What are the Health Benefits of Massage?

A. Pasbjerg

Many people get a massage for relaxation or because it feels good. There are also a variety of health benefits of massage, however, which make it a useful alternative treatment for many issues. Massage is helpful for addressing physical issues such as pain, poor circulation, and flexibility. It also has mental benefits like reducing stress, anxiety, and depression.

A man getting a massage.
A man getting a massage.

Pain relief is one of the main health benefits of massage. Those suffering from sore, stiff, achy muscles can have their discomfort eased. Sports-related injuries are often treated using massage to help promote healing at the injury site. People suffering from headaches, particularly migraines, have been shown to experience an overall reduction in pain and frequency of attacks. Those with chronic, painful diseases like cancer and osteoarthritis also often benefit from adding massage to their treatment programs.

Massage therapy can help improve circulation.
Massage therapy can help improve circulation.

Another of the health benefits of massage is improved circulation. The stimulation of massage increases blood and lymph flow to the areas being rubbed, and also encourages easier circulation throughout the body. This in turn helps clear toxins from the body and improves health overall. There is also evidence that regular massage can help maintain healthy blood pressure and improve immunity.

Improvement in flexibility is also one of the health benefits of massage. Tension in the muscles that is released during massage can make them more supple and improve range of motion. Often the joints also become more flexible as well. Those who get massages regularly may find they have an easier time moving, breath more deeply, and that their posture improves.

Massage is also extremely effective at reducing stress. Many people hold onto stress and it manifests itself physically as muscle tension. Massage helps to work out these painful, tense areas, which allows people to relax. The physical contact of massage is also soothing and relaxing for many people as almost all human beings require the touch of others for well-being. People often also become more aware of their bodies and how their mental stress is evident there, which can help them take steps to reduce stress between massages.

People suffering from feelings of anxiety or depression may be able to use massage to calm their minds and improve mood. As tension is released from the body, many people are also able to feel less tense and worried. Massage promotes the release of chemicals in the body that improve mood and may help reduce the feelings of physical discomfort that often accompany depression.

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