HA widespread perception, or misconception, is that massage therapy is a luxury, one which is reserved for special occasions or when we sustain an injury. While cultures throughout Europe and other parts of the world know otherwise, it is time we change our perception of this beneficial and holistic therapy.
The medical profession is slowly accepting massage therapy as a complimentary treatment to traditional medicine, and will hopefully support it as preventative medicine in the future. The benefits offered by massage therapy are numerous and have been proven to offer results. Knowing and understanding these advantages will hopefully offer you the incentive for investing in better health and well being.
A few benefits of massage therapy include:
Stress reduction: Massage therapy affects our hormones, reducing the “stress” hormone known as cortisol, while also increasing the “happy” hormones of dopamine and serotonin, helping to decrease anxiety and depression.
Increased Circulation: It also assists with lymphatic drainage and flushing toxins from the system. This enhanced vascular function can help reduce fatigue, promote healthier skin and hair, and strengthen the immune system
Pain Relief: A safe alternative to prescription medication, massage has proven to lessen back pain and increase function for those suffering from chronic muscle tension and spasms. The release of endorphins work in the body to help as a natural pain reliever.
Enhanced Skin Condition: In addition to improving the condition of the body’s largest organ, massage also helps promote tissue regeneration to reduce stretch marks, scar tissue, and post surgical adhesions and swelling.
Joint Health: Not only for injuries, massage helps to increase range of motion by decreasing joint stiffness and pain. Those suffering from arthritis and bursitis benefit greatly from massage therapy.
Enhanced Sleep Quality: Not just during a massage, but afterwards, is when you can experience the best sleep. Some say that massage directly affects our delta waves, promoting a deeper and sounder sleep.
In addition, some medical fields have begun integrating massage therapy into the treatment of carpel tunnel, chronic fatigue, premenstrual syndromes, migraines, and asthma. There has also been an increase in maternity massage, infant massage, and massage therapy combined together with physical therapy. The healing benefits affect not only the body, but the mind and spirit, promoting overall physical and mental balance. As a treatment or for preventative measures, prioritize your health and consider investing in your own well being. It may be the best investment you will ever make.