Benefits of Massage Therapy and Relaxation

Breath in, breathe out and Relax…

After a long day or week at work one of the best things is to be able to take some time out and recuperate. One of the most known things about our lifestyles in this modern age is that a lot of people are under stress; with work deadlines, busy social lives and even more demanding family lives, your body creates tension and the stress hormone, cortisol. Cortisol is known to contribute to the lack of sleep, weight gain, digestive issues and headaches. Massage therapy is known to reduce these levels of cortisol within the body, therefore contributing to the improvement on relaxation, improving mood and reducing the level of stress on the body. As well as reducing these stress levels, regular massages can assist overall physical and mental well-being.

Reduces stress, tension, anxiety and depression

The body can work in many different ways, and the build-up of stress through our daily lives is often one of these results. The decreasing of this emotional and physical distress is important in order for us to help improve our personal wellbeing and health. As your bodies stress levels increase, so does the hormone which your body produces, cortisol. When you receive a sixty minute massage, these cortisol levels are known to reduce, while at the same time the bodies anti-pain hormone serotonin levels start to increase. This change within the hormones your body releases, asssit and helps you fight off pain, anxiety and feelings of sadness.

It is known that the emotional benefits from massages are equally as important as the physical. A massage helps offer a relaxing and peaceful environment, so you are able to refocus and find clarity. It often helps an individual connect through mind and body. The nurturing touch, assists with the need for human contact, bringing alongside, a sense of calm and inner tranquillity. These are all factors which can work towards helping relieve the tension and stress levels in the body.

Lower blood pressure

It has been found that regular massage and consistent sessions can help decrease blood pressure over time. With the reduction of the cortisol levels, comes a possibility to help regulate the bodies mood and reduce anxiety triggers, tension and depression. Massage therapy is often used for pre-hypertension. Long term studies have shown that a massage program can help reduce specific types of blood pressure by reducing cortisol stress-hormones levels, and therefore decreasing depression and anxiety as well as other further benefits.

Relax muscle tension

One of the main reasons why people opt for massages is to help reduce painful muscle tension, by eliminating those tensions and knots within the muscles. Massaging the tension of muscles and joints by reducing swelling helps the body to be able to relax overall. The technique used to reduce these swellings and joint pains can help increase the amount of nutrition’s and oxygen delivered to the affected area. This increase of activity to the tissues helps with stiffness and swelling in the muscles and the joints, while doing so the flexibility to the area minimises pain. The use of massage therapy releases endorphins that in turn boosts dopamine and serotine levels. The release of these hormones assist the body in many ways including physically as well as mentally.

Improve circulation

The improvement of circulation in the body often contributes to a snowball effect if regular massages are had. Moving rich healthy blood to the damaged tissue. The use of hands on pressure on the body can improve its blood circulation by moving blood through the damaged and congested tissue and muscles. Realising the pressure on the muscles helps new blood flow into these areas of tissue. Another benefit of massage therapy is that the movements and muscle manipulation increases the lactic acid within the muscles. This then results in the balancing of the lymph fluid circulation. This system helps carry metabolic waste from the internal organs and muscles; improving overall body function.

Stand up tall, improve your posture

When you get a massage, whether it is a full body massage or just the head, neck and shoulders, the body has the opportunity to relax, release tension and increase motion. Often when you have had a bad posture this release of tension and the muscles have a chance to relax. When the muscles relax your body is able to reposition itself in its natural corrected position. Massaging also helps with easing the pressure on joints. Depending on the type of massage you receive, the masseuse may be experienced in muscle manipulation, helping to relieve the knots and manipulate the pressure within the skeleton and help stretch your body out and realign, helping to improve your posture. Specialist massages such as these should be taken under professional guidance and you should seek advice from a chiropractor who has extensive knowledge in the field before proceeding with such activities.

Strengthen immune system

During our busy lifestyles, the implications of stress on the body partnered with poor nutrition and bad sleep patterns can take a massive toll on our bodies and the immune systems natural defense Along with all of the different benefits which we have explored so far in this article, another benefit of massage therapy is the effects it can have on an individuals immune system. We are all familiar with the positive attributes it has towards a persons wellbeing and overall mood, but it is also known to help the immune system. Massage can help fight common cold and flu symptoms as well as improve the way in which the immune system functions. Such massages as Swedish massage techniques are known to decrease Arginine Vasopressin, a hormone related to aggressive behaviour as well as the hormone cortisol (stress hormone) earlier discussed. Such benefits and ways in which regulate the nervous system, stimulating the circulatory system and lymphatic systems. It also helps alleviate arthritis and sciatica pain.

Helps with sleep

In order for your body to function at its optimal levels, and for you to be at your personal healthiest and for wellbeing, it is imperative for you to get enough sleep. It is advised that adults get a total of 7hours a night in order to achieve this, while children are dependent on age, but are more than adults. When your body does not achieve these levels of sleep, although you may think you are fine, your body in fact is not going to perform at the best levels in all areas. Such symptoms of lack of sleep your body may display include low working performance, slower reaction times, and fatigue issues, and furthermore result in lower moods and overall well-being.

It is often recommended that nutrition and exercise is incorporated into an individual’s lifestyle, and sleep quality is one of those factors. The release of cortisol from the body and the tensions within the muscles during a massage help relieve the recipient’s aches and pain, helping with the built up stress. The calming atmosphere and often essential oils help reduce the bodies stress levels, both contributing to the relaxation of a massage. With frequent massage therapy, the body is known to be able to deal with stress better, and therefore leading to a better, more peaceful nights sleep.

Source by Jenni Withnall

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