Massage therapy has been around for centuries. The ancient texts of many languages, including Chinese, Indian, Greek and Egyptian mention it. While the exact roots of massage therapy are unknown, it is known that getting regular massages is beneficial for the recipients. Massage can treat everything from aches and pains, digestive issues, insomnia and more.
But there is one area that seems somewhat counter-intuitive when it comes to massage – improved energy. For many, this may seem contradictory because getting a massage is typically relaxing in nature. While this is true, the after effects can be quite different for the individual. And many individuals report increased or improved energy when they receive regular massages. Let’s look at ways that massage can improve and increase energy. While massage may not directly increase energy, massage does reduce fatigue and can decrease symptoms that frequently zap our energy.
Massage improves blood flow and circulation, which in turn increases the oxygen in our cells. When cellular oxygen levels are higher, the body feels less fatigued. A study conducted at the University of Illinois at Chicago showed massage actually improves circulation in people who don’t exercise, thus improving oxygenation at the cellular level.
Faster muscle recovery
Muscles will recover on their own after a workout, but the addition of massage can actually improve the muscle recovery time. Massage helps flush out lactic acid build up in the muscles, which causes them to feel sore and fatigued.
When the body is sore and achy, we are less likely to feel vibrant and alive. In fact, quite the opposite. We usually want to stay in bed or lay around the house all day. But relieving that pain can actually increase our energy levels. This is something that massage excels at…relieving pain. This can indirectly improve our energy.
Just like when we feel pain, stress can zap us of our energy reserves. Stress affects everyone from time to time, but chronic stress shows up at the cellular level. Massage therapy can decrease stress in the joints, muscles and cells, thus indirectly improving our energy levels.
Fights off depression
When a person is feeling depressed, they tend to have less energy. Regular massage sessions have been shown to increase hormones like serotonin and dopamine, which help stabilize moods. So yet again, massage can indirectly affect the energy levels of people suffering from depression, acute or chronic.
When people aren’t sleeping well, they wake up feeling tired and irritable. Massage can improve sleep in a number of ways. Regular sessions may help with pain and stress, consequently improving sleep. Massage also relaxes the body and mind and allows those suffering from insomnia to fall asleep, and stay asleep more consistently.
This one may seem a little out of place, but think about what happens every Thanksgiving. When we overeat or our digestion is sluggish, we feel fatigued and tired. Massage can actually improve our digestion by stimulating the production of digestive enzymes, thus decreasing our feelings of fatigue.
No matter why you’re experiencing fatigue or decreased energy, getting a massage might just be the easiest solution. As you can see, there are plenty of reasons why massage improves energy levels and helps combat fatigue.