Massage is more than just an indulgence you get on vacation or receive as a gift. Massage therapy is good for your health. Virtually every system of the body is affected by massage, either directly or indirectly. Several studies show that massage reduces levels of the stress hormone cortisol while boosting the feel good hormone serotonin and dopamine. Those changes slow your heart rate, reduce blood pressure and block your nervous systems pain receptors. Massage also increases blood flow to your muscles which may help them heal, making it very beneficial for athletes or anyone with an injury. When it’s a new injury it’s best to get a massage sooner if not right away so that your body doesn’t keep tightening. If you are someone that has had pain for many years, not to worry! Massage can give you much relief as well. It’s just that if you take care of yourself sooner, you are more likely to have less suffering and fewer treatments needed in the long run.
Studies have found that massage is also beneficial for many other positive aspects for improving one’s life and health…. Hello SLEEP! As an experienced massage therapist and troubled sleeper for many years, I find the affects that massage has on the nervous system to be one of the most helpful. Insomnia is associated with the lack of serotonin so it’s only logical to seek ways to increase serotonin levels in people that are sleep deprived. Massage increases serotonin levels and delta waves, those linked with deep sleep- This According to a study at the Touch Research Institute. This is why it’s easy to drift off on a massage table.
Studies have found massage may also be helpful for:
- The Skeletal System
- Muscular System
- Lymphatic System
- Respiratory System
- Digestive System
- Urinary System
- Female Reproductive System
More benefits include helping with….
- Myofascial Pain Syndrome
- Soft Tissue Strains and Injuries
- Sports Injuries
- Joint Pain
Some people also enjoy massage because it often involves caring, comfort, a sense of empowerment, and creating a connection with their massage therapist. We are all busy but nothing is as important as our health. My suggestion is to make a standing appointment with your massage therapist once a month for maintenance and once a week if you are having pain or issues. Your body, your loved ones and your job with reap the benefits!
Amy Green, LMT