Most people who get massages are looking for pain or stress relief. But what they don’t know it can address other health issues that we may leave up to medication to treat. When we receive a full body massage, our bodies benefit in more ways than one. Here is a list of health issues where Massage Therapy can help.
1. Flexibility: As we age ,there is loss of lubrication between connective tissue fibers. Massage helps by increasing blood and lymph flow throughout the body. Regular massage also helps loosen muscles and tendons in your body which can improve your flexibility and range of motion, keeping your joints fluid and making them less injury prone.
2. Digestion: Peristalsis is the act of the muscles of your intestine involuntarily contracting to help the processing and digestion of your food. There are many things that can slow down the peristalsis process. A full body massage can help prevent peristalsis by stimulating the motion of the intestine and it’s contents, to move along more quickly. Massage helps the body rid itself of toxins, and increases the release of enzymes, both are important for healthy digestion. Specific abdominal massage can be helpful in alleviating gas build-up and uncomfortable bloating.
3. Immune System: According to studies from the American Massage Therapy Association, researchers working with patients with compromised immune systems have found massage therapy can improve how the immune system functions. Massage Therapy can increase the activity level of the body’s white blood cells that work to combat viruses. Note: It is not beneficial to receive a massage if you are sick with the flu or cold. Please always consult with a doctor if you have a serious condition and are looking for massage as an alternative.
4. Insomnia: According to a study conducted at The University of Maryland Medical Center, massage enhances relaxation and improves sleep patterns, especially when used with essential oils. Lavender oil, in particular, may result in improved sleep quality, reduced anxiety, a more stable mood, and increased mental capacity.
5. Blood Pressure: Blood pressure measures the force that blood places against the blood vessel walls as it is pumped through the body. According to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, once blood pressure reaches more than 120/80 mmHg, steps need to be taken to lower it. Massage can be relaxing and can lower stress levels. For some people, if you can lower stress, you can lower the BP. You should always consult a doctor before any treatment since massage can affect circulation.
6. Hormone Imbalances: Massage can help regulate neurohormones, which are produced by the nervous system. Studies have shown that massage can help balance mood levels by moving your body towards homeostasis( a naturally balanced state). Massage elevates dopamine which impacts fine motor activities and can mediate pleasures in the brain. Massage can improve serotonin levels, which impacts sleeping, emotions, and sex.