Benefits of Massage Therapy
1. IMPROVES POSTURE
Approx. 90% of the population adults and children suffer of Back and/or Neck pain. If you think about it…. How many hours we are sitting? We sit when we eat, we sit when we are in the car, we sit when we are at our desk studying or working, we sit when we eat, when we go to the bathroom , and we sit one more time when we watch tv…. as you can see, we sit a lot. Not only do we sit, most of the time we hunch forward to use our phone, texting, eating, and just living life. We do that. The same way your car needs maintenance, alignment, and repair, our wonderful machine that is our body, needs it too.
When you hunch forward, your body isn't properly aligned. "Not only does poor posture look bad, but it forces some muscles to work incredibly hard all day long while others get weaker,”
Poor posture can put you in other slumps, too. "When you slouch, you're pressing down on your internal organs, which affects digestion," adding that circulation and breathing capacity can take a hit too.
Unlike other bad habits, poor posture can be relaxing to correct. Why? Because massage can help get your body back on track. Allowing the body to reinforce healthy and natural movements can be one of the most beneficial aspects of massage therapy.
Massage can relax and loosen the muscles made sore by bad posture, allowing your body to position itself in its natural-and pain-free-posture. With ongoing massage the muscles are loosened and relaxed-joints have greater freedom and pressure points are relieved. This allows the body to position itself in a healthy and natural posture, therefore avoiding the movements and positions developed over time as a reaction to the pain.
2. MASSAGE THERAPY ENCOURAGES RELAXATION
The body can produce an unhealthy buildup of hormones when we're stuck in traffic or meeting a work deadline. Pent-up levels of the "stress hormone" cortisol can lead to sleeplessness, headaches and even digestive problems.
Massage has been shown to decrease cortisol in the body. This allows the body to enter a relaxing rest-and-recovery mode: an effect that lingers long after the massage is over. In fact, massage triggers a host of brain chemistry responses that can result in lasting feelings of relaxation, lowered stress and improved mood.
Heidi Morrison offers a variety of relaxing massage therapy styles and techniques to help kick start the relaxation process. In addition to encouraging relaxation, ongoing massage therapy can reduce pain, increase energy levels and improve overall physical and mental performance. Heidi will customize every massage session to address your individual needs.
3. MASSAGE THERAPY RELIEVES STRESS
This days , life can be very stressful, either you are aware or not, we all suffer different levels of stress in our life. Stress is universal, The adrenaline boosting your heart rate and the cortisol boosting your blood sugar, while diverting energy away from your digestive system and immune responses, are exactly what prehistoric humans needed to fight or flee attackers.
When there's never any relief from stress, the sustained fight-or-flight response can cause problems. In fact, WebMD warns that constant stress actually becomes "distress -- a negative stress reaction. Distress can lead to physical symptoms including headaches, upset stomach, elevated blood pressure, chest pain, and problems sleeping. Research suggests that stress also can bring on or worsen certain symptoms or diseases."
Drug or alcohol abuse
Over- or under-eating
Irritability or anger
Lack of motivation or focus
Sadness or depression
Muscle tension or pain
Every symptom listed by the American Psychological Association can benefit from massage. Research has shown that it can lower your heart rate and blood pressure, relax your muscles and increase the production of endorphins, your body's natural "feel good" chemical. Serotonin and dopamine are also released through massage, and the result is a feeling of calm relaxation that makes chronic or habitual as well as acute or short-term stress much easier to overcome.
In fact, stress relief is one of the first benefits that come to mind when thinking of massage therapy. It's also a key component for anyone trying to achieve a healthier lifestyle. Clinical studies show that even a single 1 ½-hour session can significantly lower your heart rate, cortisol levels and insulin levels; all of which explain why massage therapy and stress relief go hand-in-hand.
By adding therapeutic massage to your routine now, you'll feel, look, and live healthier life today and into the future. How would you like to feel, move and look 1-3 years from now?
4. PROMOTES DEEPER AND EASIER BREATHING
One of the signs of anxiety and stress can be constricted breathing. When the body starts to take shallow short breaths instead of breathing at a natural pace, it is near impossible for one to reach a relaxed state. Part of the problem is that the muscles around the rib cage and abdomen may have tightened, constricting air.
Massage plays an important role in training the body how to relax and help improve breathing. Respiratory issues, such as allergies, sinus problems, asthma and bronchitis, are one group of conditions that can benefit from massage therapy. In fact, the positive impact massage can have on respiratory function has been shown through research, says Anne Williams, education program director at Associated Bodywork & Massage Professionals.
Many muscles in the front and back of the upper body are accessory respiratory muscles, she explains. "When any of these muscles are chronically tight and shortened, they can restrict normal breathing and disrupt breathing patterns," she explains. "Massage techniques to lengthen and relax these muscles improve breathing capacity and function."
Massage therapy can not only improve breathing, but also posture. This can lead to an opening of the chest area, as well as the structural alignment and rib cage expansion needed for optimal lung function, she adds. Plus, when the parasympathetic nervous system responds to massage your breathing rate slows and becomes deep and regular.
A particularly beneficial way of relieving respiratory issues through massage therapy can loosen mucus in the lungs and increase airway clearance for better lung function, Williams says.
Not only will massage therapy help relax muscles, it can also help individuals become aware of their daily stress levels. Once the body recognizes what true relaxation feels like, the mind can then easily recreate it before stress becomes chronic and damaging. This can also help you enjoy a more balanced life.
5. MASSAGE THERAPY IMPROVES REHABILITATION AFTER INJURY
Massage plays an important role as a supplement to standard injury rehabilitation procedures. By encouraging circulatory movement and relaxing muscles, massage helps the body pump more oxygen and nutrients into tissues and vital organs. This allows the rehabilitating injured area(s) to become more flexible and heal at an accelerated rate.
From a sprained ankle or twisted knee to muscle spasms or broken bones, massage can provide the opportunity for faster recovery. With the pressure of the therapist's hands improving blood flow, muscles become warmer. By stretching tight tissues and breaking down adhesions, massage can help flush out swelling in joints, allowing for quicker healing.
If you're recovering from a broken bone, you'll want to eliminate stiffness and improve mobility in the problem area. Sports injury massage or any injury massage therapy can help reduce stiffness, restore movement, and provide relaxation that helps you focus on healthy healing instead of soreness and anxiety.
Mary Beth Braun, President of the American Massage Therapy Association. The AMTA's 2010 nationwide survey revealed that, in addition to providing stress relief, "Massage therapy can be effective for a variety of conditions, including arthritis, lower back pain, insomnia, headaches, anxiety, circulatory problems and recovery from a sports injury."
Massage is also used to aid in pain management as the injury is nursed back to full strength. By committing to a continual massage program, you can accelerate the recovery process after suffering injuries.
6. IMPROVES BLOOD CIRCULATION
Better blood circulation is part of the chain reaction that occurs in the body as a result of receiving massage therapy on a regular basis. According to Alive Magazine: "A person with poor circulation can suffer from a variety of discomforts including pooling of the fluid in the extremities (like the toes), cold hands and feet, fatigue and itchiness created by an accumulation of lactic acid in the muscles. Good circulation brings damaged, tense muscles the oxygen rich blood they need to heal. Massage facilitates circulation by moving blood through the congested areas. The release of this same pressure causes new blood to flow in. The squeezing and pulling also flushes lactic acid from the muscles and improves the circulation of the lymph fluid which carries metabolic waste away from muscles and internal organs, resulting in lower blood pressure and improved body function."
Improved blood circulation is just one more benefit of massage therapy. Combined with a balanced diet and regular exercise, massage can be a powerful, natural ally for a healthier lifestyle.