Massages not only feel amazing, but they are actually very beneficial to your health. Below are the top 10 benefits of massage therapy:
A massage is a great option for those who suffer from chronic back or neck pain. A good massage therapist will be able to find the source of the pain and create a massage treatment plan to help you find relief. The massage therapist will be able to target the portion of your body that is causing discomfort or stress and help loosen the tight muscles.
Perhaps there is no better way to relax than spending a day at the spa. But, interestingly, a good massage can have lasting effects on your stress level 1. In fact, in a recent study conducted by Chang Gung University, researchers found that a massage can actually reduce the levels of the stress-causing hormone cortisol. The study also found that massages even helped women feel confident with their bodies and their body image.
Rids Body of Toxins
A massage will help stimulate your body’s soft tissue. This will help your body release toxins by stimulating your lymphatic system. This is why it is important to drink a lot of water following your massage to ensure the toxins can be released.
Helps Improve Sleep
Since massage fully relaxes the body, it can help you sleep. A massage loosens your muscles and allows your mind to quiet enough to slip into a sound, deep sleep. Bonus, you will find yourself more rested and energized in the morning.
Another one of the top 10 benefits of massage therapy is helping with tight muscles. The simple touch of a massage is often times enough for the body to automatically relax. Through this relaxation, your heart and breath will actually slow 2. This combined with the actual massage allows the muscles to relax.
Since massage allows for better sleep, you will feel much more energized during the day. This helps you to accomplish all you need without the afternoon energy crash.
The body’s defense system is connected to the lymphatic system. Massage stimulates the lymphatic system and therefore improves immune function.
If you suffer from edema or another disease that increases swelling, you may greatly benefit from a massage. Water can get trapped in your body’s tissues. For instance, a pregnant woman who has swollen feet or legs can help reduce the amount of water by getting a massage. Your body will be stimulated, allowing the water to be flushed from your system. While massage may not address the underlying cause of edema, it is an effective relief from its symptoms.
Helps with Anxiety and Depression
Your body’s relaxation response from a massage can greatly improve anxiety and depression 3. This may be because a massage can actually increase serotonin and dopamine. In a recent study featured in the International Journal of Neuroscience, researchers found that levels of serotonin and dopamine increased by as much as 31 percent after massage therapy. These hormones are well known to increase the feeling of happiness and decrease feelings of anxiety and depression.
A massage will loosen your muscles enough for them to fully relax. This relaxation allows you to achieve a full range of motion. It is a good idea to stretch immediately following your massage and in the days after to maintain this flexibility. Massage along with other activities such as yoga will help your body feel flexible and loose.
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These top 10 benefits of massage are only the beginning. A massage by a professional masseuse can help you find the relief you are looking for. Just make sure to find a masseuse who is well trained and professional.
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