Health and Vitality through MassageMildred Leonard
Invest in your health today or your sickness tomorrow ~ unknown
It used to be that massage was perceived as a pampered indulgence – something you did when you were on vacation or a treat you allowed yourself occasionally. But today, massage therapy has evolved. Its popularity has revealed just how vital regular visits to a massage therapist are for your physical well-being as well as your mental and emotional resilience.
How Important is Relaxation?
One of the prime benefits of massage is its ability to release stress and promote a renewed sense of calm and whole-body wellness. When life’s demands have you feeling tense, your body’s muscles, tendons and connective tissue respond with discomfort, aches or pains in your most vulnerable areas. These troubles can manifest as back pain, shoulder tightness, or neck aches.
As tension, anxiety and stress settle into your body, your sleep, digestion and energy levels can suffer. In addition, your systemic functions are affected. The stress response produces high cortisol levels (fight or flight hormone) that elevate blood pressure, generate cardiovascular dysfunction, create circulation issues, cause headaches and suppress the body’s natural immunity. You can find yourself facing chronic illness, debilitating fatigue or increased susceptibility to bacteria and viruses, which can create the need for medications with their unwanted side effects.
No matter where it hurts or how your body is adapting to the tension and stress that you collect on a daily basis, relaxation and release of toxins are necessary to restore smooth motor functions and balance body systems. The drug-free route of massage therapy can quickly return you to your life with improved mood, greater strength and a restored overall feeling of health and ease.
Other Reasons for you and your therapist to become good friends:
Besides its signature relaxation response, massage therapy is also a vital life-long ally for self-care under many other circumstances too:
- relieve pain and swelling post-operatively, especially in joint replacement cases
- enhance exercise and sports performance
- relieve muscle stiffness and promote fuller range of motion and flexibility
- reduce the pain of arthritis
- diminish the complex nerve pain of fibromyalgia
- provide support for cancer’s chemotherapy side effects
- help quicken healing for injured muscles by increasing oxygen and nutrition to damaged tissues
- restore balance to the body by promoting the removal of toxins through improved lymphatic drainage.
- increase the production of endorphins to reduce the pain response and promote calm and well-being
- improve posture by correcting maladaptive alignment of glutes, back, neck and hips due to injury or chronic pain
- diminish your risk of heart attack or stroke by generating greater calm responses to circumstances that might otherwise trigger anger or depressive reactions.
Massage therapy is administered in a wide variety of hands-on pressures, movements and techniques that target the body’s pain responses to injury, stress and disease. Whether it is remedial, sports, trigger point myofascial stretch, pregnancy or seated massage, or any combination of integrated massage approaches, committing to a regular routine can produce profound long-term health benefits.
Taking care of your health so that your body can remain resilient, active and vital is not a solo pursuit. Adding a massage therapist to your support team is a wise step and your future self will thank you for doing so.