Many patients who suffer from serious diseases have actually experienced improvement because of the specific physiological and chemical changes that one experiences throughout the body with a massage. In other words, a massage can do a great deal more than help you relax! Here are six reasons why massages improve health and boost your immune system:
Postural Stress Relief
Postural stress that mostly comes from the areas of your shoulders and neck is prone to happening after sitting for long periods of time. Desk workers especially may experience pain in the lower back and gluteal areas.
This is where massages can play a key role in the healing process in any discomfort you may have related to postural stress. Massages can counteract the imbalance caused from sitting for a long period of time, just don’t forget to schedule a regular massage.
Releasing Muscle Tension and Toxins
For all you fit folks experiencing sore muscles after a strenuous workout, massages can benefit you. Even just a 10-minute massage can help with inflammation and body recovery. A good massage can actually improve circulation the same way rubbing your hamstring on a table may help relieve the pain, except a massage tends to be much more gratifying. When circulation is increased, this allows the body to pump more oxygen and nutrients into tissues and vital organs.
A Swedish massage is a great choice when looking to relieve muscles with a massage because it shortens recovery time from muscle strain and overall emotional well being. A technique used in Swedish massage is Petrissage- a kneading movement used for muscle tension that can help with any sore muscles. The technique of friction used in Swedish massage involving circular pressures on the muscle fibers also helps with releasing toxins from the muscles.
Massages Boost Immunity
The immune system can weaken over time when there are high levels of stress, lack of sleep and poor nutrition. The combination of these factors causes the immune system’s ability to naturally protect it against invading bacteria and infection to be greatly reduced. Massages enhance immunity by stimulating lymph flow- the body’s natural defense system.
There have been several studies proving a link to massages and a healthy functioning immune system.
In a 2010 study, researchers found that massages actually increased a person’s disease-fighting white blood cells. In another study by Gail Ironson M.D., HIV-positive men were given 45 minute massages five days a week for a month, and immediately showed an increase in serotonin and an increase in cells that are viewed as vital to the defense in the immune system.
Lower Stress Levels
Living in such a fast-paced world, there is no denying that things can get hectic and it can get difficult to manage that stress. Massage, whether we label it as a form of pampering or pain management, can greatly help with anxiety, depression, sleep quality, fatigue and concentration.
Massages release endorphins- so these amino acids that work as the body’s natural painkiller increase our happiness.
It is important to take note that experts have estimated approximately 99 percent of disease is stress-related, so one must manage this stress before it impacts our health negatively. Clients come out of massage clinics with a much better sense of perspective and clarity.
The emotional balance bodywork is just as important as the tangible physical benefits that are associated with massages, so both your body and your brain will loves you for it.
Massages can also boost brainpower by raising alertness. In the 1996 Touch Research Institute Study (TRI), adults who were given a 15-minute chair massage were much more alert afterwards and were able to complete a series of math problems much more accurately and faster than before.
Just like body pain can be healed with massage, so can those throbbing headaches that disrupt our daily lives. A regular massage can reduce a person’s migraines, WebMD reports, as well as limit the extent of pain of the migraine, according to TRI.
Profound Health Benefits
Patients who suffer from arthritis have reported having fewer aches and less pain. Children with asthma can also benefit from massage since it has been shown to lead to better pulmonary function and increased facilitation of airflow.
As mentioned earlier, the emotional balance is just as important as the physical benefits of massage, and this is true for burn injury patients since they benefit from reduced pain and itching just as much as they do with anxiety. People who have high blood pressure can have a profound benefit from massage since it has demonstrated lower diastolic blood pressure, anxiety and stress.
Massages have helped women who struggle with premenstrual syndrome reportedly by decreasing water retention and cramping. Since massages can help all age groups, even preterm infants can benefit by improving weight gain.