Have you ever wondered exactly what the health benefits of massage are?
In the July 2013 edition of Your Healthy Living magazine I give Liz Parry the lowdown on just what makes massage so magic.
Massage therapy has been used for thousands of years by many cultures as both a curative therapy and preventative treatment.
Today, considered a complimentary and alternative treatment, massage is increasingly used in integrative medicine as high quality scientific evidence confirms that massage can treat a wide range of ailments and provides many benefits on a physical, mental and emotional level.
Benefits of massage
On a physical level, massage has the ability to ease muscular tension, restore healthy muscle function and reduce stiffness and pain to improve mobility, preventing secondary problems e.g. postural, spasms and headaches. Massage, as prehabilition, is know amongst athletes for injury prevention and to improve recovery time post events.
A stimulating massage will increase circulation, replenishing nutrients and oxygen of all body systems and aiding the removal of toxins and waste deposits to boost energy as well as breaking down localized fatty deposits to improve skin and muscle tone.
The relaxing effect of a massage reduces cortisol levels and blood pressure, whilst increasing levels of dopamine and serotonin. This decreases anxiety and depression and delivers an increased capacity for clear thinking and elevated mood. Adding essential oils, which affect the limbic part of the brain, relating to mood, can further enhance these benefits.
Massage can also encourage emotional healing as it releases emotions that are stored deep in the body’s tissues. The nurturing touch that comes with massage allows people to get in touch with themselves in a way that many are no longer used to.
There are many different types of massage, which use different techniques depending on the outcome you want to achieve i.e. stimulating or relaxing.
Whichever technique you choose, scheduling regular massages provides people the ‘time out’ to relax, reflect and find greater balance and harmony with themselves.
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