Massage Therapy is a safe and natural way to aid in your body’s amazing capacity to heal itself. Massage offers a drug-free, non-invasive and humanistic approach to well-being based on the body’s natural ability to heal itself.
A growing number of people have found Massage Therapy to be a valuable complement to their active pursuit for achieving and maintaining wellness.
Take the time to take care of yourself, because everyone in your life will benefit.
Overall Health Benefits of Massage Therapy:
Stress relief is a key component for anyone trying to achieve a healthier lifestyle. Modern-day stress is not typically of the immediate, life-threatening type that produces the quick fight-or-flight and relaxation responses. They are more likely to be caused by such ongoing stressors as relationships, job performance, deadline pressures and financial challenges. Instead of being occasional events, these stressors can become a part of one’s lifestyle. As a result, many people experience continual stress, which means that their bodies are constantly producing biochemical, physiological, and psychological changes that can affect their well-being, productivity and personality. Stress can create and/or exacerbate many physical and emotional conditions such as: anxiety, headaches, sleep disorders, digestive problems, back pain, loss of productivity, inability to concentrate, neck aches, changes in blood sugar, nervousness, irritability, increased blood pressure and breathing rate, heart palpitations, poor circulation, chronic fatigue and inhibition of the immune system. When stress is not relieved by the relaxation response, the results can become life threatening. The constant presence of stress hormones in the body can weaken the immune system, making us more susceptible to disease and dysfunction. Massage Therapy helps inspaniduals become more aware of their daily stress level. It can also help them to recognize what true relaxation feels like so they can more easily recreate it for themselves before stress becomes chronic and damaging. Having downtime from stress can enhance one’s ability to enjoy, cope with, and understand life, as well as increase one’s energy level and vitality. The stress and strain of modern living have given Massage Therapy new recognition and acceptance as part of an overall beneficial plan for maintaining good health. Once your stress level is reduced, you can reclaim the energy you once enjoyed, and experience a refreshed body and mind.
“Relax”. You hear it all the time, but for many it’s a daily struggle to achieve. One of the top reasons people use Massage Therapy is to achieve a high level of relaxation. The body can produce an unhealthy buildup of hormones when we’re stuck in traffic or meeting a work deadline. Pent-up levels of the “stress hormone”, cortisol, can lead to sleeplessness, headaches and digestive problems. Massage has been shown to decrease cortisol in the body. This allows the body to enter a relaxing rest-and-recovery mode¬: an effect that lingers long after the Massage is over. In fact, Massage triggers a host of brain chemistry responses that can result in lasting feelings of relaxation. Being more relaxed will improve your mental outlook, allow you to handle pressure better, reinforces a positive attitude, enhances calm/creative thinking, and promotes a relaxed state of mental alertness.
Physical Benefits of Massage Therapy:
More and more people are looking for effective, natural solutions to supplement their pain management. Massage Therapy can help you relieve pain naturally because it releases endorphins, the body’s natural painkiller, which promotes a feeling of well being and alleviates pain. When pain is managed and/or decreased it speeds up recovery time after a strenuous workout and eliminates subsequent risk of muscle strain. Massage Therapy is being incorporated into treatment of chronic illnesses, injury and recovery from surgery because of its ability to control and relieve pain without the need for medication. People with chronic pain turn to Massage Therapy to help naturally improve their quality of life. Fibromyalgia, Migraines, and Arthritis are chronic conditions that can be positively impacted by Massage. When you live with chronic pain, having a toolbox of strategies you turn to for pain relief is important. Massage can be a powerful tool for relaxing both mind and body. Managing your pain will allow you to increase your range of motion, lower your anxiety level, improve your mood, improve your sleep, and relieve your fatigue.
Everyone, at some point in their life, has suffered from having sore muscles, whether it be from exercising or from everyday activities, like sitting. Chronic back pain is one of the top reasons for missing work and can be the result of improper posture while sitting and standing. Carrying extra weight and repetitive or overuse movements are also causes of muscle strain. This strain often results in spasms, tense muscles and pain. Having relaxed muscles will reduce your pain, relieve tension and stiffness, reduce spasms and cramping, and promote healing. Using Massage Therapy on a regular basis will help you to get and maintain relaxed muscles.
