Many consider a massage to be a luxury reserved as a special gift to family and friends on birthdays or a partner for a romantic getaway. Yet, massage has more to offer the mind, body and spirit.
The nurturing benefits of massage therapy have been used for ages to soothe and heal weary muscles and destress, such as circulating the blood, boosting the functions of various bodily systems and improving sleep. Massage therapy is good for achieving sound physical and mental health and offers many surprising benefits:
- Soothe Migraines
Do you suffer from reoccurring and debilitating headaches? Auckland University researchers used massage therapy with success as a form of treatment for migraine sufferers.
For thirteen weeks, participants sleep patterns and migraine experiences were tracked. From weeks five through ten, participants had massage therapy once a week, and levels of anxiety, salivary cortisol and heart rates were also tracked during massage and following massage.
For massage participants, levels of sleep improved, and they experienced less frequent migraines. Cortisol, anxiety and heart rates lowered.
- Relieves Chronic Pain
For those who have had minimal success with pills to relieve chronic pain, the alternative you’re looking for may be massage therapy. For some sufferers of acute and chronic pain, massage has proven more effective than medication, which often comes with a long list of adverse effects. Massage helps with all kinds of conditions where patients suffer from chronic pain.
Various studies reveal massage therapy is best used in the short term for chronic pain and in combination with other therapies. In one study, pain sufferers receiving multiple incisions were less reliant on medication when they went to massage therapy. The anxiety from chronic pain is relieved when serotonin is triggered and released in the brain. Lower back pain sufferers have been shown to get the most relief with long term massage therapy.
- Sports Injury Rehabilitation
Massage therapy provides relief for those who suffer from various sports injuries, and many massage therapists will come directly to your residence, especially helpful when your movements are restricted. From anxiety to getting back out in the field to joint pain relief, massage therapy is beneficial to relieve sports injuries on a physical and mental level.
Circular motions bring blood circulation to areas of concern, and the pressure of hand application also warms the muscles. Whether you have a twisted knee or sprained ankle, massage therapy can provide relief for you.
- Boosts Immunity
Massage therapy also boosts immunity function in patients, by raising the count of white blood cells to defend the body. In one study, after only one massage, individuals showed an increased count of white blood cells and reduced hormone levels related to stress. Massage therapy has also been revealed to improve immune system functioning in patients with HIV.
Combine massage with exercise and dietary guidelines to get an added boost to your body’s ability to defend itself against illness. This will also help improve the function of other bodily systems in return.
- Better Quality of Sleep
Massage therapy helps you relax by releasing serotonin, but massage also gives you a better quality of sleep over time. If you can’t rest comfortably and ease into sleep, consider seeing a massage therapist.
Your body more effectively heals itself when you have a healthy sleep pattern. If you’re about to or currently undergoing chemo treatments, massage can help you get a regular sleep schedule back, for example.
Individuals of all ages receive massage therapy for improved sleep quality. There’s even infant massage to help stressed kids cry less and sleep better, such as receiving the effects of simple soothing touch by the parents.
Massage therapy provides a host of benefits for mind, body and spirit, and the effects are backed by science in many cases. Especially effective as a complimentary therapy, massage may be incorporated with acupuncture, medication, special diets and exercise.
Seeking relief for acute pain related to bad posture from sitting down at a desk all day long? Want pain relief for lower back pain, sports injuries or migraines? How about better sleep or an improved immune system? Massage therapy offers relief for many conditions and injuries. Consult with a local massage therapist and your doctor to improve your well-being through massage.