6 Major Benefits of Massage Therapy
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Originally Posted On: https://drcalvinsclinic.com/6-major-benefits-of-massage-therapy/
Massages have been around for thousands of years, and people are again beginning to realize they are not an indulgence but a therapy. More than 214 million massages are performed annually in the US, and that number continues to grow as more research comes out on the benefits of massage therapy.
There are various types of massage therapies, including sports massage, trigger point massage, deep tissue massage, and Swedish massage. Although these treatments can range in pressure, they all offer invaluable benefits for the body, mind, and spirit. Read on for the top six benefits of massage therapy.
1. Treating Muscle Pain
Many people have massages as part of muscle pain treatment. Nothing is worse than sore muscles or pain impacting your daily life, slowing down your return to activities that you love most. Sore muscles can also lead to stiffness and reduces flexibility, which increases the chance of injuries.
The good news is that massage therapy is excellent for treating muscle pain. Studies have found it can improve circulation and help relax painful muscles, tendons, or joints. Plus, it stimulates nerve fibers, which can help reduce pain levels.
Once muscles are relaxed, there is less chance of painful spasms and contractions. Back pain is a common reason people seek massage therapy, as the massage therapist can also determine the source of pain, which helps you address the root cause. The massage can also help reduce inflammation in the affected areas, leading to lasting relief.
2. Improves Sleep Quality
Sleep is essential for the optimum physical and mental condition; however, one in three adults does not get enough sleep regularly. There are various reasons for this, but essentially, to induce sleep, the body needs serotonin to produce melatonin.
Massage therapy can help stimulate and increase the body’s release of melatonin and serotonin. These hormones help the body attune to its circadian rhythm and also help you relax. Other benefits of massage therapies, such as treating muscle pain and helping you relax, can also make it easier to sleep.
Combining massage therapy with other sleep hygiene habits can significantly improve your sleep. You can begin to set a regular sleep time ritual, knowing how to prepare your body and mind for sleep.
3. Enhances Mental Well-being
Your body and mind are intricately connected, meaning massage therapy can also support your mental well-being. There are several ways that it is thought your mental well-being improves with massage therapy:
- The safe and quiet therapeutic space
- Decrease in stress hormones such as cortisol
- Reduces blood pressure
- Additional elements such as aromatherapy and soothing music
- Pain reduction
Body pain can significantly impact your mood, and when you are stressed, it is natural to tense your body, leading to muscle pain. As massage therapy helps reduce pain levels, it can also lead to improved mood, as people can go back to enjoying the activities they enjoy the most.
Massage therapy also reduces stress by triggering a relaxation response, encouraging the body to slow down. Your heart rate can then decrease as the parasympathetic nervous system is stimulated and relaxation hormones such as serotonin are released. Massages help you step out of the flight or fight response, which keeps your body tense and blood pressure high.
The simple act of taking time to stop and relax also supports mental well-being. Feeling safe and secure with a professional massage therapist also allows you to benefit from human touch.
4. Headache Relief
Massage therapy can target areas of the body that may be causing your headaches. This includes tension in the neck, shoulders, jaw, and head. The therapist can focus on relaxing and stretching these muscles, along with common trigger points of headaches.
Relaxing the neck and other muscles also helps improve circulation, relieving headaches. And once you become aware of how you tense your body, you will be able to notice early warning signs and can take steps to alleviate tightness regularly. Your massage therapist may also suggest how to manage your headaches between sessions.
5. Shorter Injury Recovery Times
Massage therapy can be used as an integrative approach to many health issues and injuries. Following an injury rehabilitation plan with massage can promote healing and shorten recovery time.
Massage therapies can improve blood circulation, allowing more oxygen and nutrients to reach the injury, such as an injury obtained in a car accident. Plus, it can reduce waste products in the body by activating the lymphatic system, allowing faster recovery.
Scar tissue can lengthen injury recovery times if it is not addressed. This is because it can limit your range of movement and flexibility.
Massage therapy helps break down the tissue and help align the muscle fibers. Realigning the fibers in the affected site helps promote healing as movement is restored.
6. Immune System Support
Massage therapies support your immune system in various ways, which helps reduce the risk of issues that impact your physical and mental well-being, such as allergies. For example, studies have found massages can increase your level of lymphocytes. Lymphocytes help your body fight off harmful substances.
Stress is an immunosuppressor, so reducing stress through massage also helps your immune system. Including massage therapy as part of your self-care routine allows for optimum mental well-being, which increases the chance of optimum physical well-being.
Treating muscle pain and headaches can also help boost your immune system, as your system can focus on fighting illnesses. You will also feel able to carry out activities that support your physical and mental well-being, such as stretching, exercise, and time in nature.
Massage therapy can treat many problems that impact the immune system and cause pain. This includes reducing water retention, treating burns, and improving pulmonary function.
Reap the Benefits of Massage Therapy
There are many benefits of massage therapy, whether you want to have it as preventative treatment and relaxation or to treat an existing issue. Be pain-free, speed up your recovery, and live your optimum life.
It is essential to find a reputable provider of massage therapy to reap the benefits. If you are based in Utah, Dr. Calvin’s Chiropractic Clinic is here to help. Contact us today to learn about our range of treatments, including massage therapy.