Many people associate massage with pampering or as luxury reserved for special occasions. And indeed, it can be so, with its own appealing benefits. Additionally, and with increasing scientific evidence, massage has been shown to be a valuable adjunct to your wellness, health and fitness program. Consider these possibilities:
Massage is good for improved flexibility in muscles and joints. However much we try, we cannot always maintain the correct balances to keep joint and muscle movement optimized. We favor one leg over the other, we bend over our computers for too long, we sit too much – all these practices contribute to imbalances. Through massage, and specifically, active and passive stretching, your massage therapist can bring relief to any compromised flexibility.
Massage is good for stress and tension. We all hold tension somewhere in our body, most commonly in the shoulder and neck area. An adult head weighs 10-12 lb and if it is not held high and straight it will stretch (and shorten) neck muscles, resulting in more physical problems. Neck problems are often under-reported but neck work is often the favorite part of a massage.
Massage is good for physical and mental fatigue such as a “weekend warrior” day of challenging physical labor or enthusiastic sports participation at a level more demanding than you are used to. A long day of paperwork might also reveal a need for a break.
Massage is good for pain. The relaxing effects of massage interrupt transmission of pain sensations throughout the nervous system. We have always known this: when we bang a finger or toe, we instinctively rub it. We massage our loved ones for comfort and safety.
Massage is good for circulation. Massage increases blood flow. Light massage encourages lymph flow. A general intracellular cleanse provides better cellular activity in every biological system. Research continues to underscore the desirability of a balanced cyclic ebb and flow of all fluids throughout our bodies.
Massage is good for digestion. We would like this system particularly to maintain optimum performance. Targeted organ and visceral massage helps regulate the breakdown and absorption of our food, definitely a necessary function.
Massage is good for depression. Massage stimulates production of neurotransmitters such as dopamine and serotonin. Dopamine leads to general feelings of well-being and alertness. Even cognitive and movement functions are affected. Serotonin helps regulate nerve impulses and influences mood, behavior, appetite and blood pressure.
So the next time you experience any of the above, remember that a lovely massage will be more than a feel-good experience. It is a necessary and proactive strategy for comprehensive health.
We would love to hear from you. Contact us today to schedule your massage.