The typical initiation to massage is motivated by a stressful or painful condition. But massage's magical ministrations go deeper and offer you far more than you may have ever suspected. Regular massage can greatly benefit your overall health and well-being. Read on to learn some of the wonderful health aspects available to you through massage.
The more you learn about massage, the more you'll benefit from each of our sessions. This overview touches on some of the basic massage benefits available to you.
The most obvious benefit shared by virtually everyone is that a full body massage makes you feel great! The stress-relieving, soothing results are enough for many to include massage as a regular part of their lives. But what of the less obvious benefits?
The first sense to develop is your sense of touch. It's not surprising when you consider that each square inch of your skin contains roughly 50 nerve endings. With as many as five million total touch receptors in your skin relaying messages on to your brain, your body's initial response to massage is to relax and de-stimulate. Even a simple touch has been shown to lower blood pressure and reduce the heart rate. Touch can also signal the brain to produce endorphins, your body's natural pain suppressors.
Going deeper, massage can restore suppleness and strength to your muscles, improving their overall function. It's the ideal treatment for releasing tension or muscles in spasm and helps to release toxins such as lactic acid (produced by muscle tissue during exercise), as well.
Proper circulation is vital to continued health. Your blood and lymph carry nourishment to the trillions of cells throughout your body and then carry away the waste to be eliminated from the cells. Massage encourages a better exchange of nutrients at the cellular level and more thorough detoxification. Remember, the future "you" is determined by how well your army of cells regenerate themselves, so this is indeed a critical part of remaining healthy.
The nervous system is your communication network, sending messages constantly that determine proper functioning throughout your body. Stress can affect the ability of the nervous system to do its job. The many nerve endings found in the skin and muscles are soothed by massage, and this contributes to keeping your internal lines of communication open and operational.
Massage also aids in maintaining flexibility in your joints, such as the knee, hip, spine, shoulder, and neck. These joints are thoroughfares for nerves, veins and arteries, so their freedom of movement allow energy and blood to flow unimpeded.
So, you can see massage does quite a bit more than just relax you and work out the kinks in a sore back. Since massage has been practiced for thousands of years and is one of the earliest known health treatments known to man, why don't you hear more about it in today's society?
In fact, massage today is rapidly growing in popularity and reputation. Besides being misunderstood, massage has had to overcome the reluctance many people have regarding physical contact. Of course, once they experience a therapeutic massage for themselves, most people are hooked.
A 1997 Life magazine article explored some of the research underway regarding the benefits of massage. Undertaken by the Touch Research Institute in Miami, ongoing studies are showing amazing results, as the following quotes indicate:
- "...More than 50 TRI studies have shown massage to have positive effects on conditions from colic to hyperactivity to diabetes to migraines - in fact, on every malady TRI has studied thus far. Massage, it seems, helps asthmatics breathe easier, boosts immune function in HIV-positive patients, improves autistic children's ability to concentrate, lowers anxiety in depressed adolescents..."
- "...Massage can increase the lymph flow rate. It enhances immune function and lowers levels of (two) stress hormones..."
- "...Field (the director of TRI) worries that Americans aren't getting enough touch...At the TRI preschool, teachers encourage 'positive touch.' They dole out unlimited hugs, backrubs and shoulder pats...Most of the 40 children, from six months to five years in age, get a daily 15-minute rubdown, which leaves them according to TRI research, more alert, more responsive, able to sleep more deeply..."
As you can see, massage offers more benefits than you may have imagined. Isn't it good to know that something that feels so great can contribute to your long-term health as well?
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