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There’s nothing quite as relaxing as a massage. Many treat going for a massage like going to the doctors: don’t do it unless necessary. This, however, should not be the case.
If you’ve never had a massage, you’re missing out on a lot of potential health benefits both physical and mental. The list of ailments that massage can relieve is ever-increasing and far-reaching, and more and more people are seeking massage to treat their symptoms.
If you’re not convinced, read on and learn about the ways that the effects of massage can help you.
This one may seem obvious, but massage is an excellent way to lower your stress levels and give you a sense of calm. Massage forces a relaxation response in the body, which works to kill the stress-causing chemicals coursing through you.
People go to massage therapists every day for stress relief, as it helps loosen tight muscles, and gives you and your body a quiet time and place to just relax. Massage therapy also reduces blood pressure, in turn lowering your stress levels and promoting heart health!
All types of massage will help lower your stress level, so if you’re a busy person, a hard-working mother, or anywhere in-between, you could probably benefit from just a weekly visit to a massage therapist.
Boost Your Mental Health
Studies show that getting a massage not only helps with physical ailments, but with your mental health, too!
Sufferers of anxiety and depression can often find relief through massage therapy. In an eight week study performed on HIV patients with depression, massage was found to reduce these symptoms significantly, and another study done on cancer patients with anxiety showed similar results. This just goes to show how intensely massage therapy can help with even the worst forms of depression.
Reduce & Manage Pain
Many people are recommended massage therapy after suffering an injury or experiencing chronic pain. Getting a massage relaxes your muscle tissues and causes a relaxation response, which is responsible for slowing your heart rate and breathing, lowering the production of stress hormones, and relaxing you overall.
Muscle pain happens when tight muscles contract, and getting a massage forces those muscles to relax and heal. It has also been found to reduce inflammatory cytokines in the body, which are partially responsible for causing inflammation and pain in muscles. If you’ve suffered a torn, pulled muscle or any related injury, getting a massage will always offer relief.
If you experience regular headaches, massage could be the natural answer you’re looking for.
Tension headaches are frequently caused by tight muscles or trigger points in the neck and back, so getting these worked out can do a lot to help relieve you of headache symptoms. Massage also helps with circulation, helps you relax, and increases endorphins, all of which can help with pain, even in the head.
Improve Your Physical Fitness
Are you someone who likes to work out and play sports? If you are, massage can be very beneficial for you in the long and short run.
Athletic massage helps to relieve the muscles after a hard workout, preventing injuries related to working out like pulled or torn muscles. It strengthens the muscles and prepares them for future workouts, meaning sports massage can actually make you a better athlete.
The list of benefits massage gives sports players and fitness fanatics is long, including increasing your range of motion, reducing swelling, improving soft tissue function, and delaying muscle pain. Massage is really a no-brainer if you fit into this category.
What Type of Massage Should I Get?
There are a lot of different types of massage, so it’s important to get the right kind to relieve your symptoms.
Chiropractic massage focuses on the spine and works wonders to relieve stress and pain throughout the body. The spine is at the center of many bodily processes, so you’d be surprised how much can be fixed simply by massaging and manipulating it. For this, you’ll need to visit a practiced chiropractor.
Soft tissue massage is all about the muscles, ligaments, and more surface-level connective tissues throughout the body. It can relieve pain in the muscles and soft-tissue areas and is frequently used to heal injuries. If you’re aching or in pain, a soft tissue massage may be recommended to you.
A trigger point is a specific tight area in the body that causes pain in other parts of the body, so trigger point massage is used to work these out and relieve pain. You can easily have one or more trigger points without realizing it, and these could be causing pain in many parts of the body. Trigger point massage will usually be done by a massage therapist upon finding a trigger point.
If you have chronic pain or aches, a deep tissue massage might also be done. With a deep tissue massage, the massage therapist relaxes the more shallow layers of muscles in order to get to the deeper ones. This offers pain relief for more serious and deeper-set pain and is often used for injuries, or even to relieve high blood pressure.
The type of massage you need is best decided by your massage therapist after an assessment of your pain or discomfort. If you’re hesitant or unsure about your needs, don’t be afraid to discuss them with your massage therapist so they can find the best course of action.
Can I Benefit From the Effects of Massage Therapy?
Whether you have chronic pain, headaches, or just need to relax, the effects of massage could be extremely beneficial for you. Many wait until they absolutely need a massage to get one, but simply taking the time to get one and experience that hour of quiet and calm can be life-changing. Get a massage and see what it can do for you; you won’t be disappointed.
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