What Can Massage Do For You?
Massage therapy is often thought of as an indulgent treat at a spa or when you're on vacation, but there’s so much more to massage than that. Did you know that the symptoms of many health problems can be reduced and even eliminated with regular massage?
Here are a few conditions that massage can work really well for.
It’s no surprise that a regular dose of massage therapy is good for your stress levels. It works by helping to lower your blood pressure and improve your quality of sleep. It’s also thought to help reduce the risk of heart disease. In 2008, the Journal of Psycho-Oncology published a study which came to the conclusion that “…a significant reduction in cortisol (the main stress hormone) could be safely achieved through massage, with associated improvement in psychological well-being.”
2. Lower Back Pain
This is such a common problem for many people. Often, a contributing factor is poor posture as a result from too much sitting, driving, and lack of healthy movement in general. Getting regular massage can significantly reduce lower back pain, and is a long-term, medication-free approach to pain management.
3. Sports Injuries
Sports and fitness activities are great for your overall health but they can sometimes lead to injuries and overworked muscles. A regular massage can help to heal wear and tear on your muscles, and can also help you manage the pain from chronic or acute sports injuries. Massage therapy may also help prevent future injuries by allowing your muscles to heal and restore during down time.
4. Joint Stiffness
Massage can be a welcome relief for people dealing with the pain and stiffness associated with arthritis and other joint problems. Research published in 2013 in the Complementary Therapy in Clinical Practice journal said that people with rheumatoid arthritis reported some relief from pain and stiffness after four once-a-week moderate-pressure massages, topped up with self-massage at home in between treatments. Massage can also help with your range of motion and flexibility, which can relieve pain in your shoulders, knees, and hips.
There are a whole range of health problems that can be caused by bad circulation, so boosting your circulation is a bonus for your whole body. Regular massage gets the blood moving, transporting essential nutrients where they are needed in your tissues and vital organs. The compression involved in a good massage also helps to flush lactic acid out of your muscles and improve the circulation of lymph - the fluid that carries metabolic waste away from your muscles and internal organs.
6. Migraine Symptoms
Nobody really knows what causes migraines, but they pain they can cause is no joke. If you’re a migraine sufferer you’ll be pleased to hear that studies have shown that massage can help reduce the frequency of attacks, and lessen the severity of the symptoms. Some migraines, especially those triggered by stress, are especially receptive to massage treatment.
As mentioned before, massage helps to stimulate lymph flow, which boosts your immune system and can help to reduce the severity of allergic reactions.
Did any of those surprise you? Of course, you don't need an excuse for wanting a relaxing massage but if you are dealing with any of these health issues it’s good to know that your regular massage habit is helping!