How Massage Works: Health Benefits And Beyond
Massage is not just a luxury indulgence – it can also provide significant physical and mental health benefits. Whether you’re seeking relief from chronic pain, trying to reduce stress and anxiety, or simply looking for a way to prioritize your well-being, massage can be a valuable tool in your self-care toolkit.
Today we want to look deeper at how massage works from a health-benefit perspective while exploring the benefits of different massages. We’re passionate about self-care as more than an indulgence; the massage benefits we explore in this article can enhance your health and help you be more present for your family and yourself.
So, whether you’re a massage aficionado or a newcomer to the world of bodywork, read on to learn more about the benefits of massage and how you can incorporate it into your self-care routine. (Then, if you live in the River Region, book your massage near Montgomery, AL at our gorgeous spa.)
Different Types Of Massage And Their Benefits
Massage therapy comes in many different forms, each with its own unique set of benefits. Here are some of the most common types of massage and their benefits:
Swedish Massage Health Benefits
- Uses long, smooth strokes, kneading, and circular movements on the topmost layers of muscles.
- Promotes relaxation, eases muscle tension, and improves circulation.
- Can be a good choice for those who are new to massage or who have sensitive skin.
Deep Tissue Massage Health Benefits
- Uses slow, forceful strokes to target deeper layers of muscles and connective tissue.
- Helps with chronic pain, limited mobility, and recovery from injuries.
- Can be uncomfortable at times but results in lasting relief.
Sports Massage Health Benefits
- Designed for athletes and active individuals.
- Helps with injury prevention and recovery, improves flexibility, and enhances performance.
- Can be tailored to specific sports or activities.
Prenatal Massage Heatlh Benefits
- Designed specifically for pregnant women.
- Helps with back pain, joint stiffness, and muscle tension associated with pregnancy.
- Can be done safely during any trimester with a qualified massage therapist.
While the different types of massage can be used to address specific conditions, this article aims to explore massage health benefits a little more in-depth. Speak to your masseuse about the massage technique best for your unique circumstances and health concerns.
Massage For Pain Relief
Chronic pain is a common issue that affects millions of people worldwide. Whether you suffer from lower back pain, arthritis, or fibromyalgia, chronic pain can be debilitating and negatively impact your quality of life. Fortunately, massage can be an effective way to alleviate chronic pain and promote healing in the body. Here’s how:
- Reduces Inflammation: Inflammation is a leading cause of chronic pain, and massage has been shown to reduce inflammation in the body. By promoting circulation and lymphatic drainage, massage can help flush out toxins and reduce inflammation, which can lead to a reduction in pain.
- Promotes Relaxation: Chronic pain can lead to stress and tension in the body, which can exacerbate pain symptoms. Massage promotes relaxation by releasing endorphins – natural painkillers – and reducing stress hormones like cortisol. By promoting relaxation and reducing stress, massage can help alleviate chronic pain symptoms.
- Improves Range of Motion: Chronic pain can lead to stiffness and limited range of motion, which can further exacerbate pain symptoms. Massage can help improve range of motion by releasing tight muscles and improving joint flexibility. This can help reduce pain and increase mobility.
- Triggers the Relaxation Response: The relaxation response is a natural response of the body that promotes healing and reduces pain. Massage can trigger the relaxation response by slowing down the heart rate, lowering blood pressure, and promoting deep relaxation. This can lead to a reduction in pain symptoms.
According to a 2016 study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, massage was an effective treatment for chronic low back pain, with participants who received massage reporting significantly less pain and improved function compared to those who received usual care. Other studies have shown that massage can effectively reduce pain symptoms in conditions like arthritis and fibromyalgia.
Mental Health Benefits Of Massage
In addition to the physical benefits, massage therapy can provide various mental health benefits. Here are some of the ways that massage can help support your emotional and mental well-being:
Reduces Stress And Anxiety
Massage has been shown to help reduce feelings of stress and anxiety. The relaxation response triggered by massage can help lower cortisol levels – a hormone associated with stress – and increase the production of endorphins, which are natural mood-boosters.
Poor sleep can hurt both your physical and mental health. Massage therapy can help improve sleep quality by promoting relaxation and reducing muscle tension. In fact, a 2015 study published in the Journal of Clinical Nursing found that massage therapy helped improve sleep quality in patients with fibromyalgia.
Massage therapy can help improve mood by reducing feelings of anxiety, depression, and stress. A 2012 study published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine found that participants who received a 45-minute massage experienced significant improvements in their mood and levels of anxiety compared to those who received a placebo treatment.
Helps with Depression
Massage therapy can also be an effective complementary treatment for depression. A 2010 study published in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry found that massage therapy helped reduce symptoms of depression in patients with chronic pain.
The mental health benefits of massage can help support your overall well-being and quality of life. Incorporating regular massage therapy into your self-care routine can help promote relaxation, reduce stress, and improve your mood.
Additional Physical Benefits Of Massage
Boosts Immune System
Massage therapy has been shown to boost the immune system by increasing the activity level of white blood cells. A 2010 study published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine found that participants who received a 45-minute Swedish massage experienced an increase in lymphocytes – a type of white blood cell that helps defend against disease.
Poor posture can lead to chronic pain and muscle tension. Massage therapy can help improve posture by releasing tension in muscles and increasing flexibility in joints. This can help alleviate pain and improve overall body mechanics.
Enhances Athletic Performance
Massage therapy can help enhance athletic performance by improving range of motion, reducing muscle soreness, and promoting relaxation. A 2016 study published in the International Journal of Sports Physical Therapy found that massage therapy was effective in reducing muscle soreness and improving range of motion in athletes.
Lowers Blood Pressure
Massage therapy can help lower blood pressure by promoting relaxation and reducing stress hormones like cortisol. A 2013 study published in the International Journal of Preventive Medicine found that participants who received a 10-minute hand massage experienced a significant reduction in blood pressure compared to those who received no massage.
Overall, regular massage therapy can provide a range of physical benefits that can help support your overall health and well-being. Whether you’re an athlete looking to improve performance or simply looking to enhance your immune system and posture, massage therapy can be a valuable tool in your self-care toolkit.
Benefitting From Massage Heatlh Benefits Near Montgomery, AL
At AMS Studios, we opened our doors because we are passionate about self-care. We created our VIP Massage Membership to help you incorporate massage therapy into your routine for a price that can’t be beat. To learn more and start enjoying massage health benefits near Montgomery, AL click here.