We know massages to be highly relaxing and able to leave anyone in a state of euphoric relaxation. In fact, this is exactly what our therapists are trained to do. They relieve and prevent pain through various healing touch techniques, keep soft tissues relaxed, and help us to be more able to manage the everyday wear-and-tear of our bodies. Of course, there’s an entire science to this process. Let’s break down the scientific benefits of massage therapy:
Recently, researchers from Duke University found that full-body massage sessions can significantly improve joint mobility and alleviate pain caused by osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis and other joint-related illnesses are usually the consequence of severe inflammation and swelling in the inflicted areas, which massage therapy can help with. It helps loosen up the tightness in soft tissues and reduces swelling by redirecting blood out of the affected area.
Lowers high blood pressure
It’s fairly normal to experience bursts of high blood pressure, especially for active individuals. However, if it remains consistently high, then it may be a cause for medical concern, specifically for heart diseases. Doctors will likely give you the proper medication to control it, but there are additional ways that you can help regulate your blood pressure even more. Studies on Verywell Health suggest that massages help calm the sympathetic nervous system, which is what’s responsible for raising your blood pressure in response to stress. This is why you are left feeling calm and tranquil after every session.
Controls sugar levels
Another common reason why people approach massage therapists is to control their increasing sugar levels — the primary cause of type-2 diabetes and other chronic diseases. A properly administered massage can increase your body’s insulin, the hormone that regulates sugar in your blood, as well as blood circulation. In these ways, massages can help lower blood sugar levels.
Speeds up recovery
Deep tissue massages make use of slow, deep stroke techniques that therapists use to treat musculoskeletal conditions. These include strains, sports injuries, and more. A study on the Journal of Sports Science and Medicine notes how post-exercise massages speed up the recovery of stiffened muscles in most parts of the body. Massage therapy also encourages faster healing by improving the blood flow in the affected area, which can, in turn, reduce swelling.
Maintains youthful-looking skin
There are many stressors in our everyday lives, like bad lifestyle choices that end up ageing our skin faster. Pretty Me’s guide to getting rid of eye bags points out that stress can certainly manifest in our physical appearances, particularly through wrinkles and eye bags. However, it can be prevented by making healthy lifestyle choices, such as getting enough sleep and maintaining a proper diet. Regular massages, particularly on the face, can help you maintain youthful-looking complexion, too. This is because massage therapy stimulates blood circulation towards the skin, which then helps prevent fine lines and wrinkles. It also helps tighten the skin, making it nice and elastic again.
While we’re on the topic of stress-induced consequences, massages aren’t limited to improvements in bodily functions and appearances. Unsurprisingly, it has mental health benefits as well. Our previous post for National Stress Awareness Day explored how massage therapy is not only physically, but scientifically proven to alleviate signs of stress and anxiety, too. Massage therapy reduces your cortisol levels (your body’s main stress hormone), which can effectively improve your overall mood.
Regulates sleeping patterns
People suffering from lack of sleep are often diagnosed with low levels of serotonin. Serotonin is also referred to as the “happiness hormone” or the substance responsible for the regulation of (most of) your emotions, appetite, and digestion. Massage therapy can help people relax by stimulating hormones that are conducive to sleep, as well as reduce muscle tension to lessen tossing and turning during the night.
All in all, massage therapy can be a great addition to your regular self-care regimen. However, it’s important to note that massages aren’t a miracle cure, and it shouldn’t be used as a substitute for actual medical intervention. At the end of the day, just enjoy the relaxation it brings and your body will thank you for it.
If you’re dealing with the temptation of a massage, explore our treatments here or call our Reservations Team to book on 0191 516 1400.
Article specially written for seaham-hall.co.uk By Blaine Moore