Ahhhh…A massage. It is something that you may get once in a while since it is considered to be a luxury for most. However, it is perhaps one of the oldest healing traditions. Many ancient cultures – including Ancient Greek, Egyptian, Chinese, and Indian – were convinced of the therapeutic properties of massage and used it to treat various ailments. What is massage therapy? Massage therapy (including myotherapy) is the practice of kneading or manipulating a person’s muscles and other soft-tissues to improve their overall well being or health. It is a form of manual therapy that includes holding, moving, and applying pressure to the muscles, tendons, ligaments, and fascia. There are so many benefits to getting a massage. Not only does it relieve stress, but it can also help physically. Here are 5 benefits of getting a massage!
Relieves Anxiety and Stress
One of the immediate benefits of massage is a feeling of deep relaxation and peace. Why does this occur? This happens because massage prompts the release of endorphins – the brain chemicals (neurotransmitters) that produce feelings of wellbeing. Levels of stress hormones, such as adrenalin, cortisol, and norepinephrine, are also reduced. For example, studies have shown that high levels of stress hormones impair the immune system. So if you suffer from anxiety or endure a lot of stress, try to consider getting a massage.
Another benefit to getting a massage is that it helps boost focus! For you to best pay attention, your heart rate needs to be lowered. Because a massage slows your nervous system, your heart rate is effectively slowed down, too. During a massage, your pressure receptors stimulate vagal activity, which stems from a nerve in your brain that leads to several branches of the body, including the heart, says Field. So when you’re undergoing the pressure of a massage, it could decrease your heart rate, as well, which ultimately will improve your focus.
We have all been there. You’ve been tossing and turning all night, work has been completely draining, and you feel like you don’t even have five minutes to take a deep breath. You may be tired because you are not sleeping enough, or it could be just because of biological factors. No matter what the cause of your fatigue is, one easy solution is getting a massage. One 2018 study found that breast cancer survivors who received weekly Swedish massages experienced a reduction in their exhaustion, particularly the disease’s debilitating effect. To fight your constant fatigue, we would recommend a massage!
Aids in Health Conditions
Did you know? Getting a massage also helps aid in certain health conditions. Your body has two different immune responses: Th1 and Th2, and they need to be in balance to have your immune system working optimally. If the Th2 gets in excess of the Th1 system, then you have autoimmune problems. But during a massage, you’re slowing down stress hormones to help maintain this balance. In turn, this can help make autoimmune conditions like asthma, type 1 diabetes, or dermatitis more manageable through things like decreased pain or fatigue.
If you experience injury or joint pain, you’ll also have soft-tissue restrictions, which cause knots or trigger points of pain. These restrictions can, over time, lead to problems like joint decay or other ligament problems, so by actively massaging out those soft-tissue restrictions, you’re not only helping your current injury but also helping prevent future issues down the road. However, when getting a massage for your injury, the most important thing is to go to an experienced, licensed massage therapist who has extensive experience with injured patients. Why is that? You should see a good, licensed massage therapist because they will assess which areas around the injury need a massage, and which sites are best to avoid.
How can I find a credible massage therapist?
The best (and easiest) way to find a credible massage therapist is to call a local massage therapy school or the American Massage Therapy Association. Massage therapy schools, in particular, put their massage therapists through intensive training, so you’ll know the therapist you’re going to is reliable. At Be Well Lifestyle Centers, we also have great massage therapists. You deserve to feel fantastic! No doubt, a massage is just what you need to enjoy the numerous benefits of having a relaxed body. The effects are felt both internally and externally, as you have that emotional relief that keeps you ready to tackle difficulties head-on. By knowing the following 5 benefits of getting a massage, you can now consider treating yourself to one. Feel free to schedule a massage with us today!