8 Key Benefits of Massage Therapy
Don't simply shrug off the benefits of massage therapy, because research supports the health benefits of massage therapy for conditions such as stress, fibromyalgia, low-back pain and more. If you haven't heard of the benefits of massage therapy, then you're absolutely missing out on some key information that could benefit your health. Keep reading to learn more about how this simple technique can improve your life.
We can all appreciate a good massage as a way to relax and relieve stress. Some of us get them regularly, while others save a massage for vacations, or relief from an especially stressful week. However, massages are useful for so much more. Massage therapy is a growing method of medical treatment, and studies have shown that more than half of all massage sessions are now for medical reasons. We're here to show you the many benefits of massage therapy. Back Pain Back pain is one of the most common reasons for using massage therapy. Chronic back pain can be reduced and relieved by massage therapy, and studies have shown that massage therapy can even reduce the use of painkillers for back pain. There are numerous methods of lower back pain relief, and arguments can be made as to why each method is the best. It's up to you (and a medical professional) to determine which method or combination of methods is best for you. Some methods can be combined with massage therapy to create a unique treatment, such as combining acupuncture with your lower back massage, an effective method known as acupressure. Headache Relief and Reduction Massage therapy can help to relieve headaches in a number of ways. The natural effect of a massage is relaxation and stress relief. These benefits can help reduce the chance of experiencing tension headaches and migraines. Relaxation can help you sleep better, and poor sleep is one of the leading causes of headaches, along with stress. Tension headaches are the most common type of headache, and reducing stress can help reduce your chances of getting one. However, if you are suffering from tension headaches and migraines, massages can help relieve the pain from those headaches as well. Massages that focus on the head, shoulders, and neck can reduce discomfort and pain from the headaches, which will in turn help prevent them from occurring regularly again. Help Improve Athletic Performance Massage therapy is a very common method of sports medicine, and for good reason. Massage therapy can be used to treat existing injuries, prevent new injuries from occurring, and increase blood flow prior to training or competing. I'm sure you've seen shots of athletes receiving a massage in the locker room or even by the court or field prior to or during a match. There are many reasons for this, but most importantly is to warm up muscles and increase blood flow. If an athlete is injured, especially if the injury is muscle related, massage therapy is an important part of the recovery. Regular massages can also help prevent those muscle injuries from ever occurring in the first place. Control Diabetes and Regulate Hormones Massage therapy, along with acupuncture, yoga, and dietary changes, are being used as alternative ways to manage diabetes and hormonal imbalances. They are an effective way to reduce symptoms and risk factors without the side effects of traditional medications. Massage therapy specifically has been used for nearly a century as an alternative treatment for diabetes symptoms. Most importantly, it can help restore proper use of insulin, and reduce inflammation. In addition, massage therapy can help people suffering from diabetes to become more active, improve sleep and dieting, and assist with relaxation, all of which help reduce the overall negative effects of diabetes. Lower High Blood Pressure High blood pressure is a medical issue that affects over 70 million Americans, which if gone untreated can lead to heart attacks or strokes. Massage therapy has been proven to help lower high blood pressure through a medical study conducted in 2013. The study showed that patients who received massage therapy on a regular basis showed lower systolic and diastolic blood pressure than the others in the study that did not receive massage therapy. Massage therapy is also an effective method of controlling pre-hypertension, a cardiovascular disease predictor, which can help reduce the chances of high blood pressure later in life. Improve Mood and Lower Anxiety Everybody knows the massages can help you relax and feel better. But what many people don't realize is that massage therapy can actually improve your mood long term, and be used to treat anxiety and depression. Massage therapy can help reduce cortisol, a stress hormone, by over half. It also helps to increase serotonin and dopamine, which are hormones that help improve your mood. In addition to reducing negative hormones and increasing positive hormones, massage therapy can also help reduce one of the root causes of depression, which is chronic pain. Those who live with chronic pain are more likely to suffer from depression, and massage therapy is one of the leading treatments for chronic pain. Other Benefits of Massage Therapy There are plenty of other benefits of massage therapy that haven't been gone into detail. The effectiveness of massage therapy as an alternative treatment can be debated, but with no negative side effects, it never hurts to try! The worst that can happen is being nice and relaxed. A study by the University of Miami School of Medicine shows that massages can help people who are trying to quit smoking. Through alleviating anxiety, reducing withdrawal symptoms, and helping to curb cravings, massage therapy is an effective step in the quitting process. Arthritis is a condition that affects millions of people, and massage therapy can be an effective treatment for the symptoms of arthritis without the side effects of traditional medication. Massage therapy helps increase blood flow and circulation, which in turn helps to increase flexibility and mobility in your joints. Carpal Tunnel is another painful condition that affects millions of Americans and is traditionally treated through medication and in some cases surgery. However, regular massage therapy can lessen the pain of carpal tunnel, and eventually even reverse some of the effects by improving grip strength. Receiving Massage Therapy If all of the benefits of massage therapy sound like they might help you in some way, then it's time to act on it! Check out all of your massage therapy options here, and start feeling better now!