People have always connected Massage Therapy treatment to a feeling of overall relaxation and stress relief. A calm and clear state of mind and relaxed muscles are just a few reasons why a massage is part of many individuals’ favourite self-care routines. While relaxation is a very important aspect of a massage treatment, there are many other benefits to your body that a massage can provide. Whether the treatment you receive is a relaxing Swedish Massage or more of a Deep Tissue Massage, the pressure and motion used by your therapist can lead to benefits in both your physical, emotional, and mental well-being.
Besides the obvious benefits of total body relaxation and relief from stress, a Massage Treatment can help in plenty of other aspects of your body including:
- Anxiety and Depression
- Blood circulation
- Variety of injuries
- Range of motion loss
- General pain relief
- Systemic body conditions
Of course, this is not a full list of all the possible benefits, but it is a good place to start.
Anxiety and Depression:
The most common discovery in massage research is the link between massage and a decrease in cortisol levels (which is a hormone associated with stress). Cortisol helps to induce the body’s “fight or flight response,” or the stress reaction. This reaction leads to uncomfortable symptoms, like shortness of