Massage therapy has been around for centuries. During this time, it has been used as a form of both relaxation and therapeutic healing. This blog post will go over ten benefits that you can experience from receiving massage therapy. Massage is an excellent way to reduce stress, improve sleep quality, and increase blood circulation.
The good things delivered by massage therapy
1. Decreased Stress Levels
Massage therapy can reduce stress and anxiety. Many people experience a decrease in their blood pressure while receiving a massage and an increase of serotonin (a chemical that helps with mood regulation) throughout the brain.
A study shows that individuals who received massage had decreased cortisol levels after exposure to stressful images. This means that massages may be able to help us handle stress better than we would normally. Another study showed that women who get more frequent massages have lower cortisol levels throughout pregnancy - which is excellent for moms-to-be!
You don't need any special training or equipment to give yourself a relaxing self-massage either: use your hands and some lotion/oil on dry skin all over your body. ICOHS massage therapy is one of the best ways to reduce stress.
This point shouldn't come as a surprise, but it's always good to remind ourselves how important this topic is. Massage therapy decreases stress by reducing cortisol levels which reduces the feeling of anxiety overall.
Did you know that massage therapy can even be used in different settings like nursing homes? A study conducted at an assisted living community showed us how patients with dementia received massages three times per week for four weeks, and their agitation decreased significantly. This also improved other medical conditions (like a respiratory function) because they were less stressed/anxious. Since we spend so much time thinking about work, family issues, etc., having someone relieve our tension through touch feels impressive - especially if you are not used to receiving them often.
2. Improved Sleep Quality
Did you know that there are only four main things that contribute to poor sleep? These factors include anxiety, stress, noise, and light. Massage therapy can help improve all of these by reducing the other three . By massaging your muscles before bed or decreasing stress levels through massage during the day, many people have reported better sleep quality.
Plus, getting a massage also decreases pain perception, which is excellent for headaches/migraines too.
3. Increased Blood Circulation
Massage increases the blood flow to your muscles. This is important because massage brings extra nutrients and elimination products (waste products) out of muscle tissue.
First off - this waste removal process allows for better performance of the tissues in body. Secondly, increased circulation can result in less pain. Finally, the more oxygenated/nutritious blood that flows through your body means healthier tissues which also decreases inflammation overall since there are fewer inflammatory agents around. You may notice that after receiving a relaxing massage, your sore areas feel slightly better but don't get too excited yet: research shows us that it takes 24-48 hours for these effects to take place.
4. Decreased Muscle Tension
The term "muscle tension" encompasses a lot of feelings that we have in our daily life. For example, it can refer to stress, anxiety, and pain. Most people experience muscle tightness at some point in their lives from working out too hard or spending long hours sitting down.
Massage therapy decreases the nervous system's response to stimuli, reducing muscle tension throughout your body - especially if you receive regular massages! For example, research suggests that women who got massage therapy before labor showed decreased fetal heart rate variability. This could indicate less stress overall for mommy-to-be. There are many different types of techniques used to reduce this type of muscular tension, from Swedish massage to deep tissue/sports massages.
5. Improved Posture
If you have ever worked out at a gym, you know that it is essential to stretch your muscles before and after. However, did you also understand that certain types of postures throughout the day can be harmful? For example - if someone with rounded shoulders sits in front of their computer all day long, every single day, they may notice the forward curvature of their spine becoming more prominent.
Massage therapy is excellent for increasing flexibility in both our mind and body! Many studies show us how massage decreases cortisol levels which increases serotonin (a chemical within our brains). This means we feel happier overall when getting regular massages because this hormone controls mood regulation too. The release of endorphins, oxytocin, and serotonin also affects our posture by decreasing the muscle tension in the back, which is a common reason for poor posture.
Having a massage therapist help you stretch out your muscles from head to toe regularly will result in better overall flexibility.
6. Improved Mobility and Joint Function
It refers to how flexible your muscles, tendons, ligaments, and joints are. While you can stretch out on your own or go for regular walks/jogs each day, these activities only get us so far - they don't work deep below the surface of our skin.
The benefits of massage therapy are improving mobility by allowing therapists to reach certain areas which cannot naturally be achieved through other methods (like stretching). For example, many people experience decreased range of motion in their shoulders because it's easy to hold tension there, but massages help release tightness more effectively than anything else. Since we all know someone with trouble with their hips, tightness in this area can also be reduced through massage therapy.
7. Improved Immune System
There are many benefits of massage therapy that you may not have thought about! One is how it affects our immune system. Our white blood cells need to be activated to boost our immunity, but this can't happen if cortisol levels are too high. Since massage decreases cortisol, the body's natural ability to fight infections is increased.
Massage therapy decreases cortisol levels which results in a happier brain. If you are looking for ways to reduce stress and anxiety overall, consider getting massages more often. They will improve your mood by allowing therapists to release tension from specific muscles that cannot be reached through other methods.