Are you thinking about treating yourself to a massage?
Not only are massages a great way to unwind and relax, they can actually be good for you too. But if you’ve never had one before, you might now know what the benefits are.
Don’t worry, we’re here to help! Read on for these 10 benefits of massage therapy you won’t want to miss.
1. It Can Balance Out Prolonged Periods of Sitting
Most people suffer from some level of postural discomfort. For a lot of suffers, it’ll make itself known in the shoulders and the neck. For those who spend a lot of time at a desk, they are at particular risk.
More serious signs of postural stress will come in the form of weakness and/or pain in the lower back. Or you might feel it in gluteals, which happens after too much time spent sitting.
Massage therapy can help to counteract this effect of sitting too long. This means that you don’t need to panic and ditch the desk job. With regular massages scheduled in, you won’t need to worry. If you need to sit down for prolonged periods, consider a massage chair. See here for some great options.
2. Helps Muscle Pain
If you’re feeling constant pain and aches in your muscles, then a massage could be what you need. When done right, it helps increase the circulation of blood around the body.
A study in the Annals of Internal Medicine found that massage was as good for back pain as any other relief. Think about when you hit your elbow on the table and end up rubbing it. It helps take away the pain.
3. Provides a Boost to the Immune System
The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine found massage boosts white blood cells. These are the cells that play a huge role in protecting you from illness and disease. It also showed that it could help boost immune function in HIV suffers.
5. Heal injuries
Soft tissue restrictions will cause knots in the soft tissue which become pain-points. This is common if you suffer an injury or joint pain. And it’s even worse if it’s a chronic or long-term issue.
Over time, if left, these restrictions can cause issues like joint decay. Or it can lead to further ligament damage.
Massage therapists having training and specialize in working out these knots. They work to get rid of soft-tissue restrictions and aim to reduce or remove pain points.
So, by getting regular massage therapy you can help heal your current injury. And you can also prevent further issues arising over time, saving you from pain and trouble in the long run.
5. Helps You Sleep Better
There are two ways in which massage can help you rest. The first is it encourages a restful sleep as your body relaxes. The second is that it can help those who find it difficult to rest well.
Massage for chemo or radiation therapy patients can help them relax more and sleep. It can also help young children get more sleep, cry less, and reduce stress levels.
6. Fight Fatigue
As well as helping you get sleep, massage can help with the fatigue you feel from not getting enough. If you’ve tossed and turned all night, and woken up drained, it can be hard to go through the day. Sometimes, you don’t even feel like you have the time to breathe.
Fatigue can happen because you’re not sleeping enough. For other people, there are medical causes for it too and they suffer chronic fatigue. In both cases, massage can help and it’s recommended you get a massage once a week.
A study in 2018 looked into breast cancer survivors who suffered the aftereffect of fatigue. In the participants who got a Swedish massage once a week, they saw a reduction in the fatigue they felt. So it really can help!
7. Provides Relief From Headaches
Try this for yourself the next time you get a headache, and book in a massage last-minute. It’s shown that massage can lower the severity and frequency of tension headaches.
In fact, a study from Granada University found it only took a single session to relieve pain. This was a study looking into people who suffered from chronic tension headaches.
8. Helps Some Health Conditions
The human body has two different types of immune response: Th1 and Th2. Both of these need to balance out to have a functioning immune system. If your Th2 levels rise higher than Th1 levels, then it means you’ve got an auto-immune issue.
During a massage session, your stress hormones decrease, which helps balance both out. If done on a regular basis, you could see improvements in managing auto-immune issues like:
- type 1 diabetes
Symptoms may become easier to manage. And you could see a decrease in the fatigue or pain that these issues can cause.
9. Reduce Anxiety
Massage can also help reduce the symptoms of anxiety. What seems to happen is it lowers the sympathetic tone that is common in people with anxiety. And it increases the parasympathetic tone.
Your body has two nervous systems: sympathetic and parasympathetic. Sympathetic controls your flight or fight instincts. It’s often raised for people who suffer anxiety.
While having a massage, your parasympathetic response increases (the one that calms you). As a result, you should feel a decrease in your anxiety levels.
10. Improves Concentration and Focus
If you’re struggling with concentration and focus, a massage can help. For you to concentrate at your best, you need a lowered heart rate. If it’s elevated, you won’t be as attentive.
Massage slows down your nervous systems, and in turn, your heart rate as well. By removing these stresses, you are better able to focus and concentrate on what you want to.
Don’t Miss These Benefits of Massage Therapy
So, there you have it! Now you know these 10 benefits of massage therapy, what are you waiting for? Massage can improve your physical and mental health, help you recover after an injury and help you relax. What more could you want?
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