5 Benefits of Massage that we don’t think of:
Stress is one of the most mentally and physically damaging emotions that a person can feel. Studies have shown that stress causes the body to release high levels of cortisol, which can lead to feelings of anxiety and, in turn, to high blood pressure and heart rate. In addition, stress can cause acid levels to rise in the stomach leading to heartburn, esophageal damage, and increased levels of blood sugar.
Massage therapy is an extremely effective way to lower stress, as well as promote other health benefits. Massage therapy releases endorphins, aids in the circulation of lymph fluids that move waste away from the vital organs and muscles, and increases blood flow to all areas of the body, including the brain.
Here are some of the major health benefits that massage therapy offers:
- Heart Benefits:
Most people are aware that massage therapy eases aches and pains, but what many don’t know is that massage therapy has many heart health benefits as well. Because massage therapy lowers cortisol levels, it can also lower your heart rate and improve blood flow. This puts less stress on the heart by allowing it to pump blood with less effort. Furthermore, massage therapy lowers blood pressure which is also important for a healthy heart.
- Mental Health Benefits:
Stress is one of the leading causes of depression and anxiety. After a massage, released endorphins can lead to a sense of well-being, relaxation and positivity. Massage also causes your brain to release serotonin, which plays an active role in regulating your mood, your appetite, and your sleep patterns. Both good eating habits and regular sleep patterns are immeasurably important in maintaining both physical and mental health.
- Headache & Migraine Relief:
Massage therapy can also help to alleviate migraines and headaches. In fact, studies show that people who receive regular massage (at least once a month) had fewer migraines than those who do not receive massage therapy at all. Massage therapy also alleviates sleep disturbances which can lead to headaches.
- Better Breathing:
Massage encourages deep, regular breathing as a result of relaxation. Furthermore, many upper body muscles are instrumental in respiration. When these muscles are rigid or tense, they can restrict airways and interrupt normal breathing. Insufficient supplies of oxygen result in the reduction of proper cellular function. In other words, your body’s energy needs cannot be met. By breathing properly, you are promoting the flow of oxygen throughout your body, thus increasing vitality.
- Muscle Flexibility & Agility:
One of the most immediate effects massage therapy has is relaxing the body’s muscles. This leads to more flexibility and agility. Tense and strained muscles can lead to injuries and prevent you from exercising regularly in your day to day life.
Steve Richtaritsch, RMT