Benefits of Massage Therapy

Benefits of Massage Therapy

Massage therapy helps you relax from a stressful day, recover from physical activity or injury, and even strengthens your immune system. There are many positive aspects of receiving massage therapy on a regular basis. The massage benefits are endless. Our professional and experienced massage therapists are skilled in finding your sources of pain and tension to help improve posture and flexibility. Body massage has a positive effect in every disease condition, including heart disease, cancer, stroke, diabetes, and Alzheimer’s. Read below to learn more about the benefits of massage therapy.

 

Body Massage Benefits

  • Relieves Stress (Sympathetic Inhibition)
  • Promotes Relaxation (Parasympathetic Stimulation)
  • Improves Circulation of Blood and Lymph Lowers Blood Pressure
  • Promotes Quick Recovery from Surgery/Injury
  • Reduces Pain from Arthritis, Fibromyalgia, and Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
  • Relaxes Muscles
  • Relieves Headaches
  • Boosts the Immune System
  • Lessons Severity of Asthma
  • Relieves Depression and Anxiety
  • Reduces Symptoms of Insomnia
  • Helps Fight Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
  • Increases Balance

To create a comprehensive list of the benefits of massage therapy is nearly impossible.  Body massage benefits every cell, tissue, and organ of the body in a positive way.  There are two main ways that massage benefits the entire body:

1) Improves Circulation
2) Reduces Stress

 

Improves Circulation

Your heart pumps blood around the body to deliver oxygen, water, and other vital nutrients to every cell in the body.  Our cells, tissues, and organs need these resources to perform their specific functions, grow, and repair.  When they don’t get an adequate blood supply, they die.  This is often termed “stagnation” or “degeneration”.

It’s also called the aging process.  Over time, our circulatory system gets less efficient and slowly, one by one cells die off due to lack of resources.  Our organs don’t work as well.  We fall apart, but, it doesn’t have to be this way.  There are actions we can take to improve our circulation.  The benefits of massage are widespread because massage physically pushes blood (and lymph) around the body.  It can help to push blood to parts remote parts of the muscles.  This prevents fibrosis.  Fibrosis is the aging process of muscles by which they become dysfunctional and turn into connective tissue.

Does body massage actually improve circulation?  There have been many peer reviewed research articles strongly suggesting this, but a recent study proved it quite well. Blood flow was measured in four groups of participants.  One group exercised only.  One group was massaged only.  The third group exercised and received massage.  One group did nothing.   The group that received massage only had blood flow improvements significantly better than the group that did nothing and was equal to the group that exercised only.  The improved blood flow lasted for 72 hours after the massage.

 

Your Nervous System

Every person has a brain, spinal cord and nerves that control and coordinate every aspect of their life. You have the ability to see, hear, taste, smell, and feel. Sensory organs like your eyes capture visual information from our surroundings and sends this information to your brains for processing.  Our minds do the thinking, the decision making; however, most of our bodies’ processes are controlled by the Autonomic Nervous System. The ANS works without us even knowing.  We don’t have to think about our hearts beating, making our lungs breathe, digesting food, or just about any bodily function.  It just occurs under the direction of parts of our nervous system that we don’t even know are working.

 

The Autonomic Nervous System

There are two parts to the ANS that work in harmony together.  The Sympathetic Nervous System (SNS) and the Parasympathetic Nervous System (PNS).  You could consider these two divisions like the gas and brakes or the Yin and Yang.  When working properly, they create internal balance, also referred to as homeostasis.  The SNS is referred to as the “Flight or Fight” system while the PNS is referred to as the “Rest and Digest” or “Feed and Breed” system.

The SNS division is responsible for saving your life in emergency situations.  You have a great stress response!  In times of danger, your internal physiology immediately changes.  Blood and energy are delivered to your muscles, eyes, heart, and lungs and away from your organs that are not immediately needed to save your life like the organs if digestion, detoxification, reproduction, and our immune system.  This is normal in times of acute stress.

The PNS division works its best when you are relaxed and not in immediate danger. This is when the majority of your bodily functions are working to keep you healthy.  When you are healing, recovering, growing you are in the “rest and digest” mode of your autonomic nervous system.  This should be the majority of the time.  You should not be “running or fighting” to save you life all the time!.  One of the strongest benefits of massage is that our nervous system is returned to a relaxed stated, where our PNS dominates and we are able to heal ourselves.

 

Chronic Stress

The people who can benefit the most from massage therapy are those that are under chronic stress. Acute stress is normal.  Our physiology is built for survival.  If you are chased by momma moose, you want to go into super human mode.   However, many times people suffer from ongoing stress, from sources that simply cannot be run from or fought.  Careers, relationships, and finances are typical sources of chronic stress.

Your body cannot tell the difference between acute and chronic stress.  It’s just stress to the body and you react the same.  Chronic stress shuts down many systems of the body.  Chronic stress allows cancer to develop because our immune systems plummet.  It keeps us from digesting our food or detoxifying our blood.  Chronic stress is a major cause of infertility.

This is why massage benefits every single aspect of our lives.  Body massage is shown by research to inhibit the SNS, and promote the PNS.  It is estimated that 1 hour of massage therapy provides 8 hours of relaxation.   Regular massage therapy is part of a healthy lifestyle because it ensures we are not always running on our sympathetic nervous system.

The benefits of massage therapy have been widely known since the history of man.  It was first documented nearly 2000 years ago.  Massage benefits every single part of the body and mind.  Enjoy the benefits of massage therapy by called Denver’s Best Massage and Chiropractic center.

 

Want to learn more about massage benefits, check out this article from The Mayo Clinic. And then give us a call to book a massage with one of our talented massage therapists.