How Massage Therapy Benefits the Body and the Mind
It’s almost universally agreed that a back rub feels good. With this in mind, an understanding of the benefits of massage therapy can offer patients suffering from acute or chronic pain an additional or alternative source of pain management and relief.
The history of massage therapy dates back thousands of years to both the Chinese and Egyptian cultures. As an integral part of their medical traditions, massage was used in conjunction with other internal and external medical treatments. As a relatively young therapeutic treatment in modern Western medicine, massage therapy is increasingly prescribed by doctors and healthcare providers to alleviate pain, depression, heal injuries, and reduce symptoms related to many other illnesses.
In a research study reported by the National Institute of Health (NIH), patients who received massage therapy reported a statistically significant reduction in pain level after receiving treatment. According to the study, “…Qualitative data showed improvement in all areas, with the most significant areas of impact reported being overall pain level, emotional well-being, relaxation, and ability to sleep.”
Massage Therapy For Recovery
Massage is performed when the therapist manually manipulates soft tissue through applied pressure. This manipulation encourages blood flow to the area and helps improve circulation. When used as a therapy in conjunction with chiropractic care and/or physical therapy, massage can help speed the rehabilitation process from surgery or injury.
Massage Therapy For Emotional Wellness
The benefits of massage therapy can extend beyond immediate relief of pain. Disorders such as anxiety, depression, migraine, stress, and insomnia can all be alleviated with regular massage therapy. In an article published by the Mayo Clinic Health System, massage has been shown to lower cortisol levels by an average of 30%. Cortisol is a hormone that the body produces in response to stress. The article further states that when cortisol levels decrease, serotonin (the happy hormone) levels increase. This allows the body to fight pain and other neurologically triggered emotions such as depression and anxiety.
Which Massage Therapy Is Best?
There are different types of massage that can be used as healing. These include Deep Tissue, Trigger Point, Swedish, Shiatsu, Thai, Reflexology, and Sports massage. While they all are designed to improve overall health and wellness, each style of massage addresses different physical issues or ailments.
If you are considering massage as a healing therapy you should consult your doctor or healthcare provider to determine which type of massage therapy is best for you.
Posted In: Massage