Massage has many benefits! When most people think of massage, the image of spas and pampering often comes to mind. Massage is much more than a soothing touch. Many research studies have proven that massage benefits your health, addressing the whole person body, mind and spirit. The Touch Research Institute has documented research findings as to the enhanced growth of infants, diminished chronic pain, enhanced immune function, decreased autoimmune problems, improved glucose levels in diabetics, improved pulmonary function tests in people with asthma, and enhanced alertness and mental performance due to regular massage therapy sessions.
Health Benefits Of Massage
1. Lowers Stress
The University of Miami School of Medicine reviewed studies that measured the stress hormone cortisol in participants before and immediately after massage and found that massage therapy lowered levels by up to 53 percent!
2. Relaxes and Unwinds Sore Muscles
Do you have chronic headaches, low back pain, or neck soreness/stiffness? You don’t have to “live with it”, as most people think. Relief from pain from muscle soreness and stiffness is a benefit of massage. Regular body maintenance massages can alleviate many of the common aches and pains that occur. People generally take better care of their cars than for their bodies. Routine “tune-ups” are key to proper health, and it feels good too!
Regular body maintenance massages can alleviate many of the common aches and pains that occur.
3. Increase Circulation
As tight muscles are massaged, the fibers relax and unwind, releasing tension on the blood vessels. The blood then flows more easily to and from the tissues. The physical act of touch acts as a pump on the muscle fibers. Receiving massage is like passive exercise, moving blood and lymph throughout the body.
4. Normalizes Blood Pressure
Research studies have shown that high blood pressure lowers with massage. This is based on decreased release of the stress hormones.
5. Brightens Mood
A review of more than a dozen studies concluded that massage therapy helps relieve depression and anxiety by affecting the body’s biochemistry. Massage also increased serotonin and dopamine, which are both neurotransmitters that help reduce depression. (www.amtamassage.org)
Massage also increased serotonin and dopamine, which are both neurotransmitters that help reduce depression.
6. Boosts Immune Function
Massage can help boost immune system strength by increasing the activity level of the body’s natural "killer T cells,” which fight off tumors and viruses.
7. Fosters Sound Sleep
Adequate sleep of 6-8 hours is the foundation for wellness, along with other lifestyle modifications such as nutrition and exercise. The body restores and renews itself during sleep. The relaxation response and pain relief from massage makes conditions right for a sound and restful sleep. The chemistry of the body, including hormonal balance improves with adequate sleep.
Consider including massage as a routine part of your self-care and wellness plan.
Set time aside to care for yourself, to nurture yourself, and to receive. Enjoy the benefits of massage and see how your life improves just by investing just an hour of your time to receive a professional massage therapy session.
Southwest Institute of Healing Arts (www.SWIHA.edu) is a nationally accredited college offering diplomas or degree program in massage therapy. A Student Massage Clinic is located at the college where massage appointments are available with students and licensed massage therapists. Ask about the $5 off coupon special for new clients.