When pursuing a healthier life, many of us look to eating healthier, getting more exercise, and losing weight. In this ever-increasing fast paced world, most of us don’t realize that we need to look for ways to teach our bodies to slow down. The stress of living in the world today affects every aspect of our lives, from sleep disturbance and sexual dysfunction to eating disorders and increased blood pressure to name a few. Massage therapy has emerged in the last twenty years from being exclusively for the rich and a luxury for the common person, to a necessity in living in today’s world. Massage has been widely accepted in the medical community for helping in the maintenance of good health and aiding in the relief of several types of affliction. Why should you consider massage therapy as part of your pursuit of a “wellthy” life? Weigh the following benefits of massage:
Increases the flow of blood: not only does massage increase circulation to the surface of the skin but also deep into the muscles.
Promotes healing: If you have sprained an ankle, strained or pulled a muscle, had any type of orthopedic surgery, certain types of massage have shortened healing time.
Improves sleep: People who receive massage on a regular basis have fewer sleep disturbances.
Decreases depression: People receiving massage therapy consistently have an improved outlook on life.
Promotes relaxation: People deal better with stress following a massage session.
Improves posture: Addressing the muscles that pull one into poor posture and getting those muscles to relax and stretch, helps you gain better posture.
Relieves repetitive use injuries: Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, TMJ disorders, frozen shoulder/pain with certain movements, and cricks in the neck have improved with specific types of massage.
Relieves headaches and migraines: Addressing tense muscles in the shoulders, neck and scalp can decrease the pain from migraines and headaches.
Alleviates muscle soreness and stiffness: Because massage promotes deeper circulation, blood and nutrients are delivered to the muscles to help movement of metabolic waste out of the muscles.
Aids the intestines in the elimination of waste: Mimics the natural contraction and relaxation of the intestines to move food and waste through.
The above is just a short list of the benefits of massage. Ask anyone who has ever had massage what they got out of it and you will get a hundred different answers. When looking for a massage therapist, determine what your needs are then ask lots of questions. Just like with other health care professions, massage therapists have different specialties to meet the needs of their clients. Sometimes you will have to see several different therapists before you find the right one who meets your needs.
When considering whether to get a massage or not, think of it this way: it is the single easiest thing you can do to improve your health. The hardest part of getting a massage is setting aside the time and making the appointment. As Nike used to say back in the 90s, Just Do It!