If the thought of relaxing on a table while skilled hands work out all the kinks and soreness from your muscles appeals to you, it may be time for a massage. While you often expect this process to resolve stiffness and soreness, there are other surprising benefits to this type of pampering therapy.
Resolve Postural Stress
If you spend a large percentage of your day in one type of activity, such as sitting or standing, your body will undergo significant postural stress over time. Postural stress typically affects one specific area, such as the pelvis and hips or the shoulders and neck. Over time, postural stress can lead to weakness and pain in these areas. To fight against this progression, get a regular massage to work affected muscles.
A massage can improve both blood circulation and lymphatic circulation. As strong hands manipulate the muscles and soft tissues of your body, you involuntarily relax. With this relaxation, your body releases beneficial chemicals that transport nutrients and oxygen to your waiting muscle cells. In turn, these muscle cells become stronger and healthier, which means that they will start working more efficiently. You should notice reduced swelling in your body as your circulatory system works more efficiently.
Lift Your Mood
The stresses of the day can cause anxiety and even depression. While some people may turn to talk therapy or medication to fight these negative moods, muscle manipulation can also be an effective tool. As a therapist works to unkink your taut muscles, you will relax both physically and emotionally. After a session, it's typical to walk out feeling relaxed and happier because of reduced stress levels.
Resolve Tension Headaches
If tension headaches throw a wrench in your day, a professional therapist working on your trigger points could help. These trigger points are located on the neck, and head, specifically behind the ears, on the forehead, and in the temples. Pressure applied to these areas can relieve chronic tension headache pain.
Sleep can be elusive for many people, either because of pain or due to anxiety. If you have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep, try this therapy to improve your sleep patterns. When stress and anxiety are interfering with sleep, hormones may be the culprit. This type of muscle relaxation therapy can increase serotonin levels in your body, which increases melatonin, too. As these hormone levels equalize and improve, the body's natural circadian rhythms reset and sleep becomes easier.
Improve Health and Increase Immunity
A weak immune system can wreak havoc on your overall health. High-stress levels often contribute to ill health, either due to sleep or nutritional issues or because the body cannot fight off infection effectively. Regular massage can enhance the body's immune response to bacteria by boosting cytotoxic capacity. In turn, T-cells naturally decrease in number, which also increases immunity.
Once you see and feel the benefits of a massage, you might make time for this rejuvenating therapy as often as possible.
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