Most of us are interested in staying as healthy as possible for as long as possible. How to actually make that happen though can be a challenge.
We know that receiving regular check ups from your doctor, getting good exercise and maintaining a healthy diet are all important foundations for staying well. Far fewer of us though think about the solid benefits you get from spending some time under the hands of a professional massage therapist.
Here are some of the great health benefits you can expect from regular massage.
We’re beginning to learn that stress has far-reaching implications, not just for mental and emotional well-being, but also for your basic physical health.
There’s now a solid body of evidence that prolonged exposure to stress in your life can increase your risk of heart disease, diabetes and hypertension.
There’s even evidence it may shrink your brain, which is probably something best avoided if at all possible!
It’s something of a no-brainer that massage is an intensely relaxing experience. The opportunity to lie back and feel your muscle tension drift away has to be one of the best stress-antidotes available.
Getting regular massage is one of the best things you can do to directly combat the stresses in your life, and the nasty health problems caused by unmanaged stressed.
Pain, unfortunately, is a fact of daily life. Everything from working in an office to experiencing a traffic accident to the simple wear and tear associated with aging can cause pain.
Left unmanaged, those small pains you ignore can progress into chronic pain and at this point it can easily intrude into your overall happiness and quality of life.
By relieving muscle tension and restoring function to large muscle groups, massage therapy is an effective approach to pain relief. Many people who tolerate pain for years experience amazing results after a relatively short course of massage.
This is especially the case with remedial massage, which aims specifically to resolve pain and associated biomechanical problems.
Another great benefit of massage for pain relief is that it can reduce your reliance on pharmaceutical pain relief options, many of which come with undesirable side effects.
The human body needs sleep, and in our society we tend not to get enough of it. According to US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention sleep data, the majority of US adults experience sleep deficits of 30 percent or higher.
Sleep doesn’t just make you feel more alert, it helps you stave off a wide range of chronic health conditions including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, depression, obesity and hypertension.
Massage therapy can be an extremely effective way to restore healthy sleep patterns. By eliminating muscle tension and introducing time in your day where you deliberately slow down, massage can positively contribute to a prolonged state of relaxation, one which lasts long after the massage itself.
Massage can make a huge difference in training your body to power down and get a full night’s sleep.
Control High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure is pretty much an epidemic in modern society. Exacerbated by our high salt diets, our population’s tendency toward obesity and the general stresses of everyday life, high blood pressure is something many of us are going to have to face at some point in our lives.
While it comes on slow, hypertension can pose big problems for health, placing strain on your heart and greatly increasing the risk of stroke.
Managing blood pressure can be a medical and lifestyle challenge, requiring a combination of medication, lifestyle change and dietary adjustment.
Massage therapy has been found to noticeably contribute to these high blood pressure management strategies. Not only can it lower systolic and diastolic blood pressure, there’s also a growing body of research showing that it naturally regulates the hormone cortisol, one of the chemicals in the body which can raise blood pressure.
Strengthen The Immune System
Your body’s immune system is a vital part of the biological processes which keep your body free from infection and illness.
A recent study found that massage has a measurable positive impact on immune system response. People who received massage as part of this study experienced a significant spike in their body’s production of lymphocytes, cells which play an important role in defending the body from disease.
Coupled with the ability of massage to naturally lower high stress levels (a condition correlated with a suppressed immune system), massage is a great option for keeping your immune system in good shape.
It’s not always easy to find an activity which both feels great and actively contributes to your health. Massage is definitely one of those activities. Receiving regular massage won’t just make you happier, there’s a very good chance it’ll also keep you protected from a range of health problems which are all too common in society today.