Massage is the sharing of touch, yet it goes further then skin deep, deeper even then muscles and bones - a good, caring massage penetrates right to the depth of your being because touch is a very important part of human contact. It helps us feel connected and loved by those around us. Massage uses touch through rubbing or kneading of parts of the body to aid circulation, relax the muscles, or provide sensual stimulation.
Massage is one of the oldest, simplest forms of therapy. The basic goal of massage therapy is to help the body heal itself and to increase health and well-being.
Physically, its benefits include relaxing and toning of the muscles, assisting the venous flow of blood, soothing the nervous system, encouraging lymphatic flow, stretching the connective tissue of joints etc. On a mental level, it relieves stress and anxiety and also helps you to become more conscious of your body as a whole. Clients also tend to experience better sleep, improved concentration, reduced anxiety, and an overall increased sense of well-being.
With the busy lives we lead, we can all benefit from a little stress-management. There is always the need to switch off, at least for a little while, and "recharge our batteries". Massage gives you great opportunity to do that, it helps you to relax and rejuvenate.
There are many health benefits to receiving massage therapy on a regular basis:
Massage Therapy Relieves Stress
It is easy to say "just relax" but the reality for most of us is that we simply don't know how. Massage is a great antidote for stress. If you are looking for stress relief you really should try a massage.
Stress management is very important for anyone trying to achieve a healthy lifestyle. Massage therapy has been proven to be very effective and research studies show that massage actually boosts the body's immune system, which can become compromised from extended periods of stress.
Regular massage treatment leads to reduction of stress, increased energy levels, reduction of pains, and improvement of our overall physical and mental performance. Many clients say that they feel less anxious and hopeless, less fatigued and they have less difficulty falling a sleep.
Stress Relief Benefits
- Lowers Heart Rate
- Lowers Blood Pressure
- Improves quality of sleep
- Increases Endorphins (happy hormones)
Massage Therapy Encourages Relaxation
Relaxation massage is the one to choose if you just want to chill out, be pampered and spoiled. Relaxation starts with the body - if you can relax your body, you will soon be able to relax your mind too.
Massage improves your circulation, so your organs and skin get more oxygen. It moves fluid through your lymphatic system, encourages your body to digest its food, and get rid of its toxins. It will also help you to sleep better.
Also through massage therapy, you will become more aware of your daily stress levels and this allows you to recognize what true relaxation feels like - so you can more easily recreate this at home, before stress becomes chronic and damaging. Having this relief from stress will increase your energy levels and vitality, as well as the ability to cope with your daily live and of course enjoy it much more.
- Leaves you oozing with a sense of well-being
- Enhances calm and creative thinking
- Encourages positive attitude
Allows you to handle everyday pressure
Massage Therapy Improves Circulation
The long term effects of massage therapy are much more then just skin deep. Boosting the circulation is a way of making the whole body healthier. Better circulation is part of the chain reaction that happens in the body as a result of receiving massage on a regular basis.
Massage stimulates blood circulation because the pressure created moves blood through the congested areas and allows fresh blood with fresh oxygen and nutrients to flood in. This means that at the same time it assists the lymphatic system (which runs parallel to the circulatory system), improving the elimination of waste throughout the body.
Improved circulation is just one benefit of massage therapy. Combined with a balanced diet and regular exercise, massage can be the key to leading a healthier happier lifestyle.
Improved Circulation Benefits
- Enhances blood flow
- Moves waste away from muscles and internal organs
- Lowers blood pressure
- Improves body functions
Massage Therapy Improves Posture
Poor posture stresses joints & strains muscles, but people often think of it as "normal, everyday" pain, and they will get through the day with a pill. Whether we are driving, working at a desk, or even just standing still, poor posture can contribute to a number of physical aches and pains. Poor, "weak" posture is stressing other links in the body's chain of motion and when we compensate, we move asymmetrically and we can set the stage for injury with just one "wrong" move.
Allowing the body to reinforce healthy and natural movements can be one of the most beneficial aspects of massage therapy.
With a regular massage therapy, the painful points in muscles are loosened and relaxed, joints have greater freedom, and pressure points are relieved. This allows the body to position itself in a healthier and more natural posture.
Benefits of Improved Posture
- Muscles are loosened and relaxed
- Joints enjoy greater freedom
- Pressure points are relieved
Massage Therapy Benefits Include Lower Blood Pressure
Most people who have high blood pressure do not know they have it because they have no symptoms. Occasionally, some people may have a mild headaches. Controlling blood pressure is yet another benefits of massage.
Massage causes relaxation, relaxation means less/no stress and less stress menas lower blood pressure.
