For some a massage may just be a guiltless pleasure. Think about: Dimmed lights, soft music, scented candles and gentle yet stern hands relieving every tense-filled muscle in your body, a sure fire stress reducer. But beyond just feeling good, a massage, when used in a therapeutic environment also has a number of great health benefits that can keep you feeling healthy and happy. Here are just a few:
4 Healthy Benefits of Massage Therapy
- Manage Anxiety and Depression Feeling a bit down lately? Many women struggle with issues of depression and anxiety. With all the demands hitting each and everyday and a need to try to balance it all — work, family, friends — the pressure can get pretty intense. In some cases, this could be the beginning signs of clinical depression, a serious medical condition that should not be ignored, but for most women a few symptoms of the blues will creep up every now and again. Instead of fighting through it, being the crabby mom, the isolated co-worker, or frustrated wife, massage therapy is a simple and straightforward solution you might consider. You’d be amazed at what a few hours of focused pampering and getting away from it all can do to lift your spirits. Add it to your schedule of “to-do’s” and make it a part of your regular schedule.
- Boosts Immunity If you’re suffering from frequent infections or colds, your immunity may be compromised, often a sign of stress, diet and lifestyle. The immune system helps to protect and keep the body strong in order to ward off and recover quickly from disease, serving as the ultimate defense mechanism for the body. There are a number of factors that might contribute to low immunity including age, surgical or medical treatments. The goal is to get your body at its best so it can do the work it needs to do to support you and your activities. Clinical studies have shown that massage, even as few as one, can do the trick, sharing such exciting results as the ability to increase the activity level of the body’s natural “killer cells” and decrease the number of T-cells, improving the body’s immune functioning overall.
- Improves Blood Circulation When blood isn’t circulating properly, many symptoms can creep up. Experiencing cold feet, fatigue or aches? This could be a sign of poor blood circulation. The massage tends to assist in this area as the pressure on the body aids in moving the blood and allows new blood to flow. Massage therapy releases tense muscles causing them to dilate or open up. This allows the blood to flow more freely to the muscles, including the heart. The faster blood can get to your muscles, the quicker your muscles can recover and energize.
- Lowers Blood Pressure If you’ve suffered from high blood pressure, you want to take all precautions necessary to decrease your pressure. The first thing to remember is to take the advice given by your doctor and to stay diligent in following his/her instructions, including taking medication if prescribed. Beyond that there are many ways to get actively engaged in the process of monitoring and taking control of your problem including change in diet, weight loss, sodium reduction, exercise, and massage therapy. Not only does the massage aid in reducing your stress, which can cause blood pressure to go up, it also improves circulation which facilitates the elimination of metabolic waste from the body . In turn, this may result in lowering blood pressure and improving overall body function.
As you can see massage can act as a great health benefit and serve as a guiltless pleasure, so why not gather your girlfriends, hire a massage therapist, and make it a massage party!
Note: Despite the health benefits, massage isn’t intended as a replacement for regular medical care. Let your doctor know you’re getting massage therapy and continue to follow any standard treatment plans you have.