When most people think of massages, they think of relaxation, tranquility, and feeling good. Did you know that massages are not only a comforting way to wind down after a stressful day but also provide numerous health benefits? Here are just five of the many ways massages can positively impact your health:
- Massages ease muscle pain. Whether you have a sports injury, a soft tissue strain, or sore muscles from everyday use, a massage can help. In particular, one Annals of Internal Medicine study published in 2011 found that massage therapy can effectively treat chronic back pain. Back pain is the world’s leading cause of disability.
- Massages can help manage high blood pressure. About 75 million Americans live with high blood pressure, which often has no symptoms and is sometimes calls the “silent killer.” Massage therapy offers one option for managing this condition. Consult a physician to see how you can combine massage with other healthy lifestyle choices to manage your blood pressure.
- Massages can boost the immune system. Particularly during stressful seasons of life, the immune system may be compromised. Studies indicate that massages can help increase a person’s white blood cell count. These cells help defend the body from illness.
- Massages can reduce stress. “Research suggests that more than 90 percent of illness results from stress alone,” according to a Mayo Clinic article. Research shows that getting an hour-long massage can cut down an individual’s cortisol (stress hormone) levels by as much as 30 percent and increase its serotonin (anti-pain mechanism) by as much as 20 percent.
- Massages can combat the “Sitting Epidemic.” Long periods of time spent sitting can cause postural distress than manifests itself in shoulder, neck, and back pain as well as lower back weakness. Massages can help reverse or relax the negative effects of too much sitting.
What are you waiting for? Schedule an appointment with a massage therapist or learn more about how to implement massage therapy techniques at home!