Massage has often been viewed as a luxurious indulgence.While it can be a treatment that allows you to feel very lavish because you are caring for yourself, which we may not often make time for, massage is actually a tool of wellness that can be used along with your health care plan. What can massage do for you? Massage actually causes physiological responses in the body that are a little bit like medicine, without swallowing a single pill or any scary side effects. WHAT?!? Here are just three things those responses can help with, and there are a whole lot more!
1. Low back pain
This problem, whether short term or chronic, effects up to 80% of people at some point in their lives. This study points out that many of the medical methods used to treat it are often unsuccessful and invasive. Using massage, even massage not specifically targeted to address low back muscles gave pain relief to over 30% of the participants. Massage helps you and your muscles to relax as well as releasing endorphins, your body's natural pain killers! Back pain can be excruciating. Trying massage along with the other methods you are using can be a great way to get out of pain and possibly avoid surgery and tons of opiod pain medications.
Chronic insomnia can be a debilitating condition. It is estimated that 30% of people suffer insomnia at some point in their lives for a short period of time and 10% suffer chronic insomnia, meaning poor quality sleep for six or more months. Massage increases levels of serotonin, a neurotransmitter which leads to the production of melatonin another body chemical that helps you with restful sleep. This study shows people with chronic insomnia receiving two 30 minute massages a week having an increase of serotonin as a result. Massage can help improve your sleep quality even if you aren't suffering from insomnia. Good rest is essential to health.
Anxiety and depression can both have levels of severity from mild to very severe. Massage is NOT a substitute for therapy or medication. It is complimentary care and you should always follow the advice of your doctor. However, regular massage can have positive effects on lowering cortisol levels which is a stress hormone. It also can provide a boost in serotonin and dopamine which people suffering from depression are lacking. Aches and pains often come with depressive symptoms as well as the rigid posture often associated with anxiety. Stretching and massage techniques will help to relieve these symptoms. The power of nurturing touch cannot be forgotten either. People with anxiety and depression often feel isolated or withdraw from others. Massage may help them to reconnect.
Thanks for reading! Please leave any comments or questions below. How has massage helped you?