Five Benefits of Massage Therapy
Massage therapy is a standard method of relaxation. When picturing massage, it’s easy to envision scenes of soothing music, aromatherapy candles, and the melting of your worries. Although this is undoubtedly true, there are many more benefits of massage that are less obvious but just as helpful.
Massage Therapy for Everyone
Before we dive into these five advantages, it’s important to note that massage therapy is beneficial for everyone in many different ways. Regardless of age, physicality, job, gender identity, race, and more, massage is a great option that targets an array of issues. Some techniques are even specific to certain demographics, such as children, athletes, or those suffering physical injuries.
Benefit One: Stress Reduction
Let’s start with the prominent perk—stress reduction. It’s the reason why many people choose to begin massage therapy. Studies show that relaxation techniques in massage cause an observable reaction in the brain. These methods result in increased endorphins, as well as heightened levels of both serotonin and dopamine. These chemicals are all associated with the feeling of happiness and can help alleviate anxiety. Massage can also decrease cortisol, which is the hormone responsible for the stress we feel.
Benefit Two: Injury Healing and Prevention
A lot of patients turn to the benefits of massage because of an injury. When damage occurs to your body, especially with muscle, joints, and ligaments, specialized massage therapy can help. Strategic pressure and movement can enhance the healing process for sustained injuries by releasing muscle tightness, reducing swelling, and decreasing scar tissue. This technique is a common practice in sports chiropractic care.
Massage can also support the body in preventing future damage by increasing blood flow, lubrication, and stretching in muscles. Your body is “looser,” which enhances your range of motion. When this happens, injury is less likely to occur because your body can move better.
Benefit Three: Reduce Acute and Chronic Pain
The rhythmic motion along muscles works out what we call “knots,” which are tense muscle fibers. They can also contain a buildup of fascial tissue, which can cause something called a “trigger point.” At first, this muscle tightness can feel like small bits of pain, known as acute. But over time, that pain can become more frequent and even start to impact you chronically. By releasing these triggers, the accumulation of connective tissue dissipates, and your muscles are more loose and agile.
Benefit Four: Improved Circulation
As mentioned above, the rhythmic motion of massage increases blood flow in the body. When your blood is flowing more freely, that improves circulation. There are lots of benefits of massage therapy, but this one takes precedence. Poor circulation is responsible for various symptoms, including fatigue, digestive problems, cognitive decline, joint pain, swelling, numbness, and more. Addressing circulation issues can significantly improve your health.
Benefit Five: Enhance Immune System
Lastly, as massage improves circulation, that blood flow also enhances immune system function. Massage therapy can flush out toxins and increase the white blood cell activity in our bodies. Both of these results support immune functionality, but white blood cells are the ones that fight disease and can even lower cortisol.