Massage can help stimulate the production and release of “feel good” chemicals in the brain, such as serotonin and dopamine. This boost in these hormones reduces pain and improves mood.
Researchers have found that massage therapy can be a powerful tool to help manage stress and support your overall health when combined with medical treatments and a doctor’s approval.
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Reduces Stress and Anxiety
When muscles and tendons become tight from exercise, injury, or just sitting and hunching over a laptop all day, it can cause pain in various body parts. These tight spots are known as knots or trigger points and can be relieved through massage therapy.
During massage, friction against the skin increases the skin’s temperature and blood flow which causes muscles to relax. This decreases the fight-or-flight cortisol and releases positive hormones like endorphins, serotonin and dopamine.
A massage therapist near me can also do lymphatic drainage, which helps remove metabolic waste from the tissues in the body, such as the buildup of fluids that results from injury or surgery. This type of massage is helpful for those with inflammation, including autoimmune diseases such as arthritis, and may help with conditions like fibromyalgia and cancer.
A good night’s sleep is essential for your health, but many of us need help to get enough quality rest. Stress is one of the leading causes of insomnia, and massage can help relieve this tension.
Studies have shown that massage reduces anxiety and the stress hormone cortisol, improving sleep. Massage activates the parasympathetic nervous system, the body’s “rest and digest” response.
For this reason, getting a good massage from a trained professional is important. Also, it is crucial to communicate with your therapist about any pain or discomfort you might be experiencing. A good massage will work to break down the muscle adhesions (tight bands of muscles) that cause inflammation, allowing the blood to flow and reducing the tension. If you suffer from chronic pain, a deep-tissue massage may be beneficial. This massage can penetrate the deep muscle layers and fascia, the connective tissue surrounding muscles.
Reduces Pain and Inflammation
Many people consider massage a luxury or indulgence, but it can be a valuable part of your health and wellness routine. Some people who suffer from chronic pain use it in addition to other medical treatments, such as surgery or physical therapy.
A good massage can reduce a patient’s pain levels, especially when the pressure is applied at the right spot. For instance, researchers have found that patients with rheumatoid arthritis who received ten weekly massages experienced less pain and improved function than those who didn’t receive massages.
Other types of massage can help with specific pain issues, such as a trigger point massage, which uses focused pressure to break down painful tight spots in the muscles and connective tissue. These areas are often called knots and can cause pain in other body parts. Regular massage may also boost the immune system. Studies show that it can increase the cytotoxic capacity of white blood cells, which helps the body fight infections.
Improves Blood Circulation
Massage therapy improves blood and lymph circulation as a form of physical manipulation. The heart has to work harder when there isn’t enough flow, and the body is less effective at eliminating waste products.
The pressure and release of many massage techniques increase circulation by moving blood through congested areas, squeezing out lactic acid and refreshing the supply of oxygen-rich blood to the muscles. In addition, the squeezing and pulling action of massage improves circulation of the lymph fluid that carries metabolic waste away from the muscles and organs.
This is a key reason why people suffering from chronic pain can benefit from regular massage. However, it is important to communicate with the therapist about any health issues and to be cautious when massaging areas near the rib cage or abdomen where too much pressure may induce contractions and premature labor. This is particularly true for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.