A lot of us think of massage as a luxury and sure, it can help you relax, but massage therapy can do much more than that. Here are seven healthy reasons to book an appointment
1) It counteracts all that sitting you do
A large majority of individuals today are dealing with some kind of postural stress, this comes from the amount of time most of sit at a desk or lean over our devices. More often than not [that stress] tends to manifest in the shoulders and neck. Desk workers, beware. More advanced forms of postural stress show up as pain or weakness in the low back and gluteals caused by prolonged periods of sitting. Massage can counteract the imbalance caused from sitting, which means you can keep your desk job-as long as you schedule a regular massage.
2) It eases muscle pain
Got sore muscles? Massage therapy can help. Have you ever noticed that rubbing your elbow when you knock it on something helps to relieve the pain? That is because the rubbing increases and improves the circulation to the area. A 2011 study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, found that massage therapy is as effective as other methods of treatment for chronic back pain.
3) It soothes anxiety and depression
Human touch, in a context that is safe, friendly and professional, can be incredibly therapeutic and relaxing. Women diagnosed with breast cancer who received massage therapy three times a week reported being less depressed and less angry, according to a 2005 study published in the International Journal of Neuroscience. And, a study published in the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, found that patients who were depressed and anxious were much more relaxed and happy, and had reduced stress levels after a massage.
4) It improves sleep
Not only can massage encourage a restful sleep-it also helps those who can’t otherwise comfortably rest. Massage promotes relaxation and sleep in those undergoing chemo or radiation therapy. Massage helps to reduce stress so you're less likely to have stress interfering with your sleep, there are some good studies that show that massage can actually reduce some of the stress hormone exposure."
5) It boosts immunity
A 2010 study published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine found that massage boosts patients’ white blood cell count (which plays a large role in defending the body from disease).
6) It relieves headaches
Next time a headache hits, try booking a last-minute massage. Massage has been shown to decrease frequency and severity of tension headaches. Research from Granada University in Spain found that a single session of massage therapy immediately effects perceived pain in patients with chronic tension headaches.
7) Helps the body detox
The rhythmic strokes and pressure applied to muscles, tissues and organs during massage therapy help stimulate the circulatory system. It works sort of like a sponge: When pressure is applied to the tissue and fat, toxins are literally “squeezed” out from in between the muscle fibers and cells. They’re released into the circulatory system for easier elimination. It’s easy to see why detoxification is important to avoiding illness and chronic health conditions. So if you’re not feeling your best or haven’t been as good about your diet and exercise routine lately, try a massage to get back on track. Remember to drink a glass or two of pure water after massage to help the body flush out toxins more rapidly.