conditions like chronic lower back pain, chronic neck pain and osteoarthritis.
Therapeutic massage can help with:
- Acute pain related to injury
- Chronic pain from medical conditions like fibromyalgia
- Chronic pain from conditions like old injuries
- Exercise-related soreness
A Break from Stress
From overloaded schedules to coping with hardships, we demand more from ourselves than ever. Stress increases our the levels of a hormone called cortisol. While it can help us in short bursts, chronic stress wears on on our mental state and can lead to problems like fatigue, weight gain and cardiovascular issues.
Anyone that has enjoyed a massage knows just how relaxing it is, and the data can tell you why. Therapeutic massage chair massage has been found to lower salivary cortisol levels after just 10 to 15 minutes. At the same time, it boosts levels of serotonin and dopamine, the feel-good hormones. It also lowers blood pressure, lowers perceived stress, and may even help those with depression.
A Better Night’s Sleep
When it comes down to it, we’ll all just plain tired. According to the National Institutes of Health, 40 million Americans or more suffer from chronic sleep difficulties. Many of us try to just live with it, but poor sleep can contribute to stress levels, lack of focus, poor memory, exacerbate chronic illnesses and keep you from getting the most out of your days.
The positive impact of massage on sleep is well-documented across a variety of demographics. The deep relaxation you feel when you get off the table can follow you all the way to bed and help you get the sleep you need.
Therapeutic massage contributes to a better night’s sleep by:
- Increasing serotonin and dopamine levels
- Lowering stress levels
- Lowering pain levels
- Reducing cortisol levels
- Helping with the symptoms of illnesses like fibromyalgia or gastrointestinal diseases
Better Quality of Life with Acute, Serious or Chronic Illness
The touch of a massage therapist impacts more than just the skin and muscles beneath. It has a systemic effect, creating a cocktail of benefits and welcome relief for those with many different injuries and illnesses.
Therapeutic massage can be worked into a variety of care situations. A massage plan can be developed around an acute injury or surgical situation. It can play a key physical and mental support role in hospice centers and hospital environments, and it can be part of a routine care plan for regular clients both in-home and in-office.
In addition to improving mental health and pain levels, therapeutic massage may help with:
- Range of motion
- Natural, comfortable gait and body posture
- Lower blood pressure
- Headache frequency
- Immune system support by boosting immune cell levels
- Lymphatic drainage
- The need for connection and comfort
There’s no need to wait for a special occasion. Therapeutic massage can be a part of a regular wellness program. Keeping the mind and body balanced and relaxed isn’t a luxury. It’s makes us healthier, happier and better at the things we do.Share This: