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Massage Therapy is one of the oldest forms of hands-on healing. Using techniques such as stroking, kneading, and vibration, it manipulates the muscles and other soft tissues of the body to reduce stress and improve circulation.
While many people associate massage with spa days and vacations, it is increasingly being incorporated into medical and healthcare settings as an effective tool to help alleviate pain and heal injuries. Visit https://www.flowstate918.com/ to learn more.
One of the most well-known benefits of massage therapy is stress relief. The serene environment of the massage clinic and the methodical kneading, stretching, stroking and rubbing of the body all help to calm the mind and the muscles and reduce tension. In fact, even a short massage can significantly lower heart rate and cortisol levels (the hormone that rises during stress).
While a good amount of stress is a normal part of life it is important to find ways to manage and reduce the negative effects of stress on your body. Luckily, massage is an easy way to do just that. By stimulating the release of serotonin, the body’s natural “happy” hormone, massage helps to decrease anxiety and promote a general sense of well-being.
Massage therapy also stimulates the production of “feel-good” chemicals like dopamine and endorphins that are responsible for improving mood and reducing stress. It is for this reason that people who suffer from a wide range of disorders, from fibromyalgia to chronic fatigue syndrome to depression, have found that regular massage therapy improves their symptoms and allows them to live a less stressful lifestyle.
The physiological effects of massage reduce stress by calming the body’s fight-or-flight response and increasing its parasympathetic nervous system activity, which is responsible for routine tasks such as digestion, sleeping, etc. When the body is in a state of continual stress, it can lead to many health problems, from high blood pressure to heart disease, so keeping your stress levels low is an important aspect of overall wellness.
Massage therapy also increases blood circulation, which leads to a reduction in blood pressure by slowing down the heart rate and relaxing the vascular walls. This is why it’s recommended to drink water after a massage to avoid feeling dizzy or out of it, which is a normal reaction to the increased blood flow and decreased stress hormone levels.
Massage helps relieve pain by interrupting the cycle of the body’s “fight or flight” response. The therapist’s touch triggers the release of positive hormones such as endorphins, serotonin and dopamine which decrease stress and anxiety while increasing relaxation and promoting healing.
The friction created between the skin and the fingers, hands or arms of a massage therapist stimulates the nervous system causing it to increase blood flow to the treated area which in turn raises muscle temperature and allows muscles to relax and release tightness. As a result, chronic pain sufferers experience reduced stiffness and improved mobility with regular massage therapy.
During the initial session, the client discusses their current health status, recent injuries and areas of concern with the massage therapist. The therapist then uses all the information they have gathered to create an individualized treatment plan for the client. The therapist also takes into consideration the client’s comfort level and any specific requests they may have.
Many people fear that the pressure applied during a massage will be too much, however it is important to know that you control the amount of pressure that is applied to your body. Everyone has a different threshold for pain and the therapist should never push you beyond your limit. If you begin to tense up or breathe shallowly during the massage it is a sign that you are experiencing too much pressure.
Depending on the type of massage you are receiving, the therapist will use different techniques to address your specific needs. For example, Swedish massage is gentle and soothing while deep-tissue massage involves slower strokes that target deeper layers of muscle and tissue. Sports massage incorporates assisted stretching to improve range of motion and reduce injury. Trigger point massage is focused on specific muscle fibers that cause referred pain in other parts of the body.
One of the main reasons people seek massage is to alleviate pain from chronic conditions and injuries. Often, these conditions are associated with inflammation and the resulting sensitivity causes the body to guard and restrict movement in order to protect the painful area. As a result, the pain can become cyclical in nature with a vicious circle of pain, stress and tightness. Massage has been shown to reduce inflammation and enhance medical treatments for a variety of conditions.
Many physical activities are more comfortable, easier and safer when your muscles are flexible. Injuries, poor posture and a sedentary lifestyle can all contribute to reduced flexibility. Regular massage helps to break down adhesions in tight muscles and increases flexibility.
The various techniques of massage including compression, kneading, tapping, rocking and friction increase the temperature of the soft tissue, promotes elasticity and reduces adhesion. Massage also realigns muscle fibers and breaks down knots that restrict flexibility. In addition, massage stimulates lymphatic drainage which is responsible for flushing waste products and toxins out of the muscle.
Muscles that are not used, or that are restricted in their movement, will eventually atrophy due to decreased blood flow. The increased circulation and elasticity of the muscles promoted by massage can encourage muscle growth, making your body more flexible.
Maintaining flexibility can decrease the risk of accidents and injuries and improve balance and coordination as you age. Everyone can benefit from greater flexibility. It may be particularly beneficial for children who are growing and developing and those who play sports as it can help prevent injuries by increasing range of motion and preventing overuse.
Stretching is important for keeping the body flexible but it’s not as effective as a good massage. A professional massage therapist can identify the tight muscle fibers that create referred pain in other parts of the body and release them. This is called myofascial release and it can be done using hands, fingers, elbows or specialized tools. A massage therapist trained in sports massage can use assisted stretching to help improve the range of motion of joints that are used in a specific sport.
Getting regular massages may help you keep your body in better shape and be able to move more easily as you get older. It can also prevent injury and speed up healing of an injury. It can even increase your performance during sporting events. It’s never too late to start a stretching program or begin receiving massage therapy. It will benefit you in many ways, so make an appointment today!
A good night’s sleep is essential for maintaining a healthy mind and body. While everyone experiences a sleepless night now and then, chronic insomnia can contribute to a host of health problems including heart disease, depression and obesity. Massage therapy is one of the best non-pharmacological ways to promote sleep. Research has shown that it can reduce insomnia symptoms and improve sleep quality, as well as relieve stress and anxiety, both of which can contribute to sleeplessness.
One of the key reasons why massage is so effective at improving sleep is that it can help reset your sleep cycle. It can also increase your serotonin levels, which is a precursor to the production of melatonin, a hormone that signals your brain it’s time to sleep.
In a study published in Sleep Science, researchers found that participants who received regular massages experienced better quality sleep than those who did not receive massages. They also had less fatigue and fewer complaints of poor sleep. Additionally, the participants who had the most effective sleep showed the lowest stress scores during their massages.
During a massage, the human touch and application of pressure can release neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine that can help stabilize emotions and relieve stress, which in turn helps promote sleep. Specifically, massage reduces cortisol, a hormone that can cause stress and lead to a lack of sleep, while increasing levels of the calming melatonin.
Another reason why massage can help with sleep is that it can decrease the effects of obstructive sleep apnea, which can be caused by stress, obesity and certain health conditions such as high blood pressure and diabetes. Studies have shown that massage can improve the quality of life and reduce snoring intensity in people with obstructive sleep apnea.
While massage can benefit many different health conditions and can improve your overall quality of life, it is important to talk with your doctor about whether this treatment is right for you. If you’re struggling with chronic insomnia or other sleep disorders, consider scheduling an appointment for a massage to see if it can help.