There are many benefits of massage therapy. We’ve explored a few of them in previous blogs – massage for lower-back pain, for sleep, for immunity, and more. Whenever we’re feeling sore, stressed or sluggish, an idea we always seem to be coming back to is “I need a massage.” Many massage therapy benefits are already known to us: they’ve been tried and tested. It seems as though we all know someone who gets regular enough massages to make the rest of us a bit jealous. Their back is never sore, their stress never goes unchecked. And they always seem to have really good posture.
Massage therapy benefits not just the body, but the mind as well. When our mind is taken up by pain, discomfort or frustration, we hold onto it in our body. This is why you might have a sore or stiff neck after a particularly stressful day. Feeling these negative ways impacts our productivity, our ability to communicate and work effectively, and our overall happiness.
In this blog, we’ll be splitting the benefits of massage right down the middle into their two most significant components: physical benefits and psychological benefits.
Physical Benefits of Massage Therapy
Physical is of the body. Our physical condition is most tell-tale regarding our health. Keeping up with our physical health is vital to our overall wellbeing. Massage plays an enormous role in physical health – it can have an impact on how we look as much as how we feel. Some of the physical benefits of massage include:
We can feel tension anywhere, particularly in areas like the neck, shoulders and back. Pain, discomfort, tightness and stiffness tends to settle in these major joints. Massage aims to release tension in these areas to decrease these uncomfortable symptoms and get us moving again.
Improves mobility and range of motion:
This is especially true for the same areas mentioned above. Once tension has been alleviated in stubborn muscles and stiff joints, we are able to enjoy the full potential of our bodies. Massage not only helps to improve mobility, but it can also increase our range of motion. Sports massage is especially good for maintaining and training the muscles.
This is an extension of the above. Massage improves muscle tone, texture and elasticity, meaning that as your mobility improves, so does your flexibility. Hence, massage is a very popular therapy among athlete – in particular gymnasts and dancers.
Pain is usually a symptom of inflammation as a result of damaged muscles. Massage can help to reach the deep layers of fascia, working to break down scar tissue and muscular “knots”. Remedial styles such as deep tissue are ideal for assisting in pain reduction.
A strong circulatory system improves the appearance and conditions of organs inside and outside of the body. This means that massage benefits the heart and the skin at the same time! Talk about full-body massage. Lymphatic drainage is one of the best holistic therapies for increasing circulation and eliminating toxins from the body.
Breaks down scar tissue:
Scar tissue can be causing tension, stiffness, discomfort or pain. Scar tissue forms when the deep layers of skin (dermis) is damaged. This is usually the result of an injury and improper healing. Massage can help lessen the appearance of scars by addressing the site directly through pressure and flow.
Sometimes motion works better than an ice pack. Inflammation can hinder our movement through subsequent stiffness and pain. Massage can work to reduce inflammation at the site by affecting circulation and redistributing fluid.
Massage is a physical therapy that requires no effort on the recipient’s part, allowing the chance for the body to recover. All of the aforementioned benefits lead to a boost in immunity and wellbeing. You may find immunity is heightened directly following a massage – just ensure that you are not already afflicted prior to booking your massage. Your therapist is there to spread wellness, not germs.
Psychological Benefits of Massage Therapy
The psychological, or mental, benefits of massage should not be underestimated. Our mental health is just as important as our physical wellbeing – sometimes more. In fact, our mental health can dictate the condition of the body. Massage is about more than just fixing a sore shoulder: it’s getting to the cause of why that shoulder is sore, and how to prevent it. The benefits of massage on the brain include:
This is actually a scientifically-proven chemical reaction in the body. A relaxing massage can make you feel lighter, more balanced and generally just plain “better”. This is because massage stimulates the feel-good chemicals in the brain to be released. Decrease in negative feelings
Decreases negativity and fights the mental slump
Massage can significantly decrease overwhelming feelings of negativity. This is another chemical reaction that happens in the brain when we are placed in a position of security, relaxation and comfort. As the brain is flooded with positive feelings, it washes away the negative ones. This is why we recommend getting a massage when you feel stressed, anxious, or any other negative emotion.
Check out the science of massage and feelings in this study.
Reduces of stress
A massage takes energy away from stress and anxiety and moves it elsewhere. One of the top reasons Blys customers love getting massages at home is to reduce stress. Now that we understand the chemical reactions happening in our body, we can confidently say that massage reduces stress.
Fosters relaxation, healing and wellbeing
Massage is a holistic therapy designed to improve health in a natural way. Touch is a universal language that transcends all communication barriers. A sense of touch can calm, relax and renew. It can also restore balance, promote healing and lend itself to recovery. Many people choose to have a massage to feel appreciated and devote some time to themselves. In certain instances, such as during a couples massage, massage can be a very intimate thing – a shared experience. Touch is the most powerful of the five senses.
Recharges and renews energy
You may experience a surge in energy following a massage. Massage gives the body a chance to wind down and recharge. Techniques like tapotement are especially good for waking the body up and restoring energy, which is why many corporate massage therapists end their sessions with this. Energy increases following relaxation and being recharged, which is why it makes the psychological list.
Time set aside to evaluate your ideas, priorities and systems can only increase your focus. A massage is a mental break that provides this time. You can walk away from your massage with fresh eyes and a new attitude, improving your focus on the tasks at hand.
Just like above, focus and concentration go hand in hand. They differ in that focus is the project, and concentration is diligence
When you are focused and can concentrate effectively, your productivity skyrockets.
Why do people choose massage?
There are many forms of physical therapy out there: massage, physiotherapy, chiropractics, acupuncture…and so the list goes own. Massage is one of the best known and most widely used physical therapies available. It is a therapy of its own, and there are many, many different forms of massage. Massage is especially effective because it dips into elements of other therapies, such as physiotherapy, chiropractics, osteopathy, cupping, yoga, stretching and more.
People choose massage because it has the ability to address a huge number of ailments, both physical and mental. You will probably not feel relaxed after a physiotherapy session, but you will after a massage treatment. You may not enjoy a chiropractic appointment, but you are in control of your massage flow and pressure. Massage is essentially the gateway into physical therapy – there is something for everyone.
This is not to downplay these other modalities – each has their purpose and their outcome depending on what sort of issue needs to be addressed and how you with to go about it. Massage is just most popular, and most prevalent, as it is an easy yet effective treatment. The massage therapy benefits are tried and tested – there are very few risks but so many rewards.
The future of natural health
We’ve recently witnessed a shift in opinions on holistic health. More and more people are coming to understand the benefits of natural health. Whilst modern medicine has evolved beyond belief in the current day, there will always be those who gravitate towards treating conditions without the aid of medicine, chemicals or otherwise synthetic means. After all, paracetamol will only numb pain temporarily – it does not treat the cause. Getting to the root of an issue is always better than trimming the leaves.
With so many options available to us in the 21st century, finding a natural physical therapy that addresses your specific needs is becoming easier. By making these wellness services like massage accessible through mobile platforms like Blys, more and more people will be able to get the relief they need. Massage therapy benefits can be experienced by everyone!
As research is ongoing and developing, we are sure that more and more benefits of massage therapy will be revealed. We’ll keep updating this list with new findings!
Don’t underestimate the power of a good massage.