How Massage Affects Your Body and Health
Have you ever thought about getting a massage after an intense workout session? The effects of a massage can go either way – it might relax you or energize you… but that’s not only what a massage can do! A massage has numerous health benefits for the body, which you may not be not familiar with.
If you browse the internet to find proof of its benefits, you will find hundreds of studies that date back 10 to 20 years, talking about how massage helps ease sore muscles and has very real psychological and physical benefits.
A few general benefits of massage include:
- Improved circulation (helps improve waste elimination and nourishes cells)
- Physical relaxation
- Relief from tight muscles and other pains and aches
- Enhanced vitality and energy
- Great range of motion and flexibility
- Release of carpel tunnel (never compression)
- Might heal tendon, scar tissue, muscle tears and ligament
1. Fights Symptoms of Fibromyalgia
Fibromyalgia is a condition characterized by tenderness, fatigue and muscle pain. These symptoms are exacerbated by lack of sleep and stress. Getting a massage done that is specifically catered to fibromyalgia patients helps alleviate spasms, discomforts and muscle pain. When the specific area in the body is massaged, the production level of naturally-occurring chemicals increases in the body, which reduces fatigue and pain.
2. Improves Mood
There’s a direct line of connection between your mood and depression. A massage helps lower the cortisol level in the body, which gives you energy to fight stress. Due to this, the level of feel-good hormones dopamine and serotonin increase in the body, which gives you a relaxing feeling.
3. Provides Relief from Headaches
Another problem that is triggered by poor sleep and stress is headache. The light pressure of fingertips on the forehead helps relieve tension and a fabulous stretch around the hairline releases knots and allows the hormones to flow into the brain and throughout the body. This is what puts you in a relaxed state.
4. Increases Flexibility
If you are an athlete or exercise more than three times a week, then you know how much stress your knees handle during a run. Often, with time, adults in their mid-40 lose some motion in their hips, which makes it more difficult for them to perform any function freely. Through massage, these working muscles are kneaded and stretched to remove all the kinks and knots. It maintains flexibility by working the ligaments, tendons and connective tissue. This stimulates retention and production of natural lubricants present between the body’s connective tissue fibers.
5. Improves the Immune System
Our immune system is what allows us to function properly in our daily life. When that is compromised, everything in our body starts to shut down and thus begins the long line of health problems and diseases. It is believed that a good massage can help reduce emotional and physical pain in the patients of leukemia and breast cancer. When these patients are massaged, stress is regulated and blood flows into areas that are associated with mood. This stimulates the pressure receptors and increases vagal activity (a major nerve of the nervous system). This promotes digestion, breathing and heart rate.
Now that you know what health benefits a massage offers, it makes very good sense for all the reasons listed here, to get one at least once a month. Moreover, to get the ball rolling after coming home from a vigorous run, sit down on the sofa, stretch your legs and give yourself a massage by kneading your calves. You will immediately feel the change in your body.