Top 7 Health Benefits Of Massage
First things first - isn’t getting a massage just the best feeling in the world?Whenever I hear the word massage, it conjures up images of white tents flapping on the beach and an orchid stuck behind my ear, as I lie face-down on a massage table. Unfortunately, I don’t live anywhere close to a beach, so it’s not all that spectacular a setting in reality, but I do treat myself to a massage almost every week. A massage is not a luxury that you can only get at an über-expensive spa. Massage therapy has become a big part of people’s lives now, mostly for health reasons. It has quite a few health benefits, and doctors are also recommending this form of therapy. You know how we give little babies a massage? Well, there’s a reason for that. If it keeps babies healthy, it should work for adults too, right?
What is massage therapy?
Massage is a general term for pressing, rubbing, and manipulating your skin, muscles, tendons, and ligaments. A massage may range from light stroking to deep pressure. There are different types of massages available, depending on what your preference is – Swedish massages, deep massages, sports massages, ayurvedic massage therapies etc. Massages are not a replacement for any medical treatment, although they are beneficial for both the mind and the body.
The health benefits of massages:
- Pain relief – Regular massages can help ease stiff muscles, and the pain that accompanies them. When a therapist focuses on the problem area and works to loosen those muscles, it improves the blood circulation in that area, and helps reduce the pain. Regular massages are also known to help lessen the use of pain medication. I can tell you from personal experience that my weekly massages have really helped with my excruciating lower back pain. Every winter, I used to spend an hour every day at the physiotherapist. But now, with my weekly massage and yoga, I have been ‘physiotherapist free’ for a few years.
- Healthier heart – The good news is this – if you enjoy a massage, you just might be helping your heart and arteries stay healthy and youthful. It’s been observed that if people suffering from heart conditions get massages regularly, they clock lower blood pressure levels. One more reason to lie back and get a back rub.
- De-stresser – So this one I swear by, and this is why I try and get a massage every week. It helps me de-stress. I let go of all the negative energy and chaos building up inside and around me. When I leave my massage therapist, I’m actually a little sleepy – that’s because I’m relaxed, and ready to take on the world again. It puts me in a good place emotionally, which is extremely important. Your emotional health plays a big part in your life and overall well-being, so do whatever it takes to keep it healthy.
4. Blood circulation – During a massage, the improved blood circulation helps carry more oxygenated blood through the body. This also improves the body’s healing process, and gives us the energy to move faster. A lot of airports have foot massage kiosks these days – that’s to help those aching feet and legs, and to improve the blood circulation in your feet, as in the airplane, you’re going to be just sitting for a long time. People who suffer from varicose veins and swollen feet get immense relief by getting a foot massage.
5. Helps beat PMS – A massage can be a Godsend when you’re hit by mood swings, bloating, headaches, weight gain, and other PMS symptoms. Studies have found that regular massage therapy lessened symptoms of premenstrual syndrome in women between the ages of 19 and 45.
6. Immunity booster – Our body is constantly trying to tackle infections and foreign body attacks. Getting a massage actually helps in building protective cells in the body, to counteract attackers like viral infections.
7. Improves sleep – Do you know what lack of proper sleep can do to your body? When you’re fatigued and don’t get a full night’s sleep, it can really affect your health and day-to-day functioning. Getting a massage at least once a week can eliminate the exhaustion, and give you those much-required energy levels.
So now that you know how beneficial massages are, it’s time to find a good therapist who will help you get your life back in order. Adopt this practice, and stay healthy.
Whether your need is to have a moment of relaxation, reduce muscle tension or attain relief from chronic pain, a therapeutic massage can enhance your overall sense of emotional and physical well-being.