5 Benefits of Massage Therapy That Might Surprise You
Massage therapy offers so much more than a relaxing way to unwind at the spa. The benefits of massage therapy range to include both physical and mental. Once strictly regarded as a form of alternative medicine, massage therapy is now more commonly incorporated with standard medical practices for a wide variety of conditions.
The American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA) Consumer Survey revealed the two reasons 78% of individuals received a massage in the last 12 months: stress (28%) or medical (50%). This isn’t surprising considering several studies have found the benefits of massage therapy are especially promising for the following conditions and disorders:
- Digestive disorders
- Insomnia (stress related)
- Strains or injuries to soft tissues
- Sports injuries
- Myofascial pain syndrome
- Temporomandibular joint pain
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1. Prevents Larger Problems
Sports massage therapists will tell you that if you regularly work out or experience sore muscles, it’s important to get massages to work out knots and tight muscles. Otherwise, knotted and agitated muscles only get worse, leading to additional pain and all sorts of body issues. Massage helps athletes of all levels prepare for and recover from strenuous exercise. It is also beneficial for weak, tight or atrophied muscles.
2. Reduces Chronic Pain
The benefits of massage therapy include reducing chronic pain, which is defined as ongoing pain that can get worse over time. Massage therapy helps reduce pain, restore comfort and even improve range of motion. If you sit at a computer all day you may experience chronic neck or back pain due to knots and tight muscles. A skilled massage therapist can work out these knots and improve your overall muscular health, reducing the presence of chronic pain.
There are many common causes of pain that massage therapy can help work out, such as:
-Lower joint replacement pain
-Chronic neck pain
-Spasms and cramping
3. Decreases Stress
Regardless if you’d rank your life as high or low stress, we all deal with stress on some level. Massage therapy helps you let go of your stress for an entire hour—long enough for the body to experience real benefits. Decreased stress helps lower blood pressure, reduce anxiety, and improve quality of sleep. These benefits can be felt in all aspects of life.
4. Improves Blood Flow
Blood flow is crucial to health but so many things in life can reduce blood circulation in the body. If you regularly experience cold hands and feet, light headedness, numbness or tingling of limbs, you may have poor blood flow. Massage therapy actively helps improve blood flow as tissues all over your body are stimulated during massage. As a result, oxygen and nutrients flow more freely to organs and tissues, improving health and circulation from your head to your toes.
5. Reduces Symptoms of Depression
A great massage can lift your spirits, give you more energy and reduce stress, all of which help shake off feelings of depression. That’s because massage therapy has been shown to release endorphins in the brain, leading to feelings of happiness and wellbeing.
Taking good care of yourself allows you to take better care of everything and everyone in your life. We tend to do too much for others and neglect ourselves, leading to the potential for depression, stress, and exhaustion. Massage therapy is your key to feeling better, thinking clearer and taking control of your health and wellbeing—you deserve it!
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