Home / Health / The Whole Body Benefits of Massage Therapy (Besides Just Feeling Good!)

The Whole Body Benefits of Massage Therapy (Besides Just Feeling Good!)

When was the last time you got a massage?

Massage therapy has been around for centuries, dating back to Ancient China. In 2700 BCE, there was a book entitled The Yellow Emperor’s Classic Book of Internal Medicine. It listed massage as a way to realign the flow of Qi.

Massage therapy made its way to the 20th century, once a luxury and a form of relaxation. Medical experts are beginning to include massage as a vital part of a healthy lifestyle.

Are you aware of the benefits of a massage? In this article, we give you some of the benefits of massage therapy. Take note of these points and book a massage appointment today!

What Is a Massage?

Massage is an umbrella term for manipulating your skin, tendons, muscles, and ligaments. Massage therapists would use various techniques to rub and press on your muscles. Here are some of the different types of massage, each ranging from deep pressure to light strokes.

Swedish Massage

Swedish Massage is a gentle form of massage therapy. This technique uses long strokes, vibration, and tapping to relax the muscles. It also includes kneading and deep circular movements.

Deep Massage

This is a slower form of massage that uses forceful strokes. This technique helps your therapist target deep layers of connective tissue and muscle. If you’ve suffered an injury with muscle damage, consider getting a deep massage.

Sports Massage

This form of massage is similar to the Swedish massage. Intended for sports activities, it helps in preventing and treating injuries.

Trigger Point Massage

Trigger Point massage can help reform your muscles from overuse or injury. This massage focuses on tight muscle fiber areas in your body.

Benefits of Massage Therapy

A massage is a form of integrative and complementary medicine. Many medical experts offer massage therapy with other standard treatments. Studies have found the following benefits of getting massage therapy.

Relieves Anxiety

Massage therapy can be a great treatment for anxiety. Many studies show that getting a massage can reduce the symptoms of anxiety. Experts think that a massage decreases the sympathetic tone in your nervous system.

This area is often associated with generalized anxiety disorder. A massage increases your parasympathetic response, giving a calming response. Studies show that a massage can give you long-lasting effects of decreased anxiety.

Improves Breathing

One of the first things your therapist may ask you to do before the massage is to take in a deep breath. When there’s nothing restricting your breathing, you can reduce stress. Your deep breath at the beginning of the massage is the first sign of relieving tension.

When you breathe, muscles in your chest, ribs, and neck assist your diaphragm. When stressed, tension accumulates around these areas, along with our neck and shoulders. A massage helps to relieve tension in these areas.

As your therapist works out the stress in your muscles, your breathing starts to even out. You can also request your massage therapist to tend to your intercostal muscles. These help you achieve effective and natural breathing.

Aids Digestion

A good massage therapy appointment can improve your digestion. Stress affects your digestive system. Getting a massage can aid your body in processing nutrients and food.

The parasympathetic part of your nervous system manages your digestion. It helps produce chemicals like insulin, saliva, and gastric juices. It also stimulates the process that moves food along in your intestines.

A Swedish massage could be your best option if you have digestive problems. When asking for a Swedish massage, you can opt for their abdominal massage. This acts on your large intestine to help the final steps of digestion.

Heal Injuries

Some chronic injuries or joint pains may hint at soft tissue restrictions. If left alone, it could lead to ligament problems or joint decay. Massage therapy can help you get rid of these restricted tissues.

Getting a massage will not only help you heal your current injury. It can help you avoid other problems and injuries in the future. However, if you’re getting a massage for an injury, look for a licensed massage therapist.

Ensure that your chosen therapist has extensive experience in dealing with injuries. Working too deep with soft tissues may do more harm than good. An experienced massage therapist knows how to assess and treat the injury.

Sleep Better

If you suffer from insomnia or other sleeping problems, a massage can help you. When you get a massage, the pressure slows down your nervous system. This lowers the amount of activity in your nervous system, helping you sleep better.

Restorative sleep reduces substance P levels, allowing you to reduce any overall pain. A massage will work on your aches and give you lasting effects after the appointment.

Detox Your Lymphatic System

Your lymphatic system helps your body balance fluid and your immune system. Lymphatic vessels extend throughout your body. You can find large groups of lymph nodes along your groin, neck, and armpits.

Your massage therapist uses pressure to flush blood through tissue and muscle. This also helps them to drain the lymphatic system. This allows your lymph nodes to get rid of waste, dead cells, and potential pathogens.

When your lymph nodes are sluggish, they can contribute to fluid retention. Detoxing your lymphatic system through a massage can help you reduce edema.

Healthier Heart

A full-body massage therapy can benefit the overall health of your heart. A massage increases your venous return. This encourages the flow of blood and oxygen to your organs.

A massage can benefit your entire cardiovascular system, thanks to the increased circulation. This activates your nervous system’s “rest and digest” mode.

Now You Know the Whole Body Benefits of Massage Therapy

Massage therapy is now more than a form of luxury and relaxation. There are many medical benefits to getting a massage. From better sleep to a healthier heart, massage therapy can improve your quality of life.

But why stop here? Do you want to know more about massage therapy and its benefits? Check out our other blog posts about physical therapy today!