In addition to the obvious benefits of pain relief and relaxation that massage therapy provides, there are many other benefits that you may not be aware of.
Experts estimate that upwards of ninety percent of disease is stress-related and perhaps nothing ages us faster, internally and externally, than high stress. Massage is an effective tool for managing this stress, which translates into:
- Decreased anxiety.
- Enhanced sleep quality.
- Greater energy.
- Improved concentration.
- Increased circulation.
- Reduced fatigue.
Massage can also help specifically address a number of health issues. Bodywork can:
- Alleviate low-back pain and improve range of motion.
- Assist with shorter, easier labor for expectant mothers and shorten maternity hospital stays.
- Ease medication dependence.
- Enhance immunity by stimulating lymph flow—the body's natural defense system.
- Exercise and stretch weak, tight, or atrophied muscles.
- Help athletes of any level prepare for, and recover from, strenuous workouts.
- Improve the condition of the body's largest organ—the skin.
- Increase joint flexibility.
- Lessen depression and anxiety.
- Promote tissue regeneration, reducing scar tissue and stretch marks.
- Pump oxygen and nutrients into tissues and vital organs, improving circulation.
- Reduce postsurgery adhesions and swelling.
- Reduce spasms and cramping.
- Relax and soften injured, tired, and overused muscles.
- Release endorphins—amino acids that work as the body's natural painkiller.
- Relieve migraine pain.
Following is just a partial list of the many systems of the body which massage has a positive effect on:
Skeletal System: Maintains posture and body balance; reduces muscular tension that may eventually cause structural problems; increases the flow of nutrients to the bone; promotes elimination of waste.
Muscular System: Relieves muscle tension; increases supply of blood and nutrients to the muscles; helps eliminate waste matter from the muscles (especially lactic acid); helps restore tone and partially compensates for lack of exercise due to illness or injury; eliminates or prevents muscle adhesions resulting from injury or surgery; increases strength and flexibility of joints.
Circulatory System: Improves blood flow and relieves congestion; may aid in the lowering of blood pressure; increases supply of oxygen and nutrients to cells throughout the body; eases strain on heart by helping return blood to vital organs; pushes the movement of lymph through the body thereby strengthening the immune system.
Nervous System: Can either sedate or stimulate depending on the techniques used; by balancing the nervous system, massage affects all systems of the body.
Respiratory System: Improves breathing patterns; aids in relief of many long term respiratory difficulties such as asthma and bronchitis.
Digestive System: Improves the function of the liver; acts as a mechanical cleanser, pushing out waste products, particularly in those who suffer from constipation; relieves spastic colon.
Urinary Tract System: Massaging the kidneys can cleanse the blood and tone the entire system; may aid in the elimination of fluids in those with problems of swelling in the body.
Regularly scheduled massage therapy may be one of the most important things you can do for yourself to maintain great health for a lifetime! As you can see from the long list of benefits, massage is good for every body!