Lower Blood Pressure Benefits
- Lower depression, anxiety, and hostility
- Keeps stress hormone levels under control
- Lower blood pressure can contribute to lowering the odds of having a heart attack, kidney failure, or a stroke
Massage Therapy Helps Manage Pain
Massage therapy can be a powerful ally in your healthcare regimen. The incredible benefits of massage are even more noticeable with regular sessions. Regular massage can break the vicious circle of pain, where pain leads to muscle tension, reduced circulation, restricted movement, etc. Massage therapy also helps to alleviate soft tissue pain and discomfort associated with chronic pain, muscle overuse and occupational stresses.
When you have pain in a certain area of the body, the muscles round the area tighten, mobility is limited, and often blood circulation is reduced. Not mentioning that pain which started with an injury or illness can cause emotional and psychological stress.
Massage restores mobility by loosening and lengthening tight muscles and working on a trigger points. It also improves circulation by increasing blood flow, as well as promotes relaxation which helps relieve emotional stress and anxiety that can contribute to chronic pain. This leads to:
- Decreased anxiety
- Enhanced mobility
- Greater energy
- Improved concentration
- Decreased pain
- Reduced fatigue
Massage Therapy Relaxes Muscles
Muscle tightness is often caused by muscle damage or weakness. When a muscle tears, scar tissue is formed and other waste products and toxins, such as lactic acid, accumulate in the muscle tissue. Not only do these tense muscles cause knots and pain in their respective areas, they can create a chain reaction that spreads round the body. Another reason for muscle tension is stress. When we get stressed the body gets ready for the "fight and flight" response and all the muscles can get really tight.
Massage plays an important role in releasing these tensions as well as teaching the body how to relax. The massage therapy will help to relax internal muscles through deep tissue techniques and relaxation will help you to become more aware of your daily stress levels. Increased relaxation usually meand decreased muscle tension.
Relaxed Muscles Benefits
- Reduces pain that results from tense muscles
- Aids in relaxation
- Relieves muscle tension and stiffness
Massage Therapy Improves Flexibility
As we age, our joints tighten and we lose the range of motion we once enjoyed in our youth. One of the main reasons we become less flexible as we get older has to do with changes that take place in our connective tissue and as we age, our bodies gradually loose fluid and dehydrate.
Massage therapy is an effective treatment for increasing and maintaining flexibility and motion. By working on muscles, connective tissue, tendons, ligaments, and joints, massage can stimulate the production and retention of our natural lubricants between the fibres of connective tissue , making stretching and movement easier, and keeping the body more flexible.
Improve Flexibility and Range of Motion Benefits
- Stimulates the production of the bodies natural lubricants to keep flexibility at a high level
- Keeping us more mobile
- Can enhance athletic performance as the body ages
Massage Therapy Relieves Headaches
Headaches can be caused by a variety of things. Often the cause is as simple as muscle tension in the neck and shoulders, but other factors that can contribute can be environmental (such as allergies), hormones, and vision problems. Even the most severe migraine headaches can have a variety of causes. This can be debilitating and typically results from high stress levels and/or lack of sleep.
Massage is an excellent way to address headaches and can provide relief for most people. Focusing on the neck, shoulders, and head, massage can decrease the pain and discomfort brought on by migraine or tension headache. Many clients experience complete relief of their headache through massage, and chronic headache sufferers can see a reduction in frequency due to regular treatments.
But if a headache is sudden, severe, long lasting or painful in a way that is an unfamiliar pattern, or if you have other health concerns that may influence your condition you should consult your GP.
Relief of Tension-Related Headaches Benefits
- Decreases occurrences of headaches, sleep disturbances and distress symptoms
- Allows you to relax which reduces the chances of stress induced migraines
- Reduces muscle spasms in a head and neck area
Massage Therapy Strengthens the Immune System
Regular massage is necessary for our physical and mental well being. Massage promotes immunity, releases toxins and relieves the body of built up stress and tension.
Regular therapeutic massage provide significant benefits beyond the immediate relaxation we enjoy. People who experience high levels of stress tend to get sick more than others. Combine stress with lack of sleep and poor nutrition, and our body’s ability to naturally protect itself against bacteria and infection is greatly reduced. The culprit is a stress hormone cortisol which impairs the body's immune system, but massages reduce cortisol and so gives your immunity a boost (although massage doesn’t cure ailments, it has been shown to help the body function better in fighting them).
Another way how to increase your immunity is through the Lymphatic system. The lymphatic system carries lymph (milky fluid containing waste products which may include bacteria, viruses, and toxins) around the body. The system helps to destroy waste products and remove them from the body. Massage therapy helps to encourage circulation and drainage of the lymph, helping it to work more efficiently in remowing these waste products from the body. This is particularly beneficial if you are trying to fight off an infection.
Strengthen the Immune System Benefits
- Increases the bodies natural killer cells
- Helps to fight against bacteria and infection
- Better circulation increases the bodies ability to get nourishment to all areas