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More on the Benefits of Regular Massage

27 Oct 2017

In our last post, we discussed one major benefit of getting a massage on a regular basis – improved, increased circulation. But there are other reasons you should be including therapeutic massage in your health and wellness routine.

More Benefits of Massage Therapy

Other major health benefits of getting a therapeutic massage on a regular basis (suggested frequency is about once a month; more often if you’re dealing with a health complaint or injury) are those conditions which are common to many people.

Get better sleep. Studies show that a large portion of the U.S. population would be classified as sleep deprived. The average adult needs 7-9 hours of sleep a night (children and teenagers need more), yet approximately 4 in 10 adults get less than that on a regular basis.  Sometimes it’s due to schedules, but often the reason is an inability to fall asleep or stay asleep. And that becomes harder as we age, yet older adults still need that sleep.

There are many health conditions that impact our ability to fall asleep and stay asleep for long periods of time, and some people have trouble getting into the deep restorative sleep needed. Whatever the reason, if you’re not getting enough sleep at night, regular therapeutic massage can make it easier to go to sleep quickly, sleep for longer periods of time, and sleep more deeply.

Lack of adequate quality sleep can produce or aggravate a variety of health conditions, so simply getting more and better sleep is a major benefit of massage.

Reduce stress and anxiety. Let’s face it, we live in a face-passed, pressure-filled world. And stress is something everyone deals with. But when stress becomes chronic (constantly elevated), it can lead to headaches, fatigue, lack of motivation, and even an impaired immune system. And stress is much more than feeling overwhelmed, tense, or anxious.

Being under stress causes your body to release hormones like cortisol. Our bodies are hard-wired to deal with perceived threats, and that cortisol is part of the built-in coping mechanisms we all have. But when the feeling of stress remains high even after the threatening situation has diminished, cortisol levels also remain high. Elevated cortisol can lead to insulin resistance, fat deposits in certain areas, high blood pressure, food cravings (especially for carbohydrates) and more.

Over the years many studies have confirmed what massage therapists know intuitively and by experience – massage reduces stress, anxiety, and emotional as well as physical tension.

Massage can relieve or reduce headaches. Whether your headaches are chronic migraine or cluster-type headaches, headache pain due to sinus infection, or the result of an injury such as whiplash, therapeutic massage has been shown to reduce the intensity, duration, and frequency of headaches. But for this to happen, regular massage is vital. One study showed that a half-hour massage twice a week was extremely beneficial for those with chronic headaches. Of course, whenever someone has a chronic headache, it is a good idea to talk it over with a doctor, because it may be a symptom of something that needs medical attention.

Massage is a healthier alternative to pain management than drugs.  Regardless of what you do for a living, your age, or the state of your health, you probably have had pain recently, perhaps even chronic pain. Therapeutic massage can relieve or reduce pain without the harmful side effects that pain meds can bring.

Many serious health conditions can be helped with massage therapy.  While even regular massage can’t cure diseases or illnesses, it can help individuals cope with the symptoms of many health conditions, including Alzheimers, cancer, Lyme disease, and fibromyalgia. It’s even been shown to reduce the nausea experienced by those receiving radiation and chemotherapy treatments.

Massage can make you feel like Pharell Williams.  Okay, it won’t boost your singing voice, but it can boost your mood and make you feel more positive and happy, even a massage that’s only a half hour.  So don’t worry, be happy – get a massage.

Regular massage has many more benefits – we’ve just touched on a few of them. And one thing to keep in mind that in order to realize these benefits, getting a massage on a regular basis is important – you won’t realize the full potential with just one session, although it’s often possible to get some temporary relief.

Students enrolled in the various programs at our Minneapolis massage school are gaining a variety of tools to deliver holistic health care via healing touch. If you’d like to experience some of these benefits we’ve discussed, why not make an appointment in our Student Clinic?  Appointments are available most weekends. Students nearing the end of their massage therapy training get a chance to put their education to work, and you get a chance to get a great bodywork session at a discount! Contact us today to get on our schedule!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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