When you are feeling fatigued, stressed and your neck feels all knotted up, having a massage can make you feel a great deal better. Since ancient times, massage has been used to alleviate pain and stimulate healing. Even though there are various types of massage today, most of them provide similar benefits. However, massage therapy is not usually taken as a substitute for other forms of medical care, but rather to complement other treatments so that patients get the best possible results. Here are several reasons why getting that rubdown is good for your health:
Getting a proper a massage is relaxing, it reduces stress levels this means it can also help to ease anxiety and depression. A massage lowers the levels of cortisol, a hormone that is associated with mental stress. The result is lower blood pressure and an improvement in your spirits and general mood. Getting a massage also enhances the working of dopamine and serotonin – neurotransmitters that affect our behavior and emotions. Serotonin helps to regulate our sense of calm while dopamine regulates the brain’s pleasure and reward centers. A massage also curbs some of the physical manifestations of anxiety such as a quickened heart rate.
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It is notoriously hard to manage chronic back pain, especially at the lower section of the spine, and new research indicates that pills are not the answer. Having a massage can be a drug-free way of reducing this pain and helping you to feel better straight away. In one research study, approximately half of the participants who had massage therapy sessions experienced notable reductions in their pain. In addition, the improvements were sustained even after six months.
Various scientific studies have indicated that having a massage leads to better functioning of the body’s immune system. According to one study conducted in 2010, researchers observed that having massage led to an increase in the levels of disease-fighting white blood cells in the body. In addition, less stress after a massage ensures that you stay healthy. This is because stress is usually accompanied by problems like weight gain and heart problems.
A massage also boosts the immune system through stimulation of the lymphatic system. This system helps the body to eliminate debris, toxins, body waste and pathogens. A massage helps the fluids in the lymphatic system to circulate because there is no pump, unlike the cardiovascular system which uses the heart.
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If you suffer from back pain, you are also likely to have problems with your sleep. Getting a massage can help to rectify this too. A massage will help you to relax, and this can relieve insomnia and boost the quality of sleep. Pain, anxiety and depression will usually interfere with sleep. While helping to relieve these conditions, a massage will also assist you to sleep better.
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This is proved by one study conducted by the University Of Miami School Of Medicine on chronic low back pain that involved 30 people. Those who got half-hour long massage sessions two times a week for a period of five weeks experienced a major decrease in sleep disturbances. They awakened less at night and had less problems falling asleep. The researchers concluded that getting a massage may have reduced the pain and enhanced the quality of sleep among the subjects of the study.
A massage can also alleviate headaches in the same way it helps with back and muscle pain. A frequent massage will reduce the number of migraines and also lessen their pain intensity. A research done in 2009 concluded that a half-hour massage reduced pain for individuals suffering from tension headaches. It also controlled the stress and anger that accompanied the pounding head.
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The International Journal of Nursing Studies reports that a massage may assist you if you are suffering from constipation. Researchers divided sixty constipated people into two groups. Participants in one group received laxatives together with an abdominal massage and the others got laxatives only. After 14 days, those who got a massage had less abdominal pains and gastrointestinal problems than those who were given laxatives only.
As a result of the benefits shown above, massages are especially useful for individuals undergoing treatment for serious conditions such as cancer. Different studies have proved that massage can help to lessen nausea, pain, fatigue, depression and anxiety in cancer patients.
Talk to our team at Collaborative Health to understand better how we can incorporate massage and improve your overall health.