7 Benefits to Receiving Regular Bodywork like Massages and Healing Therapies
There are tons of benefits of receiving regular bodywork. Here’s a simple 7 to get you started!
1. It Is Relaxing
When the body is tense and under stress, it produces unhealthy levels of the well-known stress hormone, cortisol, which promotes weight gain, sleeplessness, digestive problems, and headaches. Therapeutic massage has been shown to decrease cortisol levels in the body, which enables the body to enter a self-healing mode. We were all designed to heal ourselves, but sometimes the brain forgets how to flip that switch. Moreover, this form of therapy also triggers lasting feelings of relaxation, improved mood, and reduced stress levels.
2. It Reduces Stress
Not only can massage therapy help with stress relief, but regular massage sessions over a prolonged period of time can boost energy levels, reduce pain, inflammation, lactic acid build up on muscles and stimulate healthier nerve function.
3. It Can Help Lower Blood Pressure
Regular massage therapy sessions have been found to reduce blood pressure levels. In fact, some long-term studies have shown that a consistent massage program can reduce both systolic (upper number) and diastolic (lower number) blood pressure. Consistent massage sessions can also reduce triggers for anxiety, hostility, tension, and depression. In turn, lower blood pressure levels can also reduce the risk of heart attack, stroke, and/or kidney failure, as well as many other health issues. It’s like hitting the reset button for your body!
4. It Promotes Muscle Relaxation
The purpose of massage therapy is to target the source of the body’s pain by relaxing tense muscles, increasing flexibility, and providing relaxation to the affected muscles as well as the body as a whole. Resetting your muscle memory is the goal! Massage also promotes circulation to the affected or injured muscles, which increases nutrients and oxygen to the damaged tissues. In turn, this increased activity to the affected sites reduces stiffness and edema (swelling) in the muscles and joints, as well as increases flexibility. This form of therapy also releases endorphins (pain-killing hormones), which boost the dopamine and serotonin levels in the body. These hormones assist the body in many ways–physically as well as emotionally. Case in point, they promote healing, pain management, and feelings of euphoria, as well as help to calm the nerves.
5. It Can Help Improve Circulation
The long-term benefits of massage therapy are not to be underestimated. Improved circulation is part of a snowball effect that occurs in the body as a result of receiving regular massage therapy on a consistent basis. This is because proper circulation brings spasmed & overactive tense muscles the rich blood supply they need to promote healing. Tendons & ligaments do not have their own blood supply (look at any medical chart. You’ll see they’re white, unlike muscles that are red due to direct blood supplies within them), and take much longer to heal on their own. Massage helps to bring nutrient & oxygen-rich blood flow to these tissues and promotes much faster healing. The squeezing, twisting, and pulling action of the massage technique is what removes lactic acid from the muscle tissues. As a result, this action improves the lymph fluid circulation, which carries metabolic waste products away from internal organs and muscles.
6. It Can Help Improve Posture
Many Americans experience back, neck, and muscle pain from a variety of sources, including but not limited to computer/laptop work, “text-neck”, and some already present scoliosis. All of which directly affect your posture and how your muscles are “taught” to behave. In fact, chronic back pain, which is the number one reason for missed work days and second most common cause of disability, is often the result of incorrect or poor posture while standing and/or sitting. Being overweight, poor posture, and repetitive or overuse movements can also contribute to the strain on the back and other potential problem areas. As a result, the added strain often causes spasms, pain, and tense muscles in the hips, glutes, back, neck, and legs. Everything is connected, after all!
Massage therapy can help get the body back into proper alignment. In fact, improving one’s posture can be one of the most beneficial and relaxing aspects of massage therapy. In turn, this allows the body to position itself in its organic and pain-free posture. As part of a consistent massage therapy program, the body’s muscles are loosened and relaxed. The joints have greater freedom, flexibility, range of motion, and pressure points are relieved. As a result, the body is able to position itself in an organic and healthy posture. In short, massage therapy helps to correct the positions and movements developed over time as a reaction to pain.
7. It Can Help Strengthen the Body’s Immune System
Regular massage sessions provide many benefits to the human body. It is a well-known fact that individuals who experience high levels of stress are more vulnerable to illness and injury. When stress is combined with sleep disturbances and poor nutrition, the impact is directed at the body’s immune system. Its ability to naturally protect itself against infections, pathogens, and bacteria is greatly reduced. Studies have indicated that regular massage sessions not only help reduce stress but can also boost the immune system’s cytotoxic capacity (activity level of the body’s natural “killer cells”) and enhances the body’s ability to deliver nourishment. Moreover, massage therapy can be a great addition to any exercise program. Much like regular exercise can keep the body fine-tuned, regular massage therapy can help keep the immune system strong and resilient.
Once considered a luxury, massage therapy is now much more mainstream and helping people feel more freedom in their own bodies & help them function as less stressed human beings. More importantly, now that massage therapy is considered a mainstream treatment option, many insurance companies provide coverage for treatment.