Massage as Medicine
Though many are under the misconception that massage is a luxury for pampering, the real purpose, and benefits, are far more valuable than that. Massage therapy is an amazing form of natural medicine with loads of benefits to your health - physically, emotionally, and mentally.
Pain Management Massage isn't just about relaxation. That's only one of the many benefits it provides. Massage therapy is a powerful method for consistent pain management, and not only for your back.
Regular massage can keep away headaches, repetitive stress injuries such as carpal tunnel and thoracic outlet syndrome, relieve pain and numbness in the hands due to tight muscles squeezing nerves, do away with a “crick” in the neck, loosen up those stubborn muscles that make you feel like your shoulders are pulled up to your ears, and get that plantar fascia stretched back out the way it ought to be - to name just a few pathologies that can be helped through massage. Circulation and Immunity Other great benefits: increased circulation and a boost to your immune system, which in turn leads to increased energy levels. Increasing the circulation of blood allows the body to nourish itself more effectively with oxygen and nutrients, getting those vital elements to the organs and muscles where they should be.
Tight muscles restrict blood flow, and massage is one of the most effective ways to resolve that issue. Increased circulation benefits not only the circulatory system, but the lymphatic system as well.
Getting things moving in the lymphatic system decreases edema and swelling, and stimulates the production and circulation of white blood cells needed for fighting pathogens in the body. In other words, it promotes the effectiveness of your immune system so you stay healthy more easily. A stronger immune system is one of the long term cumulative benefits of receiving massage on a regular basis.
Despite the increase in circulation, studies have found evidence that therapeutic massage helps lower blood pressure. Stress Management Stress is a normal part of life, and one that each individual handles differently. Massage therapy is one of the best methods for relieving stress buildup by loosening tight muscles, allowing them to relax into their natural state, and calming the central nervous system.
Receiving massage can bring the client to a feeling of tranquility. Flexibility, Strength, and Muscle Tone Massage increases range of motion and joint flexibility by keeping your muscles loosened up. It helps to reduce recovery time from strenuous workouts, and also serves to lengthen and strengthen atrophied muscles. Getting muscle tension out through massage reduces muscle spasms and cramping, and softens and relaxes injured and overused muscles. y bringing in nutrients and alleviating tightness, workouts meant to increase muscle tone are more effective. Strength decreases when muscles are tight because they are already partially contracted, which means you lose part of their functionality. Massage releases the muscle and allows full use of it, keeping your strength at optimum levels.
Preventing Injury When a muscle is tight, it is more susceptible to injury. It’s full use is being compromised, and if a tight muscle is suddenly contracted hard, it can result in tears of the muscles and tendons. Keeping muscles well conditioned and loose is vital to injury prevention, especially those who are particularly physically active. Treatment of Muscular Pathologies Massage therapy is used to treat a variety of physical ailments, including carpal tunnel syndrome, thoracic outlet syndrome, back and neck pain, frozen shoulder, arm/hand pain and numbness, plantar fasciitis, sciatica, tension headaches, pinched nerves, tennis elbow, golf elbow, whiplash, TMJ syndrome, shoulder pain, stress, ear and sinus infections, and more.
Barring any contraindicated conditions, no matter who you are, chances are you'll benefit from regular massage treatments.
From the desk of Neelou Saleh Spirit of Lotus