Many people feel that they gain benefits to their health and well-being through therapeutic massage. The potential benefits of massage therapy can range from reducing stress to improving circulation to strengthening the immune system. Massage therapy has been the subject of many clinical studies, and while not all results are conclusive, most studies agree that massage therapy may help people feel better both physically and mentally.
The physical advantages of massage therapy can affect many body systems at once. Often, the benefits provided to one part of the body can affect another. For example, massage therapy can increase blood flow, or circulation, to the muscles, thereby potentially increasing immunity by flushing toxins out and causing the production of more disease fighting white blood cells.
Massage therapy may help relieve muscle tension. This aspect of massage therapy can improve symptoms for a variety of people who suffer with muscle strain, including athletes who take part in strenuous exercise or people who work in physically demanding jobs. Many people appreciate such benefits of massage therapy because they may reduce overall tension in the body.
Pain relief may be another of the physical benefits of massage therapy. People who suffer from back pain, tension headaches, migraines, and post-operative discomfort may find massage therapy helpful in reducing pain. Expectant mothers may also find specialized pregnancy massage to be a way to reduce the discomfort associated with child-bearing and labor.
Yet another massage therapy benefit may be a strengthening of the immune system. Studies suggest that both the circulatory system and the lymph system may be stimulated to work more effectively with therapeutic massage. These studies have shown that such bodywork may promote the creation white blood cells and natural killer cells, both of which may work to protect the body against disease, including cancer.
Stress relief may be one of the mental health benefits of massage therapy. People who suffer from stress often find therapeutic massage to be relaxing and rejuvenating. Massage therapy may also help to reduce anxiety and depression, while promoting mental clarity, feelings of well-being, and even self-esteem. It is also suggested that massage therapy can increase the body’s level of endorphins, which are hormones that support metal health.
Regular massage therapy may help people cope better with the demands of their daily lives by helping them to be more aware of how their body responds to stress. When received on an ongoing basis, therapeutic massages may promote healthy mind-body awareness. This awareness may help a person compare the physical effects of stress with the relaxation felt during a therapeutic massage. The stressed person may then be able to consciously relax their mind and body to help them feel better overall.