Improved blood circulation allows the body to pump more oxygen and nutrients into your muscles, tissues and vital organs, which allows them to function effectively. The pressure created by the massage technique moves blood through the area and the release of that pressure causes new blood to flow in. The squeezing and pulling also flushes lactic acid from the muscles and improves the circulation of the lymph fluid which carries metabolic waste away from muscles and internal organs, resulting in lower blood pressure and improved body function. Improved circulation of lymph, the body’s natural defense, helps guard against illness and promotes toxin removal. Better blood circulation is part of the chain reaction that occurs in the body as a result of receiving massage therapy on a regular basis. A person with poor circulation can suffer from pooling of fluid in the extremities, cold hands and feet, fatigue and achiness created from an accumulation of lactic acid in the muscles. Good circulation brings damaged, tense muscles the oxygen rich blood they need to heal. Having improved circulation will enhance blood flow, naturally lower blood pressure, and improve body function.
Improves Flexibility and Range of Motion:
Muscle injuries are more common now than they were 50 years ago because we’re more sedentary. As we age our joints tend to tighten, making range of motion and flexibility even more restricted. Massage therapy is a beneficial treatment for maintaining and improving flexibility and motion. By working on muscles, connective tissues, tendons, ligaments, and joints, regular massage can improve your flexibility and range of motion, keeping your joints more fluid and making them less injury prone. Having improved flexibility and range of motion will allow you to maintain a healthy and active lifestyle at any age.
There’s a lot of neck and back tension today because of poor posture. When you hunch forward, your body isn’t properly aligned; it forces some muscles to be overworked while others are not used at all and get weak. Poor posture also causes you to press down on your internal organs, which affects digestion, circulation and breathing. Poor posture can be relaxing to correct because Massage Therapy can help get your body back on track. Allowing the body to reinforce healthy and natural movements can be one of the most beneficial aspects of Massage. Massage can relax and loosen the muscles made sore by bad posture, allowing your body to position itself in its natural-and pain-free-posture.
Promotes Deeper and Easier Breathing:
Constricted breathing is one of the telltale signs of anxiety and stress. When the body starts to take shallow short breaths instead of breathing at a natural pace, it is near impossible for one to reach a relaxed state. When the muscles around the rib cage and abdomen tighten they constrict airflow. Massage can help train the body how to relax and improve breathing. Respiratory issues, such as allergies, sinus problems, asthma and bronchitis can benefit from Massage Therapy. Tapotement is a Swedish Massage Stroke that relieves respiratory issues when performed on the back. It loosens mucus in the lungs and increases the airway clearance for better lung function. Having deep, easy breathing aids in relaxation, increases your energy level, and allows the mind to re-create relaxation before stress becomes chronic or damaging.
Strengthens the Immune System:
People who experience high levels of stress tend to get sick more than others. Combine stress with lack of sleep and poor nutrition, and our immune system’s ability to naturally protect itself against bacteria and infection is greatly reduced. Clinical studies have indicated that regular Massage can naturally increase the immune system’s cytotoxic capacity (the activity level of the body’s natural “killer cells”) and decrease the number of T-cells, which improves the body’s immune functioning overall. Having a strong immune system will help your body fight against bacteria and infection and enhance the body’s ability to get nutrients throughout the body
Improves Rehabilitation from Surgery or Injury:
The main goal of physical rehabilitation is to increase strength and flexibility; sometimes it ends before the area has been returned to its full pre-surgical or pre-injury state. Massage plays an important role as a supplement to standard rehabilitation procedures after surgery or injury. It encourages circulatory movement to help to bring blood and nutrients to the affected area to repair the soft tissue. Massage allows the rehabilitating area to become more flexible and heal at an accelerated rate. For surgery, Massage Therapy helps break up the scar tissue and adhesions. It also keeps the rehabilitation area supple which reduces the formation of excessive scar tissue. For injury, Massage therapy is used to aid in pain management as the injury is nursed back to full strength. Having an improved surgery or injury rehabilitation helps improve movement and flexibility and accelerates recovery.
It also keeps the rehabilitation area supple which reduces the formation of excessive scar tissue. For injury, Massage therapy is used to aid in pain management as the injury is nursed back to full strength. Having an improved surgery or injury rehabilitation helps improve movement and flexibility and accelerates recovery.
