The Healing Powers of Massage Therapy: From Alleviating Pain to Managing Depression

With all the stress that people are experiencing nowadays, massage therapy can be a powerful tool to help improve their health and well-being.

Even in early times, many cultures practiced massage therapy, including the Chinese, Ancient Greeks, Egyptians, and Indians, to help relieve pain. Many believed in its healing powers and capability to treat certain diseases and injuries.

What is Massage Therapy?

Massage therapy is intended to manipulate the muscles and connective tissues utilizing different techniques to improve functions, promote comfort and well-being, and help in the healing process. It has different kinds with various purposes, but all of which are therapeutic in nature since it involves the largest organ of the human body: the skin. What makes them distinct from each other are their goals and techniques like moving, holding, and applying pressure to the tendons, ligaments, tendons, and fascia.

Fortunately, massage is widely offered today, even in gyms and airports. If you’ve been regularly seeing a massage therapist, you probably tried a lot of its types. For first-timers, here are some of the most recommended they offer:

  • Swedish massage therapy
  • Aromatherapy massage
  • Hot stone massage
  • Deep tissue massage
  • Shiatsu massage
  • Thai massage
  • Pregnancy massage
  • Reflexology
  • Sports Massage

Top Benefits of Massage

1. Relaxation and Manages Anxiety and Depression

One of the immediate benefits of massage is relaxation because it encourages the release of brain chemicals called endorphins, which are accountable for generating feelings of well-being. Also, the level of stress hormones such as cortisol, adrenaline, and norepinephrine are reduced. As a result, you’re feeling happier, less stressed, and calm with reduced blood pressure. Swedish massage is generally the most recommended type for relaxation. It involves muscle kneading and rolling, long, sweeping strokes, and friction.

2. Relieves and Eases Pain

At one point in your life, you’ve probably experienced back pain. Next time you are feeling it, consider visiting a wellness spa. Massage will reduce pain and stiffness in your back and improve your range of motion. In fact, it has similar results to other effective treatments like medications, acupuncture, yoga, and other exercises.

If you are in San Rafael, California, searching for an open-air spa, Bodywise Massage is worth checking out. They offer a wide selection of massage services, including Deep Tissue, Swedish, Reflexology, Lomi Lomi, Acupressure, Table Thai, Lymphatic Drainage, Sports Therapy, and many more. It is also where you can try an exciting outdoor massage experience in a stunning and tranquil wellness garden filled with playful birds, various native and exotic plants, and falling water. Another is an indoor open-air spa where you’ll be receiving your massage at an “open-air” space with no ceiling and door for enhanced ventilation. Click here for more information about Bodywise Massage to start experiencing a professional therapeutic massage.

3. Improves Sleep

If you’re one of those thousands of people suffering from insomnia, consider trying massage therapy. It is a drug-free, smart, and healthy choice to overcome sleepless nights. Serotonin plays an important role in mood, human behavior, body temperature, and sleep. According to a study, individuals who receive regular massage experienced a rise in serotonin levels and a drop in long-term pain. Although additional study is needed, the existing evidence is enough to recommend regular massage to the sleep-deprived.

4. Boosts Mental Clarity

In another study, 26 adults were asked to sit and relax in a massage chair for 15 minutes, twice for 5 weeks. On the first and final days of this study, the subjects performed math computations. At the end of the 5-week period, they showed improved speed and accuracy on math computations due to decreased frontal alpha and beta power, suggesting mental alertness.

5. Boosts Immunity

Research has shown that using a regular massage is excellent for your immune system as it helps flush toxins, increasing blood flow throughout the body. It also maximizes the action of white blood cells that help our body combat diseases and possibly aid in the reduction of cortisol. Cortisol is the primary stress hormone, which raises sugar in the bloodstream.

6. Beats PMS

If you’re one of those many women who suffer from premenstrual syndrome once a month, massage therapy can help alleviate PMS symptoms, including bloating, irritability, cramping, and mood swings.

7. Prolongs Youthful Glow

Whether it’s dry or oily, skin problems result from various factors. Massage therapy can help improve your skin’s health by increasing circulation. Plus, it helps release tension and relaxes the muscles, minimizing the appearance and development of wrinkles.

Despite these benefits, keep in mind that massage is not a replacement or substitute for medical attention. Be sure to notify your doctor first before undergoing any kind of massage and follow your regular treatment plans if you are pregnant or have medical conditions like:

  • Life-threatening illness
  • Suspected fractures or broken bones
  • Cuts skin rashes, or infections