That moment when you lay on the massage as table soft music wafts through the air and the table is warm even before your therapist even enters the room you feel like the world is drifting away. Once the session gets underway, your work day is a distant memory, your low back pain doesn’t grab your attention anymore. It’s just a 60 minute relaxation massage… Or is it?
But what if that hour of massage did more for you than just take the pressures of the day away? What if that gentle, Swedish massage helped you combat cancer? What if bodywork helped you recover from a strained hamstring in half the time? What if your sleep, digestion and mood all improved with massage and bodywork? What if these weren’t just “what ifs”?
Why is just feel good massage helping in so many other ways?
Massage as a healing tool has been around for thousands of years in many cultures. Touching is a natural human reaction to pain and stress. Our natural reaction to injury is to apply pressure or to rub or “massage” the pain away. The same was true of our earliest ancestors. Healers throughout time and throughout the world have instinctually and independently developed a wide range of therapeutic techniques using touch. Many are still in use today, and with good reason. Now we have scientific proof of the wide range of benefits massage can offer. Some of the benefits are but not limited to treating the aches and pains of the modern lifestyle. Having a massage does more than just relax your body and mind. Research has shown that specific physiological and psychological changes which occur. It is even more evident when massage is received more frequently it’s a cumulative effect much like exercise.
The Consequences of Stress
Massage can combat the negative symptoms stress can cause in our lives. The physical changes massage brings to your body are not limited to increasing relaxation and decreasing anxiety, lowering your blood pressure, increasing circulation, improving recovery from injury, helping you to sleep better and can increasing your ability to concentration. Also, It reduces fatigue and gives you more energy to handle stressful situations.
It’s undoubtedly a wonderful thing when your therapist begins working out those stress-tightened muscles, and your week’s troubles being to fade. But, who know that this treatment only gets better the more often you get it.
What You Already Know: The Benefits of Massage
You might be asking what does this drug free option really do for us? What exactly are the benefits?
– Increases circulation, allowing the body to pump more oxygen and nutrients into tissues and vital organs.
– Stimulates the flow of lymph, the body’s natural defense system, against toxic invaders. For example, in breast cancer patients, massage has been shown to increase the cells that fight cancer.
– Increased circulation of blood and lymph systems improves the condition of the body’s largest organ – the skin.
– Relaxes and softens injured and overused muscles
– Reduces spasms and cramping
– Increases joint flexibility.
– Reduces recovery time, helps prepare for strenuous workouts and eliminates subsequent pains of the athlete at any level.
– Releases endorphins – the body’s natural painkiller – and is being used in chronic illness, injury and recovery from surgery to control and relieve pain.
– Reduces post-surgery adhesions and edema and can be used to reduce and realign scar tissue after healing has occurred.
– Improves range-of-motion and decreases discomfort for patients with low back pain.
– Relieves pain for migraine sufferers and decreases the need for medication.
– Provides exercise and stretching for atrophied muscles and reduces shortening of the muscles for those with restricted range of motion.
– Assists with shorter labor for expectant mothers, as well as less need for medication, less depression and anxiety, and shorter hospital stays.
Other Body Therapies
There are many more therapies out there than just Swedish massage all of them geared toward helping you be more mobile with less pain. Take some time to talk to your therapist about what modalities they specialize in and which ones are the best fit for your lifestyle and goals.