Most of us would love to indulge ourselves in a massage on a regular basis, but you may have the idea massage is a luxury item. In truth, however, massage is one of the best things you can do for your body. Here are six ways massage therapy supports your health.
1. Massage offsets the hours of sitting.
Most people experience a degree of postural stress, which tends to appear in the shoulders and neck. People who work at a desk are at particular risk for postural stress.
2. Massage eases muscle pain.
Massage improves and enhances circulation, which relieves muscle pain. A 2011 study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine reported that massage therapy is an effective treatment for chronic back pain.
3. It soothes anxiety and depression.
Aaron Tanason, registered massage therapist, kinesiologist and owner at Paleolife Massage Therapy in Toronto, says:
Human touch, in a context that is safe, friendly and professional, can be incredibly therapeutic and relaxing.
Research shows people who are anxious and depressed experience reduced stress levels, and are much happier and more relaxed after massage.
4. It improves sleep.
Massage promotes relaxation, and it has been shown to help improve sleep even among people undergoing chemotherapy or radiation treatment.
Babies love massage, and parents can easily learn to massage their infant to improve sleep patterns.
5. It boosts your immune system.
A 2010 study published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine demonstrates massage raises the patient’s white blood cell count (white blood cells defend against disease). It has been shown to improve the immune status of people with HIV.
6. It helps headache pain.
Next time you have a headache, call for an emergency massage. Massage has been shown to decrease the frequency and severity of pain from tension headaches.
Researchers in Granada University in Spain found that one session of massage therapy immediately relieved perceived pain in patients experiencing chronic tension headaches.
As you can see, massage is well worth the investment. Treat yourself as often as possible, and your body will thank you.