The Physical and Emotional Benefits of Massage
Massage is an ancient form of therapy with its origins dating back to early 2700 B.C. For centuries, medical practitioners and scholars have acknowledged the benefits of this form of therapy.
Even today, it is considered a great remedy for relieving stress, muscle soreness and for treating sports injuries.
However, most people are unaware of the many benefits massage provides. Some of the unknown benefits of massage therapy include easing anxiety, increasing immunity, and enhancing physical performance.
Physical benefits of massage therapy
It does not occur to us that, just like machines, our bodies suffer the gradual wear and tear of everyday use. And, also like machines, our bodies need regular rest and maintenance.
Massage therapy is not just a recreational activity – there are scientifically proven physical benefits associated with this form of therapy.
Strengthens immune system
Research has proven that massage therapy can strengthen the immune system by increasing the lymph node’s production of white blood cells. Regular massage sessions are known to increase the activity level of this natural fighter cell.
A complete body massage benefits athletes and people involved in rigorous physical activity. Massage reduces muscle tension and muscle hypertonicity.
This enables athletes to continue their exercise routine with vigor.
Massage therapy also increases range of motion which helps to decrease post-workout muscle stiffness and fatigue.
Increases blood circulation
A long term benefit of massage is the improved circulation of the blood in the body. Massage therapy promotes improved circulation via the use of hands-on pressure.
Massage therapy can also contribute to the reduction of blood pressure, which lowers the risk of heart attack, stroke or kidney failure.
Reduces muscle and joint pain
Sore muscles are the result of micro-tears in the muscle fibers which causes inflammation in the body. Joint pain can be caused by inflammation as well.
Cytokines, a broad and loose category of small proteins present in the human body, cause inflammation – massage suppresses these proteins from being released.
Massage therapy has proven to reduce the pain and swelling caused by strained muscles and sprained ligaments as well as pain experienced in the joints.
Massage therapy automatically improves your posture, flexibility, and movement capabilities by reducing aches, pain, knots and wear and tear in the muscles.
It reduces the effects of wear and tear in the muscles and streamlines muscle knots. Some specialized muscle therapy systems can also cure tears in tendons, ligaments, and muscles.
A professional massage can be a beneficial part of a person’s rehabilitation. Anyone who suffers from a chronic injury or is recovering from an acute injury should seek the aid of a registered massage therapist.
Massage tends to double the volume of mitochondria in the muscle, which helps the cells to absorb oxygen. The oxygen is then used to aid muscle recovery and growth.
Overall, therapeutic massage can stimulate weak and inactive muscles for a faster and more complete recovery from an illness or injury.
Emotional benefits of massage therapy
In addition to the many physical benefits massage therapy can provide, this specialized technique can also help with many emotional struggles and challenges.
Because massage therapy is instrumental in releasing hormones in the body, it is effective in reducing the symptoms of psychological conditions such as depression and anxiety.
Massage therapy eases the tension from your joints and muscles, thus promoting the release of positive hormones. It works on hormone secretion and regulation which contributes to an uplifted mood and a feeling of cheerfulness.
Massage therapists use specialized techniques to make you feel energized and revitalized. This induces a feeling of comfort.
Calms anxiety disorders
Anxiety disorder is a mental health condition in which an individual regularly experiences feelings of worry, anxiety and extreme fear. These symptoms are often so severe that it affects their day-to-day activities.
Massage therapy helps in relieving stress which, in turn, reduces the symptoms of anxiety disorder and helps the individual lead a healthier lifestyle.
Reduces fatigue and improves sleep
This may seem like a physical benefit, but anyone who deals with stress knows how fatigue and sleepless nights can make the days almost unbearable.
Massage therapy restores the natural electro-chemical balance in the body and works on the parasympathetic nervous system. This system controls the heartbeat rate during sleep and affects breathing patterns.
Massage therapy also calms down the body and helps to induce a deep slumber.
Increases focus and attention
Research studies have shown that office workers who receive regular massages perform better at their job tasks than those who do not. Additionally, office workers who were regularly massaged are more alert and less stressed.
Massage therapy promotes the reduction of erratic behavior, especially in young children. It helps to increase focus and attention.
Stress is generally a byproduct of physical and emotional burnouts. During periods of stress, the cortisol level in your body increases and your body will seek more energy during stressful and tensed situations. This additional energy is known as a “fight or flight” response.
Over a long period of time, these high cortisol levels increase the percentage of glucose in the blood, which could result in high blood sugar levels.
Massage therapy can seriously reduce stress and prevent many stress-related illnesses.
Experience the benefits of massage
Massage therapy has become vital due to the increasing levels of pain and stress people experience. Scientists have proven that have regular massages results in many physical and emotional benefits.
Many people today opt for massage therapy to relieve symptoms such as joint and muscle pain, anxiety, and depression.
If you feel you can benefit from massage therapy, or have any questions about our specialized techniques, feel free to contact InHome Physical Therapy and Massage for more information. We are proud to provide in-home services to residents of the Edmonton and Calgary areas!