Getting a massage is often seen as a luxury or a way to pamper yourself. Sure a massage can be used as a special treat or a way to unwind but you shouldn’t only get a massage on a special occasion or when your body is exhausted or crying out for relief.
A massage can be extremely healing and is often a key component of complementary and alternative medicine, helping people to cope with and overcome a wide range of medical conditions.
One of the most common reasons someone seeks a massage is pain relief. Even a light touch can bring solace. Think about when you accidentally bang your leg, arm or have a sore spot on your neck. You instinctively put your hand on that area to ease the pain. It gives you comfort. It’s a reflex, it’s done without even thinking about it, but our body knows that touch can heal. Massage takes the simple healing power of touch a step further.
Why Does Massage Work?
Massages help your circulation and increases blood flow to stiff muscles and joints. This increased blood flow actually provides warmth to the affected areas of your body and as you may know, heat can help heal.
Massage eases pain in several different ways. For starters, it can increase blood flow to sore, stiff joints and muscles which are warmed by the extra circulation. The increased flow of oxygen and nutrients to the joints and muscles help to heal the damaged tissue that is causing you pain.
drink plenty of water after your massageIncreasing your blood flow has one more vital purpose – detoxification. During a massage pressure is applied to your tissues and fat. Toxins that have been building up in your body and are lodged in your muscle fibers and cells are “squeezed” out and released into the circulation system. This is the quickest and easiest way to detoxify. No fasting, not chalky green drinks, you let the massage therapist do the hard work for you. That’s why it’s so important to drink plenty of water after your massage.
A massage will also relieve pain since the procedure helps the body release oxytocin. Oxytocin is a naturally occurring hormone that helps us relax and have a sense of calmness. Oxytocin levels actually spike when women are in labor and massage has proven very beneficial for pregnant women as is reduces stress and decreases arm and leg swelling which seems to plague moms to be.
Another way massage helps with pain management is that it actually changes the way your brain senses pain. During your massage you become more relaxed and your focus is no longer on your pain, but on your current pleasure and long term benefits. That literally helps your brain to “forget” about your aches and pains not only during the massage but also long after your session is over.
What Medical Conditions Can Massage Help Me Manage?
Getting a regular massage from a licensed professional will improve your overall health and well-being. You’ll feel better, your skin will be clearer and your organs will be working more efficiently due to the detoxification process. For optimum health a massage needs to be part of your wellness plan, just like eating right and exercising.
Massage can also help with more serious medical conditions. There have been countless studies on the benefits of massage and the traditional medical science community is now praising its use for a variety of ailments. So along with relief from muscle and joint pain,massage can help you feel great massage has been proven to help with:
- Nerve pain
- Reduce side effects of chemotherapy.
Be kind to your body and start making a regularly scheduled massage part of your health and wellness regimen. Not only will it correct health issues but it will help you prevent them. You’ll look better, feel better and have a renewed sense of health and wellness.