The benefits of massage are extensive. Massage therapy treatments will have a therapeutic affect and improve health by acting directly on the muscular, nervous, circulatory and lymphatic (immune) systems.
Massage treatments aim to:
• Develop, maintain, rehabilitate or augment physical function – Massage therapy has become a staple of many professional athletes’ training regimens. But not just athletes. Lifestyle factors, such as long work hours or physically taxing tasks, lead many members of the workforce to seek the assistance of a massage therapist. A seemingly minor injury can have a profound impact on a person’s ability to stay physically active, participate fully in life, or even make a living if it becomes chronic. Massage therapy can be one of the ways of preventing that kind of outcome.
• Relieve or prevent physical dysfunction and pain – Some massage therapy techniques are specifically recommended for sore muscle tissues. An overly sore muscle cannot function properly. By alleviating or preventing pain, dysfunction can be combated.
• Relax tight and tense muscles – Many people don’t realize how much a tight muscle impacts on vital things such as posture. A tense muscle can throw off your body’s balance. Before long, muscles that were not initially tight begin to tense as they compensate for other parts of the body. It becomes a chain reaction that can spread far from the initial problem spot. A talented massage therapist can identify the source of the problem and start working to alleviate the problem where it started.
• Improve circulation, recovery time and immune system function – The movements of massage cause blood to flush in and out of muscles and joints. This flushing process – enhancing circulation in the affected areas – can, in some cases, aid recovery time from injuries.
• Reduce overall stress – We’re all becoming more aware of the role stress plays in health. People who are stressed, all other things being equal, are less healthy than people who are relaxed. Stress, for example, increases the risk of heart disease. Cortisol has been termed the “stress hormone” because excess cortisol is secreted during times of physical or psychological stress, and the normal pattern of cortisol secretion (with levels highest in the early morning and lowest at night) can be altered. This disruption of cortisol secretion may not only promote weight gain, but it can also affect where you put on the weight. Massage therapy is an effective and enjoyable way to reduce stress.