Massage therapy feels good. That’s a universal truth for most people. What many may not realize though is the credible immediate benefits that massage therapy offers. There are plenty of pleasant effects a therapeutic massage can have on your health now and in the future, but regular massages can go a long way towards staying healthy and living pain free. Not convinced?
Here are ten of the most remarkable advantages of regular massage therapy.
1. Reduces The Negative Effects Of A Sedentary Lifestyle
Many working professionals spend their lives in a chair taking care of business at a desk. Chairs and desks are great because they allow us to focus for an extended time period without feeling fatigued...or so we think.
In reality, all the sitting we do at work increases the amount of tension in our shoulders and back, and sitting for prolonged periods weakens our glutes and lower back muscles. The good news is a massage therapy session can actually relieve the tension in your shoulders, alleviate lower back pain and prevent the long term damage and pain caused by extended sitting.
2. Relieves Muscle and Back Pain
Our first instinct after a vigorous workout or a day after strenuous physical activity is to rub our sore and aching muscles. Massage therapy simply takes that instinct a step further, allows more muscle groups to be worked at a time and takes care of the manual labor. It’s no accident that professional athletes hire a massage therapist to relieve their sore muscles and help them stay in peak condition year after year. While you may not be a pro athlete, there’s no reason you can’t live with less pain or pain free thanks to regular sessions with a massage therapist.
3. Provides Some Relief For Anxiety And Depression
Anxiety and depression create significant impacts on your physical and psychological health, especially for those who suffer with these conditions over extended time periods. Regular massage therapy has actually been shown to relieve symptoms of both conditions. A 2005 study published in the International Journal of Neuroscience found that women with breast cancer receiving massage therapy three days a week reported a significant reduction in depression and anxiety.
Better still, another study published in the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry showed patients with anxiety and depression experienced far less distress and were generally in a happier state of mind when receiving regular massage therapy treatments. Bottom line, massage therapy is as good for your mental health as it is for your physical health.
4. Promotes Better Sleep
Between lowered stress, less anxiety, reduced depression and fewer aches and pains, massage therapy is going to go a long way to helping you sleep better. Restful sleep is easier to achieve when you eliminate obstacles like stress, anxiety and pain from the equation. There’s also that fact that many patients actually fall asleep during their massage because they are fully relaxed physically, mentally and emotionally. If that’s not proof you will sleep better, I’m not sure what is.
5. Supports Immune Health
Loosening up muscles and restoring circulation to muscle groups and glands is great for fighting illness and infections. In fact, according to a 2010 study published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, massage therapy actually increased white blood cell counts in patients and participants. Since those cells do the bulk of the heavy lifting for your immune system, that’s some fairly significant evidence that regular massage kicks your immune system up a notch.
6. Relieves Headache Pain
Getting a massage regularly helps relieve headache pain and prevent recurrence in the future. Relieving tension in your shoulders, neck and back that cause tension and cluster headaches is a surefire way to get rid of a headache fast. Moreover, you’re less likely to get headaches in the future since you aren’t carrying all that tension and dress around to start another headache.
7. Excellent For Relieving Stress
Who can be stressed out on a massage table? Letting your guard down physically and relaxing with massage therapy is a tradition that goes back before the dawn of our earliest empires and civilizations. Do yourself and your co-workers a favor and get a massage.
8. Improves Circulation
Massaging muscles and causes blood and other bodily fluids to circulate more freely through your body. Improved circulation means lower blood pressure, improved health, and fewer aches and pains.
9. Helps Improve Your Posture
Many back, neck and shoulder ailments can be prevented by practicing good posture at work and at home. Additionally, individuals who are already experiencing symptoms of chronic poor posture can add a massage to their routine to help make things easier. You’ll find it’s easier to maintain correct posture when it’s less painful to sit up straight and balance your weight efficiently.
10. Can Lower Blood Pressure
Patients on a massage table notice this effect almost immediately: as their therapist begins to work their muscle groups, their heart rate drops. As their pulse drops, there’s also a gradual but significant reduction in blood pressure as the massage continues. Over time and with regular massage therapy, many patients discover their resting blood pressure has decreased thanks to reduced stress, anxiety and anger/frustration in their lives. Clearly, massage therapy is a win-win for your mental and physical health.
If you haven’t been feeling your best, book a massage therapy session today. The remarkable benefit to your mental, physical and emotional health may surprise you.