Massage…More Than A Luxury?

Photo by Andrew Stamm

Massage…More Than A Luxury?

Modern thought is that massage therapy is a luxury and only good for pampering. However, if one considers recent studies that are showing 90% of disease in the body is stress related and massage therapy is a tool to help manage stress, it may be beneficial to reconsider this outlook on receiving a massage. Rather than viewing it as a simple luxury, massage therapy can play a helpful and necessary role in a personal health care plan. The following list of benefits can help you determine how massage therapy plays a part in your personal healthcare goals.

The Physical Benefits of Massage
Listed below are some of the physical benefits that massage therapy has on the body:

-Increases immunity by stimulating lymph (the body’s natural defense) flow
-Decreased muscle tension
-Increased circulation to the arms and legs
-Reduced heart rate and slower respiration
-Increased joint and muscular function
-Increased range of motion
-Increased oxygen and nutrients that are absorbed by the body’s vital organs and tissues
-Reduced pain
-Allows the body to be more receptive to movement
-Allows the body to perform with fluid motion

The benefits listed above are experienced after receiving one massage therapy treatment. Imagine what the benefits are after receiving several treatments! Below is a list of the long term physical benefits of massage:

-Improved posture alignment
-Increased body awareness – this is helpful in preventing tension and pain build up in the body before it reached a critical point of physical dysfunction
-Decreased joint stiffness and pain experienced by arthritis sufferers
-Increased capacity for the nervous system to process sensory stimulus – this is helpful in allowing one to effectively deal with challenges in life

The Mental/Emotional Benefits of Massage
As human beings, our body/mind are so interconnected that when there is stress in the mind it shows up in the body as pain and physical discomfort. Just as well, when there is pain in the body it creates a feeling of anxiety and stress on the mind. Take a look below at some of these healing benefits:

-Increased production of endorphins and seratonin
-Reduced anxiety and depression
-Increased clarity
-Overall sense of well-being
-Enhanced sleep
-Increased energy and reduced fatigue

How Frequent Massage Helps
The overall benefit to receiving a massage on a frequent basis is that it increases body awareness. Increased body awareness is a key to well-being because it is helpful in detecting signals of pain or stress in the body before it becomes a debilitating issue. When the body is feeling at its best, it is ultimately easier to deal with the events in life and living life to the fullest. You can test this for yourself by scheduling a massage one time per week for a month and then evaluate from there. However, if this is not a realistic option for you at this time, then take a moment to review your session goals and discuss them with your massage therapist. Together you can come up with a treatment plan that is right for you.

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