How Can Massage Benefit You?

How Can Massage Benefit You?

Dear People – do any of you suffer from headaches, lower back pain, sleep deprevation, depression, low blood pressure? I’m sure we all can relate to one of this issues and alot of us see massage as something indulgent and luxury but  an increasing number of people are embracing it — not just as a “spa treatment,” but as a powerful therapeutic tool. Scrunching our shoulders, craning our necks, sitting for hours, driving in rush-hour traffic — such mundane activities can create patterns of muscle tension (referred to as “holding”) in the body. And when muscles are chronically tense or tweaked, it can have a nasty effect on both our bodies and our minds. I’ve made some research and a dear friend of mine gave me a well researched, interesting article from Experiencelife.com about the benefits and studies about  massage which I have summorised for you, so here are some of the benefits and explanations for you. Happy read!

Balanced Body – Persistent musculoskeletal tension can restrict blood circulation and nutrient supplies to the body’s organs and tissues. As the weblike connective tissue (fascia) that envelops the muscles gets increasingly dense and less mobile, it can negatively affect posture and breathing. The experience of low-grade, habitual tension can contribute to chronic hormonal, biochemical and neurological problems of all kinds. Massage interrupts such stress-inducing patterns, and helps nudge the body back into a natural state of balance!

Alleviate Anxiety – massage does have an impact on anxiety. One popular explanation is that massage lowers the body’s levels of cortisol, the hormone notorious for triggering the body’s fight-or-flight response. “No matter how we measure cortisol — in saliva or urine — or how often, we always find that massage has a beneficial effect,” says Tiffany Field, PhD, a researcher at the Touch Research Institute at the University of Miami’s Miller School of Medicine.

Relieves Lower Back Pain – Aside from stress, if there’s one thing that drives people to the massage table, it’s pain. Especially lower-back pain, one word of advice from the personal trainer I work with www.personaltrainerbcn.com is though: ”You’ll get more lasting, long-term relief of lower-back pain by supplementing massage with core exercises, such as planks, that focus on strengthening the muscles that support the spine’s movements.”

Soothe Tension Headaches -Tension leads to headaches, so it follows that massage would help ease them. A trigger point is an area of tightly contracted muscle tissue,Trigger points in the shoulder and neck refer [relay] pain to the head. By reducing the activity of trigger points, we can reduce headaches and massaging the neck and shoulders can ease tension-type headaches.

Restore Deep Sleep – Massage can promote deeper, less disturbed sleep, especially in people with painful chronic conditions such as fibromyalgia. Massage therapy indirectly promotes good sleep by relieving pain and encouraging relaxation.

Reduce Symptoms of Depression – It may seem surprising that physically manipulating the body can help counter a malady we associate with the brain. But, in his oft-cited 2004 review, Christopher Moyer found that depression is particularly responsive to massage.Field’s research on depression shows that massage boosts the body’s natural levels of serotonin, a substance that works “much like Prozac” in the brain. Her studies show that massage also encourages the brain to release the neurotransmitter dopamine, a mood enhancer, as well as oxytocin, a hormone that generates feelings of contentment.

Lower Blood Pressure – Given how positively it affects the rest of the body and mind, and how well it moderates stress, it probably comes as no surprise that massage therapy can also benefit the heart — in part by reducing blood pressure. In his meta-analysis, Moyer found that massage significantly lowers blood pressure, at least temporarily.

But perhaps the bigger takeaway here is that massage can help unlock the body’s healing potential not by any one means, but rather by many. As epidemiologist Andrea Furlan points out, “Well before drugs or surgical procedures were developed, people used massage to treat almost everything.” Still, today, she notes, “when we get hurt, our first instinct is to rub.”

Thank you for reading!Hope it has helped.

Happy massaging!

Nunu

About 

Nunu is an English speaking massage therapist but also half Swedish. She is passionate about massage and has been a professional massage therapist since 1996. Her interest in massage developed from working as an actress and dancer for many years.