13 benefits of Massage Therapy

Our bodies continuously take a beating. Whether it is from exercising, our occupations, our lifestyle, or stress, we tend to put our bodies through a great deal of collateral abuse on a daily basis. However, there is a way we can help our bodies to recover without the need for medicines or costly alternatives, it’s called a therapeutic massage.

There are a lot of benefits to massage therapy services, so we'll take a quick look at 13 of them​

Stress

In today’s society, stress is a part of our daily lives. It has been proven that stress negatively impacts our physical health, as well as our emotional well-being. Headaches, digestion problems, and even our mental health is negatively impacted by stress.

Research has shown that trigger point therapy significantly decreases diastolic and systolic blood pressure, as well as the heart rate. Additionally, after a 10 to 15-minute massage, measurements of blood pressure, salivary cortisol levels and oxygen consumption in a controlled study were all lower. Studies also showed a significant change in stress and emotional levels after this same session period.

Better Quality of Sleep

better quality of sleep

The quality of sleep we receive has a direct impact on our emotional and physical health. There are a number of chronic conditions and diseases that are associated with insufficient sleep. Examples of these conditions include diabetes, depression, and cardiovascular disease.

Poor sleep has been shown to assist in the onset of these diseases and impairs treatment efforts. Research indicates that massage can improve sleep in many individuals with severe ailments, psychiatric disorders and even infants with insomnia, and can help the body’s immune system so that it can better protect us.

Postoperative Pain

The pain experienced by patients after receiving an operation can hinder their recovery process which can also lengthen hospital stays. With the side effects of many pain medications, many patients have difficulties returning to their normal, active lives.

One of the benefits of therapeutic massage, as shown by conducted research, is that it can help to improve a patient's recovery by decreasing postoperative pain and stress. The reduced stress lets our bodies heal quicker and less pain means there is less of a need for pain medications.

Performance Enhancement

massage therapy in washington

Sports and exercise are increasingly becoming more popular in today’s society. People are becoming more concerned about their health and taking steps to ensure they stay healthy. However, sports and exercise can take a toll on the human body, especially on our muscles and skeletal foundation.

This is why many athletes, even professionals, turn to sports massage to help with sore or damaged muscles. Sports massages also have been shown to reduce muscle tension and hypertonicity, improve soft tissue function, and increase an individual's range of motion.

Reduce Depression Symptoms

Depression can be defined as “a condition of general emotional dejection and withdrawal”, or “a sadness greater and more prolonged than warranted by any objective reasoning.” Depression, however, has many varying symptoms so it is possible for many people suffering from depression to demonstrate completely different symptoms.

This can be an expensive and devastating condition that can also affect other chronic conditions such as asthma, arthritis, cancer, and cardiovascular diseases. Research has indicated that therapeutic massage can improve the mood of those suffering from depression by releasing dopamine, serotonin, and endorphins into the person’s system, thereby reducing their symptoms.

Improved Cardiovascular Health

Many review massage as a great method for relieving muscle pain and tension that can be associated with physical activity, injury or stress. Working with a qualified massage therapist, however, can also improve cardiovascular health as evident with growing research proof.

A study conducted by the International Journal of Preventive Medicine showed that massage therapy can play a large role in controlling blood pressure in women that are prehypertensive. The study further showed that the reduced blood pressure effect of a therapeutic massage lasted for nearly 72 hours

Reduced Rheumatoid Arthritis Pain

Rheumatoid arthritis is a progressive disease that causes inflammation in joints that can result in painful deformity and immobility. This condition is not only extremely painful for those that suffer with it, it can also be debilitating, preventing sufferers from enjoying activities they used to enjoy.

reduce pain

Touch Research Institute has conducted research that shows patients that are affected by rheumatoid arthritis demonstrated reduced pain and better control of their limbs after receiving a therapeutic massage, thereby improving their quality of life.

Improved Relaxation

While relaxation is not a new medical procedure, our older generations are starting to receive massage therapy as part of an integrated care program to help alleviate the aches and pains that often accompany the aging cycle. By receiving regular massage treatments, people have been shown to have better stability, lower blood pressure, and lower stress levels.

Combined, recipients have demonstrated less pain, better mental wellbeing, and reduced anxiety, helping to make the golden years more golden.

Low Back Pain

Every year, Americans spend billions of dollars on treatments for low back pain. Back pain is one of the top-five neurological ailments in the U.S. with most reported cases being from the working environment.

Research has shown that massage therapy has helped in reducing low back pain, depression associated with low back pain, and also helped to reduce the severity of disability associated with low back pain. When combined with medical treatments, therapeutic massage on back muscles can prove to be the most effective treatment.

High Blood Pressue

Long-term studies have been conducted that show that a consistent massage therapy program can decrease salivary and urinary cortisol stress-hormone levels, lower depression, hostility, and anxiety. There have also been results that show decreased systolic and diastolic blood pressure.

There have been many unassociated studies that support this claim. Many of these studies also show that the heart rate in many people was also reduced.

Improve Mental Wellness and Health

Anxiety is one of the leading mental conditions affecting our nation. For many, it is not only an inconvenience on their daily lives, it completely destroys them. Their quality of life is severely limited, often times without notice or warning. Research shows that by achieving calmness, people who suffer from depression, anxiety, or dementia have reduced symptoms after massage therapy.

The sense of calmness also helps with trait anxiety, psychological and physiological anxiety, and also to reduce hormones that are associated with anxiety. In addition, neurotransmitters that are associated with lowering anxiety are increased.

A Boost to the Immune System

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Your immune system is one of the most important systems in your body. It helps to fight off illness and can make recovery much faster. Clinical studies have been conducted that show the effects of regular massage can help to naturally increase the cytotoxic capacity of your immune system.

They have also shown that the number of T-cells is decreased, thereby improving your immune system's overall function. These studies included results that showed increased serotonin levels and an increase in cells that are viewed as being your body's main defense against infection.

Prenatal Health

When used as part of a prenatal care program, therapeutic massage has been shown to reduce the stress felt by expecting mothers and promote overall wellness. The massages also relieved many of the discomforts experienced during the pregnancy, such as leg cramps, edema, headaches, backaches and stiff neck.

prenatal massage therapy

The results of the massage also helped to improve the quality of sleep and diminished anxiety. This is a result of the dopamine, serotonin, and endorphins that are released into your body during the massage and can have a lasting effect of 48 to 72 hours.

Conclusion...

There are many more health benefits associated with therapeutic massage and it has few risks factors associated with it when performed by a trained massage therapist and requires no medication that can have unpleasant side effects. However, that is not to say that therapeutic massage should take the place of receiving medical treatments and advice from your doctor.

It does, however, make for a great addition to your treatment, exercise, and recovery programs. Its lasting effects helps to prevent repeated daily visits, while your quality of life can be greatly improved.

As demonstrated by our list above, therapeutic massage has many benefits that will not only help you with your physical wellbeing and health but also your emotional and mental well being and health.

We hope you enjoyed this article and found it useful in your search for more knowledge on therapeutic massage. Please feel free to comment and share this with anyone you may know that also has some questions regarding this topic.