By Project Wellness Now
If you’ve never had a massage before, we know you have your reasons. But if you’re on the fence about getting one, the following benefits may tip the balance.
By the end of this 2-minute read, you may find yourself coming down on the side of getting a massage and experiencing one or many of these wonderful benefits for yourself.
1. Massage Can Leave You More Flexible
The powers of massage can actually loosen up your muscles so you become more flexible. Rub-downs increase circulation, which in turn helps more oxygen reach your joints.
Plus, mobility is limited by inflammation. A massage lowers the levels of cytokines in your body. These cytokines are what lead to inflammation. Try a massage before your next yoga class and maybe you’ll finally achieve that insanely difficult pose you’ve always wanted to strike!
2. It Plays With Your Head in the Best of Ways
Enjoying the deep relaxation of a body massage can transport you to all corners of the galaxy as you while away the minutes in a blissful state of peace. We all know that. It’s not a giant leap of logic to learn that’s great for people with anxiety.
Another way massages set your mind right is they can help you sleep better, too. They help with stress, which eases the mind at night when you’re trying to get your eight hours in.
Even a short chair massage can give brain benefits, according to one study. Participants who got a 15-minute chair massage performed math problems twice as fast and twice as accurately than the control group who did not get the massage (poor guys!).
Finally, some people have had their headaches dissolve even before the massage session is over with. So, got a headache? Book an appointment for a massage and both mind and body will benefit.
3. It’s Like Yoga for Your Back (only easier)
A 2011 study on people with lower back pain found that massages worked just as well as yoga to help people feel better and function better. One thing to note here is that the study differentiated between two types of massage: 1) structural massage and 2) relaxation massage.
Although the relaxation massage did help the participants with their symptoms, it was the structural massage that really did the trick.
Structural massages also worked just as well as acupuncture, medication, and exercise (although we always advise getting plenty of exercise!).
4. It Can Keep You From Getting Sick
It may be hard to imagine how getting your muscles rubbed can keep you from getting a cold but hey, the mysteries of the human body never cease to amaze! It turns out that when you get a massage, it improves circulation (think of moving around toothpaste within a tube). That means your white blood cells are circulating better.
When that happens, your body’s NK white cells, the ones that fight infections, are flowing efficiently throughout your body. That’s one way to stave off a cold!
5. It Can Help With Osteoarthritis
A Yale University study found that people with osteoarthritis of the knee experienced multiple benefits when treated with Swedish massage.
After just eight weeks of massage therapy, participants in the study experienced improved range of motion, better flexibility, and reduced pain. And all it took was two massages per week for the first four weeks and only weekly massages for another four weeks.
The Final Rub
Massage these days is enjoying mainstream acceptance as a worthwhile complementary and alternative medicine. More doctors recognize and recommend massages alongside standard treatment for a very wide range of conditions.
More research will always need to be performed in order to scientifically confirm the medicinal benefits of massage. But there’s already a fast-growing list of clinical studies backing up with science what we already know: back rubs are divine!