5 Unexpected Benefits of Massage Therapy
Most of us like getting a massage. It helps to relieve pain and relax tight muscles. But that’s not all massage therapy does. Here are five other proven benefits of massage therapy that you may not have known:
- Stress Relief – Multiple studies show that massage therapy can reduce stress on both physical and psychological levels. Measure of heart rate, blood pressure, perceived anxiety, to name a few, were all shown to be significantly reduced in patients after a massage.
- Improved Exercise Performance – Studies have shown that regular massage therapy helps to improve your muscles’ ability to utilize oxygen, improves muscle flexibility, and alleviates muscle soreness after exercise, allowing your body to perform better and recover faster when participating in exercise or sport.
- Improved sleep – Research shows that massage improves the quality of sleep with patients suffering from a variety of disorders including insomnia, chronic pain, and fibromyalgia. Massage triggers the release of a chemical called serotonin in our bodies. This is a precursor to the production of melatonin, which helps to regulate your body’s internal clock and controls your sleep patterns.
- Reduced Low Back Pain – Regular massage therapy has been shown to reduce the effects of chronic low back injuries. Massage therapy decreased low back pain, increased functional ability, and improved the mood of subjects suffering from chronic low back pain.
- Improved Cardiovascular Health – There is evidence to show that regular massage therapy treatments help to reduce resting blood pressure and heart rate with those suffering from hypertension. Massage has also been found to increase circulation throughout your body.
Keep in mind that if you suffer from high blood pressure or other chronic disease, you should always consult your family doctor to make sure that massage is right for you. A good massage therapist will also screen you for any risk factors before initiating treatment.
Most extended health care plans provide coverage for massage therapy. Many plans turn over at the end of the year, so it is recommended that you start a course of massage therapy soon to maximize it’s effects.