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Massage Therapy dates back thousands of years. Hippocrates defined medicine as “The Art of Rubbing.” Many ancient people including the Ancient Greeks, Egyptians, Chinese and Indians were convinced of the therapeutic properties of massage therapy and used it for the treatment of a variety of ailments.
Massage is generally considered as part of complementary and integrative medicine. It's increasingly being offered along with standard treatment for a wide range of medical conditions and situations. This form of therapy involves hands-on techniques by rubbing, pressing or manipulating the muscles and soft tissues to provide effective treatment and other benefits like increase circulation, relieve tension, reduce stress, relieve anxiety, improve sleep, and promote relaxation throughout the entire body. Licensed massage therapists are highly-trained and well-versed in anatomy and physiology, and they use their expertise to improve wellness in a variety of ways.
One of the immediate benefits of massage is a feeling of deep relaxation and calmness. This occurs because massage prompts the release of endorphins, the brain chemicals (neurotransmitters) that produce feelings of wellbeing. Levels of stress hormones are also reduced. Therefore, massage therapy provides a great number of benefits on your physical and mental health. No matter your line of work, regular massage therapy can increase your health, well-being, and stamina.
Regular massage sessions provide many benefits to the human body. Evidence has shown that massage therapy can improve overall physical health by increasing the immune system function, decreasing heart rate, decreasing blood pressure, and lowering stress, just to name a few. The purpose of massage therapy is to target the source of the body’s pain via eliminating tense muscles, increasing flexibility, and providing relaxation to the affected muscles as well as the body as a whole. It also helps promote circulation to the affected or injured muscles which helps in early healing, reducing edema and improves flexibility to reduce pain. Moreover, this form of therapy helps release endorphins (pain killing hormones) which assist the body in many ways by promoting healing, pain management and feelings of euphoria, as well as help to calm the nerves.
Regular massage therapy sessions have been found to reduce blood pressure levels. In fact, some long-term studies have shown that a consistent massage program can reduce both systolic (upper number) and diastolic (lower number) blood pressure. This further helps in reducing risks of heart attack, stroke and many other health issues.
Massage also promotes improved circulation via the use of hands-on pressure, which moves the blood through the damaged and congested areas of the body. Furthermore, the squeezing, twisting, and pulling action of the massage technique also helps remove lactic acid from the muscle tissues. As a result, this action improves the lymph fluid circulation, which carries metabolic waste products away from internal organs and muscles. This results in an overall improved bodily function.
Many people experience neck, back and muscle pain due to incorrect or poor posture, being overweight and repetitive or overuse movements. Massage therapy can help get the body back into proper alignment. In fact, improving one’s posture can be one of the most beneficial and relaxing aspects of massage therapy. Massage allows the body to relax and loosen the muscles made tense and sore via bad posture. Moreover, the joints have greater freedom, flexibility, range of motion, and pressure points are also relieved. Due to this, the body is able to position itself in an organic and healthy posture. In short, massage therapy helps to correct the positions and movements developed over time as a reaction to pain.
Studies have indicated that regular massage sessions not only help reduce stress, but can also boost the immune system’s capacity to fight and enhances the body’s ability to deliver nourishment. Just like regular exercise can keep the body fine-tuned, regular massage therapy can help keep the immune system strong and resilient. Moreover, massage therapy can be a great addition to any exercise program.
Studies have shown that massage therapy provides great benefits for mental therapy. Many studies have found a significant reduction in depressive symptoms following engagement in a massage therapy program. It is believed that massage helps reduce the level of stress hormones in the body, produce feelings of comfort and connection as a result of caring physical contact. Massage therapy also helps relieve conditions such as anxiety, stress, depression, anorexia, irritability and many other mental health conditions resulting in an improved mood, increased productivity at work, feeling of euphoria and improved mental health which ultimately results in improved physical health.
Depression and anxiety are two of the most common mental health issues, and both can negatively impact lives. Researches have shown that massage therapy activates neurotransmitters that can decrease anxiety and lower stress hormone levels. This results in improving mood and increasing feel – good neurotransmitters.
When people become relaxed, their heart rate, blood pressure, oxygen consumption, and salivary cortisol levels decrease. This helps reduce stress, anxiety and depression like symptoms. Therefore, being physically well also helps with improvement of mental health.
Many people with life-threatening illnesses or diseases often experience anxiety and depression that can exacerbate their condition. Massage therapy can greatly increase quality of life, freeing up mental and physiological resources to fight off the disease. Many physicians recommend massage as a complementary therapy to medical care for its healing power and low incidence of side effects.
It is proven that massage helps reduce stress levels which results in increased production and improved efficiency at workplaces. Many organizations hire massage therapists to lower employee stress levels and improve productivity. Not only can a massage break feel good and improve morale, research shows it can also improve workplace efficiency.
Ultimately, being a happier person can have an infinite number of effects on their personal life and the lives of those around them.