Massage is highly relaxing and for many people it’s seen as an indulgence, something that they treat themselves to now and again. Even one massage can de-stress you by lowering your heart rate, relaxing your muscles and reducing your insulin and cortisol levels. It’s no wonder massage can make you feel so good! There is more to massage than being a good way to relax, it has several health benefits.
1. It improves circulation.
If you have poor circulation you may find you have cold or swollen feet and hands, feel dizzy, get headaches, feel fatigued or get short of breath. Poor circulation can simply be a discomfort, but the cells in your body are dependent on your blood providing them with the nutrients they need. Circulation problems can cause serious damage. Poor circulation can be an issue particularly for pregnant women, but it’s usually caused by diet and lifestyle.
The application and release of pressure during massage stimulates blood flow to the body and improves circulation. It also flushes out lactic acid from the muscles and improves the flow of lymph fluid which carries waste away from muscles and organs. If you have high blood pressure, massage can lower it.
2. It reduces anxiety and depression.
Massage lowers the levels of cortisone in your body, which is the stress hormone. Stopping this ‘on edge’ feeling in a natural way can help anxiety sufferers. It also increases the levels of serotonin in your brain and encourages the body to release dopamine and oxytocin, the ‘feel good’ hormones. While it is not a permanent cure for anxiety and depression, it can help start a positive cycle in your mood and make you feel well enough to do other activities that help you feel better, such as spending time with friends or going on a walk.
3. It can help insomnia.
Chronic lack of sleep can make life very difficult. When you aren’t getting enough sleep, concentration becomes harder and you become more sensitive to stress. Insomnia doesn’t just cause problems in your brain, it can lower your immune system, heighten your sensitivity to pain and increase inflammation. Lack of sleep can exacerbate chronic pain. Research has shown that massage can help you fall asleep easier and sleep deeper.
4. It Improves flexibility.
Massage therapy elongates the muscle fibres meaning that your joints have a wider range of motion. A sedentary lifestyle can mean your muscles become tight and prone to injury, stretching your muscles will mean you are less at risk of injury. People who are serious about sports or weight training need to have flexible muscles to prevent getting injured. Regular sports massages can help you recover after training and reduce muscle soreness.
5. It helps control pain.
There have been numerous studies that show massage is an effective way of relieving pain. It has been shown to provide long lasting pain relief for people with chronic back pain, cancer patients, surgery patients and people with post-traumatic or tension headaches. Massage therapists use a holistic approach that focuses on the whole body. They work on the place pain is presenting as well as the primary, root cause. If you are suffering from an acute injury or have chronic pain massage may help you manage your pain more effectively.
Massage works differently for everybody and you may find you only need one session to improve your symptoms or you may wish to have regular sessions to keep them at bay. If you have chronic pain, are recovering from an injury or surgery, suffer from headaches or are an active sports person, weight trainer or dancer then massage is something you should consider. Call 0114 268 6677 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to enquire about massage or sports massage at Sheffield Physiotherapy.