Most people view professional massages as a luxurious treat; a gift for a friend or loved one, or something you splash out on for yourself if you’re feeling stressed, but massage is so much more than this.
The comfort experienced by another person touching you extends beyond mere physical relief. It can be a rich source of emotional and physical comfort for a variety of symptoms and conditions. It is a hugely beneficial therapy for the body’s largest, and mostly commonly overlooked organ, the skin. Here are just a few of the benefits of massage.
Alleviate Stress and Assist in Relaxation
In the modern fast paced world many people find it difficult to ‘switch off’ and relax. Ailments due to stress are numerous, from insomnia to panic attacks, and many people need to retrain their bodies to learn relax. Massage is one such effective technique.
Alleviate Back Pain
For many people emotional stress manifests itself physically as back or neck pain. Professional massage can help by exercising and stretching weak, tight, or atrophied muscles. It can also help to reduce muscle spasms and cramping as well as soften injured, tired or overused muscles.
Help Treat Depression and Anxiety
Massage is also an effective treatment for stress, anxiety and depression. It encourages the body to relax and stills the mind. Massage helps to stimulate the release of endorphins which creates a calmer, happier state of mind.
By releasing physical tension, massage can help to ease emotional burdens, reducing anxiety and helping ease the weight of depression.
Massage is also known to help improve the quality of a person’s sleep, an important factor in treating depression and anxiety. Massage helps improve concentration, boost energy and assist in joint flexibility.
Effective Pain Management
Massage can be used to treat pain as the release of endorphins via amino acids, the body’s natural pain relief system. Massaging muscles prompts chemical changes within the body, helping oxygen and nutrients to access tissues and vital organ, aiding circulation, an important aspect of your body’s health.
Enhance Your Immune System
Massage has a very positive effect on the body’s immune system as it stimulates lymph flow, the body’s natural defense system against illness. It also promotes tissue regeneration which can help reduce scar tissue and stretch marks.
Professional athletes commonly rely on massage to help ease injuries, prepare their bodies for the optimum performance and to help manage their bodies to keep them in the best possible condition.
Massage is also increasingly used as a post-surgery therapy treatment to help reduce adhesions and swelling. It is used as a highly effective treatment for arthritis aches and stiffness In asthma sufferers it is used to help pulmonary function and increase air flow into the lungs. Burns victims, premature infants, sufferers of mental illnesses and people with high blood pressure all benefit from massage.
The full benefits of touch as a therapy are yet to be fully understood and harnessed, but increasingly practitioners recognise its value as a tool to encourage and promote health.