Benefits of Regular Massage Therapy
People often see massages as special treats—think birthday gifts for themselves, anniversary presents, honeymoon activities, or they only partake in them on vacations. But most massage therapists recommend booking a massage once a month. It may seem selfish to pamper yourself at the spa each month, but this goes far beyond pampering. Massage therapy has numerous benefits that can transform your health and totally justify hitting up the spa on a monthly basis. So go ahead and slip into those cushion slippers and wrap up in your robe, here are the benefits of regular massage therapy.
It’s no surprise that massages are relaxing, but the body’s relaxation response to massage therapy is complex. The heart and breathing rate slow down, blood pressure goes down, the production of stress hormones decreases, and the muscles relax. Once the body is relaxed, an abundance of serotonin is available—the chemical in the body that positively affects emotions and thoughts. A one-time massage may make you relaxed on the day you receive your treatment, but regular massage therapy can play a major role in reducing the risk of stress-related illnesses, such as hypertension, cardiac arrhythmias, anxiety, insomnia, chronic fatigue, sexual dysfunction, digestive disorders, and psychological issues.
On the physical side of things, the body reaps many benefits from regular massage therapy, including an increase in blood and lymph circulation and the normalization and relaxation of soft tissue. Soft tissue includes muscles, connective tissues, tendons, and ligaments. When soft tissue is normalized and relaxed, the body releases nerves and deeper connective tissues.
Massage therapy improves blood and lymph circulation due to both the physical touch of soft tissue, as well as the chemicals released from the relaxation response. Better circulation means oxygen will be delivered more easily throughout the body, making it easier to carry nutrients to muscle cells. When cellular health improves, tissues function more efficiently, and they are better able to remove wastes and increase the absorption of excess fluids, reducing the swelling in soft tissues.
Regular massage therapy reduces painful contractions and spasms in the muscles and reduces nerve compression. When the nerves are no longer compressed, they are able to receive nutrients and operate more effectively. The nerves can better send and receive messages to and from the brain.
As humans we suffer a lot of miscellaneous pain. What we don’t often realize is that muscle tension and nerve compression in a localized area can hurt the organ nearby. For example, lower back pain may cause bad menstrual cramps. Regular massage therapy can ultimately heal pain and interruptions in our organs.
Some other common conditions that regular massage therapy has been shown to heal include fibromyalgia, headaches, myofascial pain syndrome, soft tissue strains or injuries, sports injuries, and temporomandibular joint pain.
One of these symptoms was likely to jump out at you, if not a handful of them! So, what are you waiting for? Book your next massage sooner rather than later.