Many Benefits of Massage
since humans had the ability to rub a painful spot, massage has been an
integral part of long-lasting health. Massage is more than
just relaxation and pampering! Although, those are wonderful benefits
they are not the exclusive reasons to do
your body good and go get a massage.
has no known side effects and
studies show the more often you receive one, the
greater the benefits:
- Reduces stress and anxiety
- Besides a good nature walk in Falls Park, massage is a wonderful way
to relieve your body of stress. Massage increases serotonin production,
easing anxiety and depression. Elevated levels of the stress hormone cortisol
have been clinically shown in trials to directly suppress immune system
functioning and have been directly linked to depression, stress and
many diseases including cancer. Take preventative action or compliment
traditional medicine with a stress-reducing massage.
- Ease migraine headaches -
Massage therapy decreased the occurrence of headaches, sleep
disturbances and distress symptoms and increased serotonin levels in
adults with migraine headaches. Hernandez-Reif, M.,
Field, T., Dieter, J., Swerdlow. & Diego, M., (1998). Migraine
headaches were reduced by massage therapy. International
Journal of Neuroscience, 96, 1-11.
Therapy and lavender essential oil
to my clients who suffer from frequent headaches.
I often recommend
- Increases joint flexibility
Thai Massage is
especially good for this, because there are a lot of arm and leg
stretches, creating space to open up the joints and stimulate synovial
fluid production. The fluid provides for more cushion adding a spring
to your step and lubicration, reducing that grinding feeling in the
rotator cuff. Even if you don't like stretches, gentle
movements of the limbs help, too.
- Improves rest and sleep -
Massage shifts the balance from the sympathetic (fight or flight
response) to the parasympathetic, which allows us to rest and repair.
Often, massage can be so relaxing that clients often fall asleep during
- Increases circulation in overused
muscles - Sports enthusiasts and athletes
alike benefit from massage 24 hours before an event or after
exercising. Soreness is greatly reduced by increasing blood
flow especially to the muscle groups targeted during the workout or
sporting event. Increased circulation means faster repair of
tissues and easier removal of the body's metabolic wastes (like
phosphates, CO2, and nitrogen compounds).
- Helps Mothers-to-Be relax and prepare
- Expectant mothers can appreciate a good pregnancy massage
for so many reasons: stabilization of hormone levels, an increase of
lympathic circulation reducing fatigue, sedation of the nervous system
for much-needed rest and relaxation, and increased blood flow
throughout the body, including the placenta. (This short list is
referenced from Elaine Stillerman's book Mother Massage).
- Reduces spasms and cramping
- The combination of proper nutrition and a good massage will increase
the blood flow to chronically tight (aka ischemic) muscles,
so they get the nutrients they have long been needing.
- Facilitates the body’s natural
detoxification process - Massage improves the
lymphatic system's circulation, which plays a crucial role in your
body's ability to heal from illness and injury. Negative effects of
lymph stagnation can include oedema (water retention),
frequent colds, and headaches. Periodic detoxing (e.g. two
weeks each spring and fall) is highly complimented by
massage. ***If your immune system is already taxed or you're
taking any prescription medications, it is especially important to
consult your doctor before beginning your detox program.***
- Relaxes the body, mind, mood, and
spirit - Sometimes we all just need to stop and take time to
surrender to relaxation. Let the mind wander, allow the
spirit to flourish and feel all bodily tension melt away.
Touch Research Institute was established in 1992, and has produced over
100 studies on the positive effects of touch on varying age groups and
medical conditions. On their website they give an extensive list from
Aggression to Spinal Cord Injuries:
has a wonderful benefits list: