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Once upon a time, massages in the western world were generally only found in luxury spas and upscale health clubs. In these settings, they were considered a “treat” and something received for caring or comfort reasons. Let’s discuss about the benefits of Therapeutic Massage.
Despite the fact that this practice has been performed in China for over 3,000 years, it was only in the past few years that massage therapy courses have sprung up and people have come to value the health benefits that are associated with this form of alternative medicine.
Fifty percent of adult Americans who had a massage between July 2015 and July 2016 received it for medical or health reasons. There are many different types of massage, including:
- Swedish massage
- Deep tissue massage
- Sports massage
- Trigger point massage
All of the above vary in terms of the amount of pressure applied onto your skin, muscles, tendons, and ligaments.
If you haven’t had a massage before and need a little bit more convincing (or just need some more excuses to book another session).
Here are five fantastic health benefits of therapeutic massage to get you going.
It relieves stress.
Stress relief is undoubtedly the first benefit that comes to mind when discussing massage — and considering stress is universal, it is a legitimate perk. You can reap the benefits of lowering your heart rate, cortisol levels, and insulin levels, even from a one-time one-hour session.
It improves the quality of your sleep.
It is difficult not to fall asleep when receiving a massage, as the whole experience is incredibly relaxing. So it should come as no surprise that the sleep benefits associated with massage continue even after you have left the table.
According to studies, this is due to massage’s impact on delta waves, which happen to be the brain waves affiliated with deep sleep.
It brings attention to your posture.
For a vast majority of us, our work life consists of crouching over our laptop or computer at a desk for hours on end. When we do this, our body isn’t properly aligned, which is terrible for our back, our shoulders, our neck, and our posture.
Regular full body deep tissue massage can relax and loosen these tense muscles and can reinforce the natural alignment our body should have.
It helps soothe anxiety and depression.
In the same way that a massage is relaxing, it can also soothe anxiety and depression. This is because massage reduces the levels of cortisol, a stress hormone, and the neurotransmitters, serotonin and dopamine, which links to depression.
The touch of another human helps your body to release hormones that create a sense of an emotional connection. While massages won’t “cure” depression, they can certainly help relieve it.
It enhances cardiovascular health.
No matter our age, we all want to be healthy and treat our body as well as we possibly can, and getting a massage is a surefire way of doing that. The movements of a massage therapist’s hands greatly help circulation throughout the body, which improves blood flow to the vital organs, tissues, and muscles.
This is because massage assists in improving the health of your fascia, a thin layer of tissue that encloses and infiltrates muscles, bones, organs and other tissue throughout the body.
All your major blood vessels are connected to these sheaths of fascia, so if the fascia is appropriately aligned and healthy, your circulatory and nervous systems will benefit.
What else massage can do
In addition to these five benefits, massages can also help relieve postoperative pain, manage low-back pain, reduce pain of osteoarthritis, improve chronic neck pain, decrease rheumatoid arthritis pain, help fibromyalgia pain, reduce muscle tension, enhance exercise performance, temper effects of dementia, decrease symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, relieve tension headaches, decrease migraine frequency, and lower chemotherapy-related nausea.
But keep in mind that massage isn’t a replacement for regular medical care. Let your doctor know that you are incorporating massage into your routine and be sure to follow any standard treatment plans you have.
Marc Innes is the Owner and Principal of the School of Natural Therapies, a training school for Massage & Holistic Therapies located in London. Marc began his career in the NHS, working in a number of managerial and training roles within the Ambulance Service in London. He spent much of that time educating and coaching medical staff. Over time, he developed an interest in all things complementary to Allopathic Medicine. In particular, Reiki Healing and EFT, which culminated in running a successful teaching and ‘energy healing’ practice. Marc is passionate about the massage and complementary therapy industry.