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Surprising benefits of massage therapy

Sports Massage
Sports Massage
Photo by Lintao Zhang/Getty Images

It’s simple to know a massage relaxes the body or corrects it, but to know the benefits is harder to grasp. What exactly are the benefits of a massage anyway? A massage on its own proves its own importance to health care, but research strongly suggests that it’s a cure for stress. Experts estimate that upwards of ninety percent of disease is stress related; and nothing ages us faster (internally and externally) like stress. As society continually moves quicker, especially due to technological advancements, massage will become even more vital in health care and in eliminating anxiety, pressure, and stress in the fast-pace world that has been created for us. Research is continuously revealing the enormous benefits of touch or the power of touch, and showcasing how touch treats chronic diseases, neurological disorders, and injuries, to alleviating people from tensions of modern life or lifestyles. More and more of the medical community is turning to massage or other similar treatments to treat their clients, and massage year by year is becoming an integral part of health care, hospice care, and neonatal intensive care units- with many hospitals incorporating on-site massage therapists or even spas to treat post-surgery patients or patients as part of the recovery process.

Massage Benefits:

• Alleviate lower back pain
• Improve range of motion
• Medication dependence decreases
• Makes labor shorter and easier (can shorten hospital stay)
• Stimulates lymph flow (body’s defense system) so it enhances immunity (strengthens immune system)
• Helps athletes of all levels prepare and recover
• A form of exercise and stretches weak, tight, or atrophied muscles (atrophied muscles are ones that have gradually declined in effectiveness or vigor due to underuse or neglect)
• Improves condition of body’s largest organ (it’s the skin for those who didn’t know)
• Increases joint flexibility
• Lessens depression and anxiety (that should turn most pill popping and drinkers to a new way of life)
• Promotes tissue regeneration, reduces scar tissue and stretch marks
• Pumps oxygen and nutrients into vital organs and tissues- improving circulation
• Relaxes and softens injured, tired, and overused muscles
• Reduces post-surgery adhesions (adhesions are bands of scar-like tissue that form between two surfaces inside the body and cause them to stick together) and reduces swelling
• Releases endorphins (amino acids that work as the body’s natural painkiller
• Reduces spasms and cramping
• Enhances sleep quality and provides greater energy
• Lessons migraine pain
• Improves concentration
• Asthmatic children show better pulmonary function and increased air flow
• Burn injury patients report reduced pain and itching
• Lowers blood pressure (high blood pressure patients report lower diastolic blood pressure and stress hormones)
• Increases weight gain for premature babies
• Decreases water retention and cramping in premenstrual syndrome sufferers

Furthermore, clients of massage report having a sense of better clarity and perspective. The emotional benefits of a massage are just as important as the physical benefits it provides you. Specific physiological and chemical changes also happen throughout the body while receiving a massage, so now that you know just some of the benefits then you should be scheduling a massage.

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