Benefits of Massage
There are many benefits of massage massage is one of the best things that you can do for your health here are a few of the reasons that massage is so good for you one of the main benefits of receiving massage is the effect of reducing stress the act of receiving a massage profoundly reduces the amount of stress which is translated into your muscles being more relaxed and also chemical changes in your body an article in Newsweek cited several studies that measure the stress hormone called cortisol in subjects saliva before and after a massage session this study discovered a dramatic decrease in the level of cortisol after getting a gentle massage cortisol which is produced
When you’re stressed kill cells important for immunity so when massage reduces your stress levels and hence the cortisol in your body it may help you avoid getting a cold or another illness while under stress the effects of stress are wide-ranging and experts suggest that stress plays a large part in many diseases the stress relieving effects of getting a massage can result in decreased anxiety enhanced sleep greater energy improved concentration improved circulation and reduced fatigue massage can also help your muscles your muscles are controlled by your brain and primitive reflexes within the spinal cord there are sensors within each muscle that monitor its length and contraction strength sometimes these sensors get a bit confused and keep a muscle in the state of tension that is below your level of control have you ever noticed that you are holding our shoulders up around your ears without even knowing it this is a response to stress and if you keep those muscles tight long enough they will stay tight without you even trying this unintended tension increase happens all over your body in small ways sometimes because of stress and sometimes because of injury whatever the underlying reason massage can help to reset the sensors in the muscles reminding them to let them must relax and Linked in if the level of tension is coming from a feedback loop in the spinal cord massage can help to reset that system by stimulating chemicals in your spine that naturally block those signals thereby cutting the circuit that keeps your muscles tight.
Finally the sensory feedback that you get while receiving a massage can help you become more aware of the parts of your body that you may have become unconscious of feeling the massage therapists hands on your body is a great way to remind you on the conscious level to relax and let down massage is also wonderful for the circulatory system our blood nourishes every cell in our body delivering oxygen and vital nutrients and taking away wastes sometimes the blood can get stagnant in certain areas bringing less nutrition and taking away less waste products this can happen because of gravity for example your feet may become stagnant if you sit all day long or when a muscle becomes chronically tensed it becomes hard and is less penetrable to fresh oxygenated blood by receiving massage the old blood is squeezed out allowing space for fresh rich blood to rush in and nourish the tissues this act of stirring up.
The blood is great for your cells and can revitalize areas that were starved for blood it is in these sluggish areas that disease can grow so getting fresh blood flow is a part of staying healthy massage also stimulates the vagus nerve a nerve that regulates blood pressure in a 2005 study at the University of South Florida hypertension patients who received ten massages of ten minutes each day over three week period showed significant improvements in blood pressure compared to a control group who simply rested in the same environment without any massage the other benefit of massage is in helping to increase the flow of lymph in your body by increasing the flow of lymph you increase the rate that the body detoxifies and removes harmful substances from your tissues increasing lymphatic flow can help you to reduce any swelling in the body that you may have light massage strokes tend to increase lymphatic flow or deeper more vigorous strokes tend to increase blood circulation your massage therapists will know what is right for you you you massage can help you avoid injury many muscle injuries occur only after the muscle has been suffering from tension for many months with increased tension
The added load of exercise finally causes the tissues to fail increased tension can also affect other structures like the discs in your spine the spinal discs are designed to support the weight of your upper body but if there is tension in your back this can increase the pressure on the discs causing them to bulge so although massage can’t help much to heal a disc that has already bulged it can help remove any tension that could contribute to an injury if you already have an injury massage is an excellent adjunct to normal healing of a muscle strain oftentimes when a muscle is injured it tightens to protect itself this tension decreases blood flow to the muscle making healing more difficult a few days after the initial injury massage can help to loosen the muscle and increase blood flow this can speed healing be careful however since your body may feel so good after getting a massage that you may overtax yourself while massage can increase blood flow decreased tension and make the muscle feel better every injury needs time and gentleness on your part to fully heal there have been many studies that have concluded the benefits of receiving massage.
Here just a few medical school students at the University of Medicine and Dentistry at the New Jersey
Medical School who were massage before an exam showed a significant decrease in anxiety and respiratory rates as
well as the significant increase in white blood cell and natural killer cell activity suggesting a benefit to the immune system in 2003 researchers studied the effects of massage on people with nonspecific back pain the results of the study showed that massage therapy produce better results and reduce the need for painkillers by thirty-six percent when compared to other therapies massage is an excellent way to ease back pain that is due to a muscular cause cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy have discovered the benefit of massage to reduce nausea pain and fatigue patients at Memorial sloan-kettering Cancer Center reported reduced levels anxiety pain fatigue depression and nausea after receiving massage some of the effects lasted for full two days in burn victims massage therapy has been found to decrease the effects and anxiety tension depression pain and itching suffered by those people abdominal surgery patients have been found to recover more quickly after massage in a 2006 studies researchers found that migraine patients had fewer migraines and slept better during the week that they received massage and three weeks following that did patients that did not receive massage another study of people with migraines found that massage decreased the occurrence of headaches sleep disturbances and distress symptoms this study also found that massage increased serotonin levels which help to regulate mood sleep and appetite autistic children showed less erratic behavior after massage therapy.