Massage Therapy Can Support Your Overall Wellness Routine
As the trend toward greater health consciousness grows, people are turning to massage therapy more and more as part of an overall wellness routine. If you’re serious about improving your overall wellness or maintaining good health, the many benefits of massage therapies may be just the thing to support your wellness goals. If you’ve never tried massage, there may be much you don’t know about its possible health benefits and what you can expect from a massage therapy session.
1. Massage Can Reduce Pain and Increase Movement
Too many people experience aches and movement restriction from muscular tension on an everyday basis and think that there is nothing that can be done for it—apart from medications and medical interventions. However, alternative holistic therapies like massage can step in to complement, or possibly even replace, other forms of traditional interventions.
Massage therapy may dramatically reduce pain and discomfort for issues ranging from an acute sports injury to long-term management of achiness and movement restriction from an arthritic condition. Massage may help reduce pain and improve mobility for a variety of conditions, including:
- Low back and neck pain
- Shoulder pain
- Post-operative pain
- Tension headaches
- Athletic injuries
- Repetitive stress trauma and injury
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Massage can contribute to improved blood flow throughout the body, saturating tissues with oxygen and nutrients. An increase in the oxygen and nutrient supply to the cells can help them to better repair and heal. When tissues repair and recover, pain levels may decrease, and full function can be restored.
2. Massage Can Reduce Stress Levels and Support Mood Balance
Although massage has clear physical benefits, it can also favorably impact your mental wellbeing and even your mood and emotional state. Many documented symptoms of mental imbalance may benefit from massage.
Research shows that massage can relax your muscles and trigger the production of endorphins, the body’s natural “feel good” chemicals. Neurotransmitters that promote a more positive mood, such as serotonin and dopamine, may also be released through massage.
Massage can elicit feelings of calm and relaxation, and as the body’s fight or flight response eases, the production of the stress hormone (cortisol) may decrease. Overall, acute or chronic stress can be easier for the massage recipient to overcome and manage.
As an analogy, think of your mental state as a bucket and stress as drops of water. Drop after drop, stress after stress, the bucket fills up until it reaches the top. Then, as additional droplets of stress reach the full bucket, it overflows. At this point, you may be overwhelmed with stress and anxiety that is difficult to manage.
As more and more stress droplets come along, the overfull bucket continues to overflow. A body and brain with an overflowing stress bucket will likely shift into fight or flight, or “crisis” mode. Cortisol production rises as a response to all the stress.
Massage therapy is known to lower the levels of stress in the bucket effectively. After a massage session, your full stress bucket could be reduced by a significant amount, allowing room for additional stress without overwhelm and enabling you to manage the stress load better.
The bottom line is evident: to feel better and get the most from your life, you may need to make massage a regular component of your healthy lifestyle strategy. Schedule an appointment with a professional today to enjoy the many pain-reducing and stress-busting benefit that massage can offer.