Regular Massage Therapy: Five Healthy Benefits
Posted on April 20 2023
Although often considered a luxury or “pamper yourself” type activity, massage actually has an extensive history in both Eastern and Western cultures as a tool to relieve pain and stiffness and improve physical fitness, especially therapeutic massage therapies. In fact, more and more physicians recognize the multitude of physical (and mental) health benefits massage therapy provides and incorporate it into treatment plans to help relieve pain1.
As part of a holistic approach to wellness, therapeutic massage therapy involves the manipulation of the body's soft tissues through specialized hands-on movements to influence cellular changes in the soft tissues. Whether the intention is to relieve pain or provide much-needed stress relief, the benefits of regular massage therapy are wide and proven. As such, more and more people of all ages are incorporating regular massages into their overall health and wellness routines.
In today’s blog, we’re reviewing five (of the many) health benefits a regular massage therapy regimen can provide. Although some of these massage benefits are physical and others are mental - they are all valuable for overall health, wellness, and longevity.
Massage therapy can be true muscle therapy, as it works and manipulates the soft tissues that move and support your body, including the muscles, tendons, and ligaments. Massage modalities that focus on muscle therapy, such as Trigger Point Therapy, Sports, Myofascial Release, and Deep Tissue, can help keep the fascia (i.e., the connective tissue) loose and muscles flexible while reducing muscle tension - which can help improve exercise performance, help prevent injuries, and improve longevity.
Massage can help improve circulation throughout the body. For example, a Detoxifying Lymphatic Massage, also known as manual lymphatic drainage (MLD), is a gentle massage that encourages lymph fluids to circulate through the body to remove congestion and stagnation from within, eliminating toxins and improving circulation to provide a systematic reboot.
Chronic Pain Management
Massage therapy increases endorphin, serotonin, and dopamine levels - all of which are hormones that help decrease pain, regulate sleep and mood, and promote relaxation.2 Numerous studies demonstrate that regular massage therapy can help patients with chronic back pain find relief. For example, one study of women with chronic low back pain indicated that participants who received massage therapy had a more significant decrease in pain intensity and disability than those who received physical therapy.3
Lower Stress Levels
For those experiencing depression, anxiety, or just an overload of stress, regular massage can help manage associated symptoms. For example, a one-hour massage lowers cortisol4 in your body while also releasing serotonin (i.e., the happy chemical), creating a sense of relief and empowerment while allowing you to focus on your mind-body connection. Even people using massage therapy for physical benefits, such as pain relief, say they feel less stressed after getting a massage.
Boost Immune Function
Research has shown that receiving regular massage therapy can help boost the immune system and flush toxins, increasing blood flow throughout the body. Massage also increases the activity of the body’s natural white blood cells, which help our bodies fight off viruses5.
Regular Massage for Overall Wellness
Finding both scientific and anecdotal proof that regular massage therapy can improve overall health and wellness is easy. From easing muscle soreness after exercise to reducing stress, dozens of studies over several decades have linked massage with real physical and psychological benefits.
However, it’s important to remember that there is no “typical” therapeutic massage routine, as everybody is different. Extensively trained and experienced massage therapists, like those at Mantra Wellness, will tailor the massage to your needs, depending on personal goals and the issues that need addressing - which may be few or many.
Also, the therapist may use various techniques during your treatment session, as proper massage and muscle therapy do not subscribe to a one-size fits all approach. For example, depending on the therapists' training and skill set, they may incorporate deep tissue massage, myofascial release, trigger point work, various movement therapies, or passive-resistive stretching techniques to address the issue.
Explore our memberships and package specials today to begin experiencing the many health benefits of regular massage therapy by experts solely focused on your individual needs and goals in a serene and inviting spa-like setting.