UPDATED: Mar 26, 2020
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Anyone who has ever had a massage will tell you that it can help with pain. But the health benefits of touch extend beyond simply soothing your aching body. Massage is better for you than you think. Below are a few of the ways that a good rubdown could improve your health.
Anxiety and Depression
For the same reasons that a massage is relaxing, it can also soothe anxiety and depression. Massage reduces levels of the stress hormone cortisol, resulting in lifted spirits and lower blood pressure. It also boosts the neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine, which can boost mood levels. Not only does massage make you feel good on the outside, but it also makes you feel good on the inside as well.
Massage can also significantly improve your immune system. People who experience high levels of stress tend to get sick more than others. Massage decreases stress while simultaneously increasing one’s disease-fighting white blood cells, your first line of defense against invading illness. Massage even seems to boost immunity in those people with severely compromised immune systems, such as those suffering from cancer. Perhaps we should switch our motto to, “A massage a day keeps the doctor away.”
Massage deepens and normalizes the breathing pattern through relaxation and release of tension in the breathing structures, both the rib cage and the respiratory muscles. It can also help to relieve congestion in the lungs through percussive and compressive movements. It increases the action of the heart, stimulates blood flow to and from the lungs, helps eliminate waste and absorb oxygen. You can breathe easy knowing massage is helping out your respiratory system.
Better blood circulation is another added bonuses of receiving massages regularly. A person with poor circulation can suffer from a variety of discomforts including cold hands and feet, fatigue and achiness created by an accumulation of lactic acid in the muscles. Massage facilitates circulation by creating pressure that moves blood through the body and allows new blood to flow in. Massage flushes lactic acid from the muscles and improves the circulation of the lymph fluid which carries waste away from muscles and internal organs. In effect, massage improves overall body function.
Massage can be rewarding in many ways. The added benefit from relaxation and pain relief alone make a visit to a masseuse worth it. When you add health benefits such as the ones listed above its hard to argue against massage. When you are feeling sore or particularly stressed a good massage becomes not just a want but a need.
For more information on decompressing check out Term Life Insurance: Meditation Benefits.