Don't want to put up with the pain any longer?
Have you always felt tempted to have a massage but then have dropped the idea due to extreme workload and family commitments? Well, no matter what, we would highly recommend you to go for it, and even take your family along, all because of an array of benefits that massage offers. Let’s first try to understand in depth what a massage is.
What is a massage?
Massage is a common term used for pressing, rubbing and manipulating the muscles, skin, tendons and ligaments. Massage is basically considered a part of complementary and alternative medicine. It is being offered along with a standard treatment for a wide range of medical situations and conditions. Various studies have proved that it is an effective treatment/remedy for reducing pain, stress, and muscle tension. Once considered to be just a luxury thing, massage has been proven again and again to be vital to injury prevention or any personal wellness program.
Types of Massages:
Massage may range from light stroke massage to deep pressure massage. There are different types of massage which include the following common types:
This technique uses slower but forceful strokes to target the deep layers of muscle and connective tissue. It helps our muscles recover from various types of injuries.
It is a gentle massage that uses kneading, long strokes, deep circular movements, tapping and vibration to help you relax and energize.
Trigger point massage
This massage technique focuses on tight muscle fiber areas which can form in your muscles specifically after injuries or overuse of muscles.
This is quite similar to Swedish massage, but it is focused towards people involved in sport/physical activities to help treat or prevent injuries.
Now that you know what massage is all about, let’s have a quick look on a few compelling reasons of having a massage. And we’re sure, by the end of this article, you would surely fix an appointment for this weekend. Get started!
Health Benefits of Massage
Here is a list of some of the health benefits of massage, which are proved to be quite effective:
1) Relieves stress
Stress lightening is one of the best benefits that come to mind when thinking about a massage therapy. It is also the main key component for a person trying to bring about a healthier lifestyle. Studies are evident that even a single one-hour massage session can help you in lowering down your heart rate and cortisol levels all of which can easily explain why massage and stress relief procedures go hand-in-hand.
Massage can lower your blood pressure and heart rate, relax the muscles and increase the production of endorphins, a natural ‘feel-good’ chemical in your body. Dopamine and serotonin are also released through massage therapy, which results in a feeling of relaxation that makes chronic/habitual as well as acute/short-term stress quite easier to overcome.
2) Manages low-back pain
Massages can provide a great relief if you are the one suffering from back pain which is often a result of muscle tension in the back.
Therapists stress that there are two groups of muscles, called the QL, the quadratus lumborum and the GM, gluteus medius. Generally, these 2 muscles are the main culprits behind your back pain. It is thus highly recommended to request your therapist to give special attention to these muscles while massaging. These muscles must be stretched and massaged simultaneously by your therapist in order to reduce lower back pain.
3) Reduces muscle tension
Massage treatment is one of the best alternative remedies for relieving muscle strain or tension. It is believed that massage therapy is about 4,100 years old. In the 4th century B.C., Hippocrates believed that patients could be treated by rubbing their body. Massage addresses and focuses on the muscle tissue directly and can assist in releasing muscle contraction, thus easing muscle tension. Massage can help release contracted muscles and lengthen the tight ones. Massage is also useful in the treatment of sore and stiff muscles.
4) Relieve tension headaches
Massage therapy usually helps to ease the pressure brought on by a migraine or tension. By focusing on the shoulders, neck, and head, massage can decrease the discomfort and pain brought on by a migraine or tension related to headaches.
During a massage procedure, the massage therapist can focus on the stiff and tightened muscles around your head, neck, face, and shoulders. This can tense up and hence lead to cranial pain, lengthening and loosening your muscles and tendons, increasing blood circulation and flexibility in these specific areas. Specifically, therapists will likely put an edge on your sub-occipital muscles, which are love-to-be-massaged muscles in the neck at the base of your skull. You should always discuss your tension headache or migraine problem with your massage therapist so that he or she can prescribe various massage techniques to relieve your pain. As a result, you may just consider yourself a happy and grateful tension/headache free minority.
5) Improves cardiovascular health
It might go unnoticed, but truth is to be said – regular massage can help you in lowering your heart rate along with blood pressure and can help you in enhancing the blood circulation throughout your body.
This is because a massage helps you in dilating your blood vessels, thus boosting their efficiency and helping them to circulate blood more effectively. This, in turn, would affect your well-being positively by delivering fresh oxygen and needed nutrients to the tissues. This would also help in the timely discard of toxins from your body, thus relaxing you inside-out.
6) Lowers blood pressure
While there is no scientific explanation linking stress to high blood pressure, it is still very important to learn to manage it. Stress can lead to sickly behaviors such as overeating, smoking, and not exercising. All of these are known for the risk of higher blood pressure. To fully manage this high blood pressure problem, it is important to find time for relaxation, and this is how getting a massage may help to maintain a normal blood pressure.
7) Help chronic neck pain
Your body posture can be another factor. Other causes include whiplash, arthritis, muscle strain, a pinched nerve, or degenerative disease. Whether it is chronic or acute, neck pain can be . Regular massage helps to keep your entire body pain free. When you are suffering from chronic neck pain, the massage will focus specifically on your shoulders and upper back. Massage of the neck may exacerbate symptoms at first, but gentle massage of the chest, arms, legs and back proves to relieve pain in the neck.
8) Lowers joint replacement pain
Did you recently undergo joint replacement surgery? Since this surgery involves the altering and cutting of muscle in the area surrounding the knee, chances are high that you’ll suffer shooting pain and inflammation post-surgery.
In such an event, a deep tissue massage can come to your ultimate rescue. Get a 30-minute massage done which focuses on hamstring muscles and thigh area after a few weeks to reduce muscle spasm and fight inflammation.
9) Enhances exercise performance
As a performer/exerciser, you might like to try a sports massage of a deep tissue massage to boost your performance. This is because these massages focus more on stretching and are faster in accordance with the exercise you perform.
These massages can also be used a warm-up stretch to make your muscles ready and prevent soreness.
10) Relieve postoperative pain
Massage therapy may help to relieve acute postoperative pain in the patients who have gone through any major surgery. Postoperative pain is at its peak when the patient is out of anesthesia or awake. It then falls off by the fourth or fifth day after surgery. It is not clear whether the decline of pain is linear or hyperbolic. The rate of decline of pain over time was faster in patients receiving massage. The primary effect of massage therapy appears to be on the affective/emotional component of postoperative pain which may be less responsive to sedatives. Thus, massage may add an additional pain relief element, which is not typically addressed by standard pharmacological approaches.
The bottom line here is that a massage session can not only refresh you by rejuvenating and re-energizing you but can also help you in fighting any pain or tension in your muscles, further boosting your overall health.
What are your views on full body massage benefits? How often do you go for massage therapies? Do let us know in the comments.
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