Emotional Benefits of Massage Therapy:
- Promotes a relaxed state of mental alertness
- Improves ability to monitor stress signals and respond appropriately
- Enhances capacity for calm thinking and creativity
- Satisfies needs for caring nurturing touch
- Fosters a feeling of well-being
- Reduces levels of anxiety
- Creates body awareness
- Increases awareness of mind-body connection
Conditions Which May be Improved by Routinely Receiving Massage Therapy:
- Stress-related tension
- Chronic fatigue
- Sleep disorders
- Problems with sleeping
- Asthma and Bronchitis
- Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction (TMJ)
- Musculo-Skeletal Disorders
- Foot pain
- Arthritis and aching joints
- Poor circulation
- High blood pressure
- Weak immune system
- Sports injuries
- Post-operative care
- Carpal tunnel/tennis elbow
- Cancer-related fatigue
- Smoking cessation
Massage Therapy for Tension Headaches and Migraines:
Many people suffer from chronic headaches or migraines. They can be debilitating and typically result from high stress levels and/or lack of sleep. Massage is a great way to manage stress and relieve tension- two of the main causes of tension and migraine headaches. A migraine is marked by moderate to severe pain and throbbing in the head, and can be accompanied by nausea as well as sensitivity to light. In some cases, these painful headaches are preceded or accompanied by a sensory warning sign, such as flashes of light, blind spots or tingling in your arm or leg. Management of migraine pain has improved dramatically because medications are much more effective. Additionally, alternative treatments like Massage have been found to reduce the frequency and severity of migraines. In a proactive role, Massage Therapy is received on a regular basis to help the body maintain an optimal level of relaxation and stress-relief. It reduces the chances of migraine attacks and tension headaches significantly by relaxing muscle spasms and trigger points. In a reactive role, Massage Therapy is done to ease the pressure brought on during a migraine or tension related headache. By focusing on the neck, shoulders, and head, a Massage can decrease the pain and discomfort brought on by a migraine or tension headache.
Massage Therapy for Fibromyalgia:
Fibromyalgia is associated with widespread chronic pain, fatigue, memory problems and mood changes. It occurs more often in women than in men, and is not a disease, but rather a syndrome that can be managed. One of the main symptoms of fibromyalgia is waking up tired, even if it seems you’ve received plenty of sleep. Deep sleep is truly beneficial to managing fibromyalgia as it is during this time that the restorative process occurs. After a Massage you’re likely to feel more relaxed and get a better night’s rest. So not only will a therapeutic massage help you wake more refreshed, but you may also experience less pain during the day. Massage Therapy for Fibromyalgia concentrates on techniques that encourage circulation in the muscles, which increases the flow of nutrients and eliminates waste products. This benefits those with Fibromyalgia as it can reduce heart rate, relax muscles, improve range of motion in joints and increase production of the body’s natural painkillers. Because fibromyalgia causes pain and makes your body extremely sensitive to touch, open lines of communication are vital when it comes to how much pressure your muscles can endure during your session. Not only does each Massage feel great, but the benefits are compounded when it is utilized frequently. The more you go, the healthier you will feel.
Massage Therapy for Arthritis:
Arthritis reduces the quality of life, and limits normal activities. The relaxation that results from a Massage helps break the cycle of pain and stress that often accompanies Arthritis. Massage Therapy reduces pain, lowers anxiety, improves joint movement, relaxes tense muscles, stimulates blood flow and improves grip strength. Massage can also help to lessen the reliance on medications. Additionally, a common thread between Arthritis Sufferers is lack of deep sleep. Regular Massage can help you get more deep sleep and it can also decrease your pain during the day.
Massage Therapy in Cancer Treatment:
Massage can be used as a complement to traditional, Western medicine. It is helpful in decreasing the stress and anxiety associated with cancer. Massage Therapy promotes relaxation and reduces cancer symptoms or side effects of treatment. There’s no evidence that Massage Therapy can stop Cancer’s growth or spread Cancer, but there are several benefits for people coping with cancer. Massage improves the quality of life and functioning. It lessens pain and strengthens the immune system by boosting the number of natural killer cells and lymphocytes (both known to play an important role in immune defense). Massage Therapy also increases levels of dopamine and serotonin, two mood-regulating brain chemicals. It’s critical for people with Cancer to consult their physicians before undergoing Massage Therapy. A few concerns to keep in mind: Massage may be uncomfortable for people who have received Radiation and people undergoing Chemotherapy may be more vulnerable to bruising.
The benefits of Massage Therapy comes from the purpose of the Massage and there are many for both. Massage can rid your body of life’s every day stresses, reduce muscle pain, alleviate discomfort from certain ailments or help restore balance to your body and mind, leaving you feeling rejuvenated and helping you maintain a life of wellness and good health.