Benefits of Massage
Click on the links to read more about each benefit.
Our outwardly physical response to stress can vary from the habitually clenched jaw, tight shoulders, headaches, lack of mental clarity, or moodiness, to name a few.
Our internal response to stress is the activation of our stress response system which releases a surge of hormones. The release of cortisol (commonly known as the stress hormone) suppresses body functions that aren’t crucial in stressful moments such as digestion and immunity.
Long-term activation of the stress response system can disrupt several of your body’s processes linking stress to several symptoms and major disease
Studies show a decrease in cortisol levels and an increase in endorphin production (the feel good hormone) following therapeutic massage resulting in lower stress, relaxation, improved mood, and mental clarity.
Decreases muscle tension and pain - General
Daily sitting, posture, and/or repetitive motion among other things, can cause muscle tension, pain, and spasms anywhere in the body.
Therapeutic massage relaxes the contracted muscle and releases trigger points or “knots” that may be impairing blood flow which causes the tension and pain to begin with. A relaxed muscle free from restrictions increases circulation bringing fresh oxygen and nutrients to the affected muscles. Additional benefits include reduced swelling, stiffness and increased flexibility.
Decreases muscle tension and pain - Pregnancy & Labor
Coping with change even if it is a welcomed one can lead to physical and emotional tension within the body. As your body changes you may experience muscle tension (esp. upper & lower back), decreased flexibility, digestion issues (constipation, heartburn), excess fluid retention, and headaches.
Therapeutic massage releases muscle tension, relaxes the nervous system, increases endorphin production (the feel good hormone), increases removal of metabolic wastes and excess fluid, and helps to restores muscle and hormonal balance. A therapeutic touch during labor promotes muscle relaxation, decreased pain, and focused energy which promotes progress for you and your baby.
Decreases nerve impingement symptoms
- Carpal tunnel
- Tennis elbow
- Thoracic outlet syndrome
A constant contracted muscle restricts blood flow. When blood flow is restricted, nutrients and oxygen to muscle tissue cells are also restricted leading to pain. The affected muscle can also become inflamed and press on nerves causing referred pain, tingling, and numbness if left untreated.
Therapeutic massage relaxes the contracted muscle, aids in reducing inflammation and improves blood flow bringing fresh oxygen and nutrients to the affected muscles. All of this reduces the pressure imposed upon the impacted nerve.
Restores muscle balance
Poor posture, daily activities, or abnormal spinal curvatures such as scoliosis force muscles to compete against each other to keep your body aligned. Some muscles work extremely hard causing tightness while opposing muscles become weak creating a muscle imbalance. This can create muscle tension and cause undue stress (pain) on your joints.
Therapeutic massage relaxes tightened muscles while muscle strengthening techniques strengthen weakened muscles allowing your body to properly align itself into a healthy posture. Additional benefits include relaxed joints, increased mobility and reduced pain.
Accelerates rehabilitation and reduces scar tissue formation following injury or surgery
When you sustain an injury such as a sprained ankle or a twisted knee, or have experienced a surgical procedure, swelling and the development of scar tissue (adhesions) begins. This can restrict circulation of oxygen and nutrients to tissues and impair the removal of metabolic wastes causing pain and slow rehabilitation time.
Therapeutic massage techniques helps reduce scar tissue formation and swelling allowing for improved circulation and removal of irritating metabolic wastes which in turn encourages faster healing, mobility and relief from pain.
Improves athletic performance / Injury Prevention
Post exercise soreness and injuries are two things every athlete wants to avoid. Therapeutic massage improves circulation bringing fresh nutrients and oxygen to tissues and facilitates removal of irritating metabolic wastes encouraging relief from delayed onset muscle soreness.
Furthermore, by releasing muscle tension, improving joint mobility, improving range of motion, and restoring muscle balance, therapeutic massage helps to prevent injury caused by the chronically tight or favoring muscle.
Improves flexibility and range of motion
Feeling stiff, immobile or accident prone? Sedentary lifestyles, arthritis, and other joint mobility issues can make it difficult to move with ease and make us more prone to injury.
By applying therapeutic massage to relax and improve circulation to muscles and associated joints, tendons, and ligaments, your flexibility, range of motion and mobility can be improved.
Additional benefits include reduced pain and reduction in potential injuries.
Helps relieve headaches
There are several categories of headaches and varying contributing factors from hormone imbalances, blood pressure, stress, or structural defects such as chiari malformation.
When we are experiencing a headache our muscles tighten creating yet another cause of headaches – muscle tension. By relaxing muscles in the area of the neck, shoulders, and head, current headache discomfort and the chance of reoccurrence can be significantly reduced.
Furthermore, therapeutic massage stimulates relaxing hormones, reduces stress, reduces blood pressure, and helps to maintain hormone balance.
Improves immune system
Are you sick and tired of being sick and tired? Stress among other things play a factor on our body’s ability to combat bacteria, infection, and disease. Studies show that people who experience high levels of stress get sick more often.
Therapeutic massage has a positive impact on lowering stress by decreasing cortisol levels (stress hormone) and increasing relaxation. In addition, routine massage has shown to increase the body’s natural “killer” cell activity, increasing the body’s ability to fight bacteria.
Improves sleep patterns
Worry? Pain? Schedule change? Full moon? Who knows what keeps you awake at night leaving you to face the following day feeling sluggish and not at the top of your mental game. Lack of sleep can also increase depression, anxiety and forgetfulness.
Regular therapeutic massage eases pain, evokes feelings of calmness and relaxation, and reduces stress and anxiety to help you sleep better at night and improve memory function.
Reduces Anxiety and Depression
Studies conclude that massage therapy helps relieve depression and anxiety by affecting the body’s biochemistry. Cortisol (stress hormone) levels decrease as much as 53% and endorphin production (the feel good hormone) increases. Massage also increases serotonin and dopamine, which are both neurotransmitters that help reduce depression, anxiety, and stabilize your mood.
Additional benefits of therapeutic massage include relaxation of the nervous system, slower breath, increased blood circulation and oxygen to the brain, thereby promoting calmness, better sleep, attentiveness and awareness.
Evokes feelings of calmness and relaxation
A relaxed body is a happy body. Therapeutic massage relaxes the nervous system, slows the breath, and increases endorphin production (the feel good hormone). It also lowers blood pressure, reduces stress, improves sleep patterns, and relaxes muscles decreasing pain and tension.
Manages pain of chronic conditions
Managing pain from chronic conditions can have an impact on both your body and mind. Therapeutic massage reduces pain, blood pressure, depression, anxiety, and improves flexibility, mood, and sleep patterns.
Increases circulation of blood and lymph
Poor circulation of blood carrying nutrients and oxygen to muscle tissue cells and vital organs can lead to pain and impaired organ function. Poor lymph flow can inhibit your body’s ability to flush out metabolic wastes leaving you feeling sluggish and sore.
Therapeutic massage increases blood circulation bringing fresh nutrients to muscle tissues and vital organs and increases lymph circulation which removes irritating metabolic wastes that are responsible for pain and swelling.
Improved blood circulation to the brain may also decrease depression and anxiety, improving your mood, attentiveness and awareness. Other additional benefits of improved circulation include lowered blood pressure and improved body functions.