The Healing Power of Touch: 7 Reasons to Schedule a Massage
You’ve probably heard that a massage is good for you. After all, the practice can remove toxins and help you relax, but were you aware that massage provides so many other health benefits?
From headaches to injuries to irritable bowel, massage therapy offers a solution to many of today’s ailments.
1. You’re Stressed to the Max
You woke up late again. The commute to work takes two hours. Your boss is a micro-manager. Whatever the reason, you’re stressed.
Consider scheduling a Swedish massage to relieve some of the stress and anxiety currently building under your skin. This form of massage relaxes and energizes you through a series of movements with tapping, vibration, kneading and long strokes.
Massage can lower your cortisol levels and reduce Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) symptoms which affect up to 16 percent of adults. It may take a few weeks for your body to adjust, especially for those with chronic anxiety and stress.
2. You Work Out on a Regular Basis
If you’ve ever gone a long time without exercising, then made P90X3 your New Year’s Resolution fitness program, you probably know what muscle soreness is all about.
Anytime you try a new sport or workout, the release of lactic acid that covers your muscles after strenuous activity, can leave you feeling sore for days. A deep massage focuses on those deeper layers of muscle and the connective tissue. This technique uses forceful strokes that may be slower than the Swedish massage technique.
If you exercise on a regular basis, consider massage therapy to help reduce muscle tension, encourage relaxation, increase your range of motion and decrease delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS).
3. You’re an Athlete
Whether you play for the NBA or play like you should, massage therapy could be your best friend.
Athletes are not immune from DOMS and most professional sports leagues provide massage therapy to their players. Athletes can benefit from deep massage or sports massage which incorporates movements to help prevent and treat injuries.
Massage can also help alleviate fibromyalgia, myofascial pain syndrome, soft tissue strains and sports injuries, as well as manage your heart rate and diastolic blood pressure after strenuous activity.
4. You’re Injured or Have Chronic Pain
Chronic pain sufferers should check with their physician about including massage therapy into their treatment plan as it could help manage pain.
The trigger point massage technique works the tight muscle fibers that gather into “knots” in your muscles after an injury or from overuse. According to the Foundation for Peripheral Neuropathy, neuropathy massage could alleviate lower back pain, paresthesia, nerve pain, arthritis, spasms and cramping by releasing the tension and increasing endorphins to fight pain.
Massage therapy can increase flexibility, range of motion and improve circulation which may prevent symptoms from occurring from other conditions. For example, by massaging the lymph system, therapists can manipulate lymph nodes into releasing toxins and “flushing” the system to reduce inflammation and edema.
5. You Suffer from Headaches or Migraines
Various triggers, such as chronic stress, high anxiety, bright lights, strong smells or spinal misalignment, can prompt headaches or migraines. If you experience headaches on a frequent basis, then a medical massage may be just what the doctor ordered.
This type of massage is typically done by a therapist under a physician’s order. The massage therapist analyzes your condition and makes suggestions on how to relieve your headaches or migraines while working cooperatively with your health care team.
Massage therapy can also help sufferers experiencing poor sleep quality, low concentration, low energy and fatigue – all of which can trigger headaches. Massage therapy is also known for removing toxins from the body as well as help create a relaxed state of mind.
6. You have Digestive Disorders
When you hear the word “massage” you may picture a masseuse working the muscles in your back, but a massage therapist can actually use techniques to relieve your irritable bowel syndrome symptoms.
Massage therapy is beneficial in stimulating the colon and relaxing the muscles which can relieve constipation and tummy bloat. The therapist can manipulate acupressure points that work these areas as well as reduce abdominal cramping.
7. You Need “Me” Time
Sometimes you need to just get away from the hectic day-to-day routine and focus on “me” time.
Parents of young children or career professionals should consider a massage as an easy and healthy way to relax. At least 22 percent of people report receiving a massage from a spa, but that is not the only place they are available. Massages are available at individual locations, chiropractor offices, physical therapy facilities, hotels and resorts, salons and health clubs.
Some massage therapists will come to your home or workplace for a session and many of these professionals have repeat clients.
The practice of massage therapy continues to grow as more Americans are experiencing the healing touch from these techniques. Currently, there are an estimated 325,000 to 375,000 therapists and massage school students in the country. Schedule yourself a massage today and start feeling better tomorrow.