It’s pampering and relaxing – great if you’re having a stressful time – but massage is just a luxury really, right? The benefits of massage therapy have been enjoyed by civilisations for thousands of years – and they go much further than just helping you to chill out.
It can actually improve your immune system
Regular massage therapy helps to boost your natural immunity. In 2015, the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine published a study that found that massage increases white blood cell count, which has an essential role to play in defending the body against disease and illness.
Combating anxiety and depression
Feeling isolated and alone is common among depressed and anxious people and something as simple as the soothing touch of a massage therapist can help lift dark clouds. Studies have found that people who have regular massage therapy report that they are less depressed and feel less angry about life, even those who have been diagnosed with a serious condition such as cancer.
Releases the tensions of office life
Many of us spend a large part of every day sitting at a desk and this can do a lot of damage to the body. From pain in the neck and shoulders to issues that arise in the lower back and hips, many of us are constantly dealing with the postural stress of our day-to-day lives. Regular massage therapy helps to counteract this, releasing tense muscles and helping with the issues that start to arise as a result of long periods of sitting down.
Soothing muscle pain
Whether you’re an athlete in training or you’ve stressed your muscles in daily life, massage therapy helps to provide pain relief. It works by improving and increasing the circulation in the body to help reduce inflammation and pain. Research has shown that massage therapy is as effective as any other treatment option when it comes to reducing the impact of something like back pain, for example.
Better sleep and less insomnia
From infants with sleep issues to those undergoing medical treatment or suffering insomnia as a result of stress, massage therapy offers a great solution. Massage techniques can be used to help release tension in the body and prepare it to wind down for sleep. It has been found to reduce stress in infants and help them to cry less, both at bedtime and during the day. For adults, massage therapy can release a build up of tension and interrupt negative thought cycles that might be interfering with sleep.
Tackling tension headaches
Just one massage therapy session can have a positive impact for those suffering with tension headaches, reducing the intensity and frequency of issues. If you regularly experience headaches and are looking for a way to deal with them that doesn’t involve lots of medication, massage therapy offers instant relief.
Yes, massage therapy is indulgent and relaxing but it’s also a very practical way to tackle some of the physical, and emotional, issues that many of us suffer with every day.