Most people know massage therapy can relieve pain. But, did you know it also gives you a wide range of emotional, health, and psychological benefits?
According to the American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA), massage benefits lessen symptoms of anxiety, depressions, fatigue, and stress. AMTA also reported that the therapeutic benefits of getting a massage include increased immune functions, decreased blood pressure, and pain control.
If you’re living with anxiety and chronic pain, you could improve your health and wellness with the benefits of massage therapy. Read more about massage therapy benefits for a well-being approach to reduce your stress and pain.
Eight Benefits of Getting a Massage
In the past, people viewed getting a massage as a luxury. Today, young and old get massages for the many health massage therapy benefits. This massage service offers the following eight benefits of getting a massage for a better quality of life in mind, body, and spirit:
1. Reduces Muscle Tension
Massage therapy increases your flexibility and decreases muscle stiffness. When your muscles relax, it also helps your digestive system. This is because muscle tension from stress causes your body to go into the fight-or-flight mode, which makes your digestive system slow down. This can result in a spastic colon or constipation.
Also, if you have any swollen or sore muscles, a massage can reduce swelling and increase your circulation.
2. Decreases Pain
AMTA says that massage therapy can relieve pain for the following conditions:
- Osteoarthritis of the knee
- Inflammation after exercise
- Chronic lower back pain
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Tension headaches
- Post-cardiac surgery pain
- Metastatic cancer
One of the ways massage therapy relieves pain is by increasing deep sleep. With more deep sleep, you have less pain. It also raises your endorphins, which are your body's natural painkillers.
3. Lessens Fatigue in Cancer Patients
One of the major health benefits of massage is its success in relieving cancer patients’ fatigue, nausea, pain, and depression. Massage therapy helps lessen the physical and mental symptoms of the chemotherapy process.
4. Relieves Stress and Anxiety
When you have a massage, it stimulates pressure, heat, and cold receptors in your body, sending positive sensations through your nervous system to your brain. This reduces the stress hormone, cortisol. This is why you feel less anxiety and stress after having a massage.
5. Soothes Postpartum Emotions
If you’re a new mom, massage therapy has physical and emotional benefits after you deliver your baby. It increases the blood flow to your heart and other organs.
This gives you more energy. It also regulates your blood pressure, which reduces stress on your heart.
After delivery and postpartum, a massage can help you heal quicker, realign your pelvis and help restore strength in your abdominal muscles. A massage can also relieve the soreness you feel after delivery.
If you suffer from hemorrhoids, bladder problems, or episiotomy soreness, a massage can help. Along with pain and emotional relief, massage therapy can make breastfeeding easier because you’ll produce more milk due to less stress and tension.
Becoming a new mother isn’t easy. You have to deal with physical stresses and the ups and downs of caring for a newborn. By receiving regular massages, it can help you cope with all the emotions related to pregnancy, birth, and life as a mother.
6. Enhances the Immune System
Research conducted by the Cedars-Sinai Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neurosciences found that people who had 45 minutes of light-touch massage experienced a heightened immune response. They found that massage therapy boosts the white blood cells in the body, which fight disease. This means that with only one massage session, you can boost your immune system.
7. Gives a Feeling of Well-Being
Massage therapy increases your levels of serotonin and dopamine. When this happens, you feel uplifted and relaxed. The touch of another human being through massage creates positive feelings such as comfort and care.
8. Boosts Mental Sharpness
Another one of the health benefits of massage is a boost in alertness. A massage helps improve your circulation, which increases oxygen in your cells and blood. This means your brain gets the energy it needs to deliver more oxygen to the rest of your body.
Types of Massage Therapy
Massage therapists use many types of massage to benefit their clients. They each have health benefits. Here are a few types of massage therapy:
This is the basis for many of the other types of massage therapy. It includes the use of different strokes, such as gliding, kneading, and vibration. A Swedish massage warms up the muscles, relieves tension, reduces knotted muscles, and increases circulation.
Deep Tissue Massage
This massage technique uses deep pressure. It decreases muscle tension, helps improve posture, reduces muscle inflammation, and breaks up scar tissue.
Hot Stone Massage
In this type of massage, the therapist uses heated mineral stones and oil to relieve muscle stiffness. Hot stone massage also increases your energy and alleviates tiredness. This type of massage also decreases muscle spasms and helps with flexibility.
If you’re pregnant, this massage can help with anxiety, depression, fatigue, headaches, and relax you during labor. The most beneficial time to get a prenatal massage is during the second and third trimesters. This is when the baby’s weight puts a strain on your back.
With this technique, the massage therapist uses their hands, elbows, thumbs, knees, and feet. They focus on your acupressure points to improve your energy and balance, as well as reduce stress.
This massage therapy helps sports-related injuries. It’s also used as a preventative measure to decrease the risk of injuries. Sports massage therapy relieves muscle tension, increases range of motion, and relieves sore muscles.
This type of massage combines yoga movements, stretching, and pressure to restore balance and flexibility. The therapist may use their hands, knees, legs, and feet to apply deep muscle pressure.
Find a Massage Therapist Near You
If you struggle with anxiety or chronic pain, consult qualified, professional massage therapists. They can determine which massage techniques are best for your specific needs and create a personalized approach for your health goals. You can improve and maintain a relaxed, healthy lifestyle by taking advantage of the benefits of getting a massage.
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