5 Ways Massage Therapy Can Help You

5 Ways Massage Therapy Can Help You

man with black hair lying on a white massage table with a woman's hands massaging his shoulders

We already understand that massage therapy leaves us feeling relaxed, but are there any other health benefits? Hopefully it won’t surprise you to hear that the answer is yes, absolutely!

Reduction in Anxiety Symptoms
Psychologists have found that patients who receive massages have lower levels of anxiety than their other patients. While there hasn’t been extensive scientific research in this area, what we do know is that massage lowers cortisol levels. Cortisol is the chemical party guilty for our stress levels, and chronic stress has a severe impact on symptoms of anxiety. Regular massages can help with anxiety that is associated with traumatic events or circumstances. Additionally, those suffering with depression can benefit from massage therapy. The process of massage therapy boosts the body’s serotonin levels, while encouraging the body to release oxytocin and dopamine.

Pain Relief
The majority of us will experience back pain at some point in our lives. Chronic pain is the result of a malfunctioning alarm within your body, and while massages can’t turn the alarm of entirely, they can reduce its effect. The most well-known theory in how efficient massage therapy can be for lower back pain is the gate control theory. The body experiences pain that travels through small diameter nerve fibers, firing signals quickly to the brain. However, a massage stimulates large nerve fibers which gets the signal to the brain even faster, thus overpowering the sensation of pain.

What are headaches frequently caused by? Tension. Massages relieve tension by applying pressure to specific areas. If you are a frequent sufferer of tension headaches, or migraines, you may need a massage at least twice a week to get on top of these symptoms. Massages that alleviate headaches focus on the shoulder area, upper back, tips of shoulders, between the neck and shoulders, as well as the back and middle of the head.

Deep Sleep
Our sleep can be affected by a number of things, including depression, anxiety and headaches. As many as 50 million adults suffer with a lack of sleep. Poor sleep affects the body’s chemistry and leaves it vulnerable, lowering immunity while increasing sensitivity to pain and inflammation. However, massage therapy can promote deep sleep, especially for people with chronic conditions such as fibromyalgia. Massage therapy promotes stimulation in the body’s nervous system to relax, and rest. Giving the client a better chance to sleep, which allows the body to heal more deeply throughout the night.

Boost Physical Fitness
Massages increase blood flood flow which increases nutrients and oxygen to our tissue, aiding in an improved performance overall. Additionally, it can relieve tense muscles, improving athletic performance while reducing the risk of injury.

Anyone that is looking to improve their overall health can take advantage of the many benefits of massage therapy. Whether you are dealing with chronic pain, an injury, insomnia, or a mental health issue, massage therapy is the perfect complementary therapy.