3 Essential Benefits of Massage
October 27th, 2020 by David Martin
Massage is no mere form of self-indulgence. While getting a massage certainly can be pleasurable, massage therapy also contributes to improving health and well-being in important ways, and is thus a powerful therapeutic tool that more people should take advantage of. Read on to find the three essential benefits of massage.
- Alleviation of muscle tension. As muscles are used, they are likely to become tight and to develop adhesions. Adhesions, or knots, are areas where the muscle becomes stuck in place, unable to properly contract. Weakness and loss in range of motion generally result, making common, everyday movements more difficult. Luckily, the pressure applied to muscles in massage acts to break up adhesions and dissolve tension. Massage is especially valuable in fighting aging, since tense, tight muscles become more common as the years pass, contributing to loss of physical ability. Dissolving muscle tension can also enhance athletic performance.
- Pain relief. Tense, tight muscles are not just incapable of functioning as they should. Muscle tension can also result in pain. While this pain is usually not severe, addressing nagging aches and pains can still enhance quality of life significantly. In other cases pain from muscle tension can be acute and even debilitating (think chronic back pain). Besides loosening knots, massage therapy directs blood flow to targeted areas, helping the body to heal injuries and reduce inflammation.
- Relief of anxiety and stress. The benefits of massage are certainly not all physiological. Massage can have a powerful influence on the mind and the emotions. This effect occurs because the brain and body are closely connected. Massage relaxes and calms the nervous system, which is the source of the body’s stress response. Alleviating pain and muscle tension will also on their own make a person feel less stressed. Reducing stress is important not just because stress is unpleasant. Lowering stress levels can improve focus and productivity and enhance sleep quality, among other benefits.
It is certainly the case that many people would gain from getting regular massages. Massage is especially useful for those in serious pain and people recovering from injury, but is valuable for people in excellent health too. Massage also becomes increasingly valuable as aging increases stiffness and reduces range of motion. While there is an enormous variety in different styles of massage, virtually all will boost health and well-being by providing the benefits described above.
There are many strong health and well-being benefits brought by regular massage, and investing in a massage chair of your own can bring them into your life daily.
Better Heart Health
Massage has been shown to improve circulation for better all-round health, but it also has the effect of lowering blood pressure without the need for medication. There’s also evidence that just 15 minutes in a massage chair can lower your heart rate, further reducing the everyday strain it’s under.
Improved Post-Operative Recovery
Improved circulation also speeds healing, and massage chairs can have a beneficial impact on post-operative recovery. Surgical cuts will heal more quickly and cleanly, with reduced risks of scarring.
Massage stimulates the production of endorphins, the body’s natural solution to pain. Regular sessions in a massage chair can reduce the pain associated with conditions like fibromyalgia, while also helping reduce the stress, anxiety, and depression that often accompany long-term chronic pain.
The benefits of increased blood circulation, reduced stress, and improved mood can add up to increased alertness, leading to greater productivity in the workplace.
Even a short time in a massage chair can help recovery after working out. It reduces stiffness, muscle aches, and joint pains, and also provides effective early treatment of muscle strains and minor tears to reduce inflammation and speed healing.
The benefits of improved circulation, lower stress, and more relaxed muscles combine to reduce tension headaches, and also makes them less severe when they occur. Add in the effects of raised endorphin levels, and a massage chair can be a powerful ally for migraine sufferers.
Eased Lower Back Pain
The vibrations of a massage chair can release tension in your lower back, freeing up clenched muscles and increasing your range of movement. Surveys show that around 50 percent of back pain sufferers see an improvement in their condition when they begin massage therapy. And in most cases, this improvement is a lasting one.
And if you don’t suffer from back pain, a massage chair can help stop you joining the millions of people who do. By relaxing muscles and improving spinal alignment, massage helps to maintain and improve posture. This works to head off back pain before it can start.
There’s no doubt that spending time in a massage chair is a great way to unwind after a busy day. But considering the many health and well-being benefits it brings as well, a massage chair is much more than just an executive luxury.