When we think of visiting a spa for a massage, we usually consider it as a pampering treatment. While massage therapy does make us feel good and decreases our levels of stress, there is a whole host of benefits to our bodies and minds that go well beyond self-indulgence. Check out the top 10 benefits of regular massages, below.
1. Eases Muscle Pain
Massage therapy improves circulation, and can help with sore or painful muscles. If you exercise often, massage therapy afterwards can not only help to reduce the pain but help to ease inflammation, improve blood flow, and reduce muscle tightness.
2. Improves Sleep Quality
Lack of sleep causes many more problems other than fatigue the following day. Sleep issues and chronic insomnia have a direct correlation with concentration, mood, and overall well-being. Massage therapy can help to improve sleep by helping people spend more time in the restorative stage of sleep in which the body barely moves, which reduces the neurotransmitter associated with pain.
3. Relieves Headaches
Tension headaches and migraine headaches are often experienced along with neck pain. Massage therapy relaxes the tense muscles in your neck and relieves muscle spasms, improves blood flow, and aids in relaxation. All of this can help relieve the pain of the tension as well as the headaches themselves.
4. Helps Strengthen the Body’s Immune System
Individuals who experience high levels of stress are more vulnerable to illness and injury. When these high levels of stress are combined with sleep problems and poor nutrition, the impact is noticeable by the body’s entire immune system.
Regular massage treatments not only help to decrease overall stress, but can help to boost the immune system’s cyotoxic capacity, enhancing the body’s ability to distribute nourishment.
5. Promotes Muscle Relaxation
Massage therapy works by realigning the muscular scar tissue in the expected direction of alignment with the muscle fibers. While scar tissue normally grows much like a cross hatch when the muscle experiences regular wear and tear, massages help to impede this natural movement, releasing stiffness and decreasing tension.
6. Improves Joint Mobility
Massage therapy can help to develop both the mobility and flexibility of joints. Not only will regular treatments make your body more alert, but it will also decrease the body’s tendency to injuries due to joint stiffness. This is an excellent method to relieve pain and stiffness of the joints in those suffering with arthritis.
7. Relieves Stress
While normal amounts of stress are necessary to our everyday life, constant stress can lead to physical symptoms including headaches, upset stomach, elevated blood pressure, chest pain, and more. Research has proven that massage therapy can lower your heart rate and increase the body’s natural production of endorphins – the “feel good” chemical.
Stress relief is one of the first benefits that come to mind when thinking of massage therapy, and it is an essential factor for anyone trying to achieve better health and wellbeing.
8. Helps Improve Posture
While you may be suffering with back, neck, and muscle pain for a variety of reasons, the most primary cause of this is bad posture. If we sit or stand in the same position for majority of the day, and are practicing poor posture while doing so, it makes sense that this could easily lead to chronic pain. On top of this, being overweight can cause even more strain on the back and other problem areas if posture is not corrected.
Massage therapy can help bring your body back to proper alignment. By allowing the body to relax and the muscles to be loosened, the body can be re-positioned to its natural and proper posture.
9. Shortened Recovery Times
Are you often forced into taking lengthy recovery times in between workouts due to muscle pains and injuries? When circulation is increased to the muscles, toxins such as lactic acid and carbonic acid can be removed from the body and recovery times can be shortened. Massage therapy boosts circulation and aids in releasing toxins like these.
10. Prevention of Future Injuries
When a massage therapist stretches the connective tissue, circulation is improved and future adhesions are prevented. Massage therapy also impacts the amount of certain chemicals that are emitted from the body, including phosphorous, sulfur, and nitrogen. These chemicals are all needed for the body’s tissue to repair itself.
Massage therapy is much more than a pampering treatment. Today, we understand that regular massage therapy treatments include a range of benefits that should be incorporated into a comprehensive health and wellness regimen.