4 Ways Massage Therapy Improves Your Health
Many people write off massage therapy as just a luxury or treat. But countless studies have now shown the amazing health benefits regular massages can have on our body.
A recent consumer study sponsored by the American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA) indicates that 61% of physicians recommend massage as part of an integrative approach to care, and 88% of individuals view massage therapy as beneficial to overall health and wellness.
There are many benefits to massage therapy. From relieving stress to increasing immunity, here are 4 ways massage therapy improves your health.
Through years of bad posture, the muscles in our back, shoulders, and neck have gotten sore and tight. This causes tension, pain, and soreness. Massage therapy can help improve your posture by lengthening muscles and reducing soreness associated with increased stress on the joints, muscles, tendons and ligaments.
Massage can relax and loosen your muscles, increasing their mobility and freedom. In doing so, your body can more easily position itself in its natural and pain free posture. A 2017 meta analysis study even concluded massage therapy can significantly improve shoulder range of motion. With on-going massage, the muscles become increasingly flexible and the relaxed joints have greater range of motion.
Reduces Muscle Pain
According to Time Magazine, researchers at McMaster University in Canada noted that taking an aspirin or ibuprofen will reduce the pain symptoms by reducing inflammation in the muscles. They found that massage affects the activity of certain genes, which reduces inflammation in the muscles and relieves pain.
“Massage basically has the same pain-relieving effect as drugs like aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil) and naproxen (Aleve),” says Tiffany Field, a leading researcher on the effects of massage and director of the Touch Research Institute at the University of Miami Medical School.
Elite athletes use massage on a regular basis to reduce muscle tension, improve exercise performance, and prevent injury. In recovery, professional athletes use massage therapy in conjunction with physical therapy and training to return to peak performance.
Some organizations, such as the American Massage Therapy Association, are even using massage to fight the opioid crisis. A recent economic modeling analysis indicated that as many as 5 million people in the United States could potentially benefit from massage therapy for pain relief.
“Simply using massage therapy instead of opioid medication for client conditions where massage is proven effective can reduce overall addiction rates in the United States by about 111,137 people. In this sense, the benefits of massage therapy are twofold: reducing the number of people who potentially struggle with opioid addiction and reducing the impact on the American economy by $23 to $25 billion annually.”
According to the CDC, about 70 million Americans suffer from chronic sleep problems. There’s no wonder that many physicians are looking anywhere they can to aid their patient’s sleep issues.
Massage can improve sleep by relieving stress and reducing anxiety, both of which reduce sleep quality and ability to fall asleep. Research shows that massage therapy reduces cortisol levels (a stress hormone), while increasing dopamine and serotonin levels. Serotonin is especially beneficial to sleep, as it induces calm feelings and is a chemical precursor to melatonin.
By relieving tension in our necks and back, massage improves the quality of sleep we get. When our muscles are tight and sore, sleep can be difficult and uncomfortable. By reducing pain in our muscles, we create an ideal environment for optimal sleep.
Boosts Immune Function
Did you know that massage actually boosts your immune system? Research has shown that receiving regular massage therapy helps to flush toxins and increases the activity of white blood cells, which plays a large role in defending our body from disease. Massage improves blood circulation and lymphatic flow, which helps move healthy nutrients throughout your body.
It is worth repeating in this section as well: the reduction in stress that results from massage also benefits your immune function. Stress is known to elevate your heart rate and blood pressure, while increasing your risk for countless health problems. The relaxing effects that massage has benefits every aspect of your wellness.
The Power of Massage Therapy
Massage therapy has countless benefits for both your mind and body. And the best part is: it feels amazing! By including regular massages into your overall health routine, you can reap the rewards and improve your quality of life.
Book an appointment today online or call 440-834-0887 to discuss your massage therapy needs and start reaping the benefits!