Getting a massage is one of the most relaxing experiences a human can have. Laying on a spa table with relaxing lighting and music while all of the tension in your muscles is melted away by expert touch is incomparable to any other leisure activity in the world.
In addition to being a great spa treatment, many people are unaware of the many health benefits of therapeutic massage:
- Therapeutic massages restore the natural position of your back. According to the American Academy of Pain Management, at least 80% of working adults complain of chronic back pain. Adults with physically taxing jobs put strain on the delicate muscles along their spine. People with desk jobs that require long periods of time sitting put stress on their natural posture which results in weakened lower back and continual pain. While muscle relaxers and pain killers are sometimes effective for masking the symptoms of back pain, they don’t treat the issue and they come with terrible side effects. Meanwhile, deep tissue massage therapy has shown to naturally strengthen the weakened muscles that cause back pain, repair the damage, and balance the muscles in both the upper and lower back to prevent pain in the future.
- Therapeutic massages naturally sooth depression and anxiety symptoms. It stands to reason that getting a break from your problems and treating yourself to total relaxation would have a positive impact on your mental well-being. Science also backs this theory up. A study was conducted with 500 patients who were seeking treatment for depression. The participants’ chemical levels were measured immediately before and following a therapeutic massage. Scientists found that the subjects’ level of the stress-inducing hormone cortisol, had lowered by as much as an astounding 53% after receiving a massage. They also found improved levels of serotonin and dopamine after massage, neurotransmitters that improve depression symptoms.
- Therapeutic massages improve sleep issues. Not only does sleep deprivation impact a person’s ability to concentrate, comfort level, and productivity, long-term sleep issues are a factor linked to serious health conditions such as diabetes, obesity, and heart disease. Being able to get a good night’s sleep is a critical part of leading a healthy lifestyle. Numerous studies have been conducted that show regular therapeutic massages help a person gain control of their sleep cycles and have more restful sleep at night. Massage is also recommended by many parenting authorities to help babies switch to “sleep mode” and adopt healthy sleep routines.
- Therapeutic massages help your body prevent and fight off illnesses. Your body naturally has an army of soldiers that fight off any germs, viruses, and infection that want to harm you. These are your white blood cells. When your body senses a potential health risk, it triggers an alarm and your white blood cells come fight off the danger, and repair the damage to your tissue. Studies published in The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine found a direct link between medical massage and increased white blood cell counts in its subjects. For this reason, medical massage is sometimes used as a form of therapy for patients with immune system-compromising diseases, such as HIV.
- Therapeutic massages relieves the agony of tension headaches. There are numerous pain management benefits provided by massage therapy; high on the list of pain relief benefits is gaining relief from debilitating tension headaches. In a study with patients with chronic tension headaches, half were treated with therapeutic massage and half were given a placebo treatment of a detuned ultrasound. Nearly 100% of the test group that were treated with massage while experiencing the symptoms of tension headaches reported immediate improvement of their pain levels. Next time you have a severe tension headache, you might find amazing relief by booking a last-minute massage session. As another health benefit of massage, the Mayo Clinic reports that leading causes of tension headaches to be stress, inadequate sleep, and poor posture. These are all factors that are reduced with regular massage therapy, so that tension headaches are less likely to occur to begin with.
When combined with health practices like yoga and regular physical activity, therapeutic massage can work wonders for both your mental and physical well being.