Benefits of Massage Therapy
The benefits of massage therapy could easily fill a dense college textbook. Its precise effects on the body are understood more with each passing year. While we provide several effective alternative therapies for our patients, medical massage continues to be among the most popular. This probably doesn’t come as much of a surprise. After all, who doesn’t love getting a massage? Its effects go far beyond simple relaxation, though. Here we discuss the numerous benefits of massage therapy that our patients often experience.
Massage Therapy May Reduce Stress
Natural stress reduction is critical for health and wellbeing, especially these days. Constant alerts, online updates, and shocking news are enough to overwhelm almost anyone. Fortunately, medical message therapy is a fantastic way to naturally reduce stress without medication.
Stress reduction is one of the most-cited benefits of massage therapy. The long-term effects of stress can have a toxic response on the body, serving to worsen many physical and mental health conditions. Research shows that massage therapy may decrease stress and some of the conditions associated with it. It may also slow heart and breathing rate, which often leads to parasympathetic nervous system (PNS) activation. PNS activation is largely responsible for counteracting the “fight or flight” response triggered by stress.
Pain from injuries can be frustrating and slow the recovery process. Traditional Western medicine practices often manage pain with powerful painkilling opiates. While they may be effective at reducing short-term pain, opiates also carry a heavy risk of dependence.
Luckily, massage is a great way of safely reducing pain. Targeted medical massage can often help to reduce debilitating discomfort stemming from joints, muscles, and headaches. If you are having regular or reoccurring pain, medical massage therapy may be a safe, long-term alternative to painkillers.
Immune System Support
You may not associate massages with your immune system. However, research suggests that one of the main benefits of massage therapy is improved immune system function. Doctors found that daily massage associated with an increase in the activity of the body’s natural killer cells, a key immune component that naturally fights off viruses and bacteria.
Massage Therapy May Improve Mental Health
We’re facing a mental health crisis in the United States. Unfortunately, over 50% of Americans will receive a mental health diagnosis at some point in their life. It may stem from abuse, trauma, addiction, isolation, genetics, or various chronic medical conditions.
As we’ve noted, massage can help to decrease stress, which in itself may improve one’s overall mental state. However, research also suggests that symptoms of anxiety may be reduced with regular massages. While massage cannot treat any medical condition, it may significantly improve symptoms in some cases. Medical massage can be a natural alternative or addition to treatments that rely heavily on strong medications with many side effects.
Your cardiovascular system spreads throughout your entire body. It’s responsible for supplying various important nutrients that nourish organs and muscles alike. Massage helps to loosen your muscles, which often improves vascular function, especially after an injury. It may also improve athletic performance and reduce post-workout soreness.
One of the little-known benefits of massage therapy is that it may improve your flexibility. By relaxing and loosening muscles, you might see an increase in your overall range of movement. This is certainly great for athletes and dancers, but it can also improve the physical fitness of almost anybody. Along with a greater range of motion, one often experiences less pain, greater mobility, and more independence. Taken together, these may serve to reduce stress and improve mental health by supporting a more active, fulfilling lifestyle.
Not all massage therapies are the same. That’s why we take a medical approach to this effective alternative treatment. We’ll sit down and discuss your unique needs and goals together before deciding on the best course of action. If you’re interested in experiencing the benefits of massage therapy for yourself, then feel free to reach out today for a free consultation. We’d be happy to answer any specific questions you may have.