Think of massage and your mind will probably conjure up images of smouldering candles, soft ivory fluffy towels and all things that ooze rest and relaxation. But while massage is a popular way for many people to unwind, it also has some incredible health benefits.
Here are just a few that may surprise you:
1: It can help with lower back pain
Massage can be an effective way to treat both acute and chronic lower back pain and is often combined with other holistic exercises. Many people who book a massage do so to help alleviate pain, stiffness and soreness as a result of a chronic health condition or injury.
2: It can lower high blood pressure
Massage is widely believed to be an effective way to help control blood pressure and pre-hypertension. Getting regular massage treatment can encourage relaxation, which can help to maintain healthy blood pressure pressure levels.
3: It can help with depression and anxiety
Massage therapy is an effective way to help reduce feelings of stress and anxiety, as well as the fatigue that is often associated with such conditions. It is widely believed that depression can lead to heightened muscle pain and tension. Massage can result in improvements in patients displaying chronic pain and muscle tension. It can also help to reverse the depression cycle and improve energy levels.
4: It can help to regulate diabetes
Massage therapy has been used to help manage diabetes for over 100 years. It can be helpful in promoting relaxation, reducing the risk of neuropathy and helping to restore the correct use of insulin. Massage is now a popular alternative medicine for many conditions.
5: It can help to prevent injuries
Specific types of massages, such as sports massages, can play a role in supporting athletic performance and aid injury recovery while helping to prevent future injuries such as ligament traumas.
So how exactly does massage work?
Massage combines the benefits of soft tissue manipulation and the release of chemicals due to the relaxation response. Improved circulation enhances the delivery of oxygen and nutrients to the body’s muscular cells. As cellular health improves, tissues can function more efficiently.
Applying pressure to the skin helps to relax muscles, tendons, and ligaments. The release of superficial layers of muscles may also affect deeper layers which can lead to both sets of muscles becoming more balanced.
When muscles, bones, or nerves are distressed, organs can sometimes become affected. Massage can benefit organs as they share neurological pathways with these muscles, bones and nerves.
Fancy a relaxing massage to unwind after a hard day’s work? You could end up giving your health a boost at the same time!