Massage It!

There is Swedish, Aromatherapy, Hot Stone, Watsu, Shiatus and even Pregnancy Massage. Most experts postulate that having a massage is a good thing. Some of the benefits of having a massage which are touted include a few highlights:

1) Increasing Blood Flow to Muscles
A person with poor circulation will have discomfort at times, particularly in the extremities. A massage can aid this by enhancing circulation allowing the blood to take the oxygen to the muscles and even reduce fatigue and achiness due to the condition. This also helps in the circulation of lymph fluid around the body which means that all of the waste and toxins around organs and muscles are also taken away. Another benefit of this increased circulation is that lactic acid which causes the “burning sensation” in muscles is also taken away, which is very good. Overall it stops or reduces pooling of fluid in the extremities and provide for the hands and feet and organs to get better and show signs of improved health.

2) Improving Cardio-vascular Health
A good massage can stimulate the nerve endings in our skin. The therapy also acts to release more endorphin hormones, reduce the stress hormones cortisol and adrenaline. In effect, blood will circulate more efficiently around the body and this also causes blood pressure to drop and the heart rate to slow down. Further to this, a regular massage regimen can reduce the risks associated with stress, such as cardiac arrhythmia.

3) Lowering Blood Pressure
Massage therapy could serve as an effective intervention in controlling blood pressure, as seen in a study of pre-hypertensive women. The study showed that the immediate results of lowered blood pressure lasted up to 72 hours after massage. Massage therapy was now seen then as a safe, effective, applicable and cost-effective intervention, in controlling the Blood Pressure of the pre-hypertensive women in the study. This form of treatment by extension can and maybe should be used in the health care centers and even at home.

Patients with high blood pressure who are not on medication should re-think this hands-on therapy method.
Getting a massage will increase your blood flow, and this increase in a patient with already high blood pressure could cause problems. Please talk with your doctor…

4) Easing Symptoms of Depression
Depression has been known to contribute to weight problems and may even lead to obesity. Furthermore, depression has led to constricted blood vessel as well as possible Heart Attack outcomes. Getting a massage also provides benefits where there is an increase in serotonin levels as well as that of dopamine. Both of these chemicals are neurotransmitters – and they do help in the stabilizing of your mood.

Researchers measured the stress hormone cortisol in participants before and immediately after massage and found that the therapy lowered levels by up to 53%.

Congratulations – your massage has boosted your body’s ability to fight off pain, anxiety and feelings of sadness, when those hormonal levels have been naturally adjusted by the touch of massage.This also can extend to enhanced self-worth and reduction in a sense of depression. It is strongly considered for persons undergoing depression treatment to include massage as part of their therapy. This mind-body connection also seems to play a significant role in easing the symptoms.

5) Relieving Stress
We hear it so often, that Stress is a killer. Stress has been known to increase blood pressures and also heart rate. Massage therapy has been shown to be a means by which stress can be reduced significantly on physical and psychological levels.  On physical stress points – massage therapy can reduce pain and it can also promote muscle relaxation. Sometimes the therapist will feel the kinks in the specific muscle area, and focus on “easing” the knots here. Once completed however persons have indicated that they have an improvement in mood and even in sleep quality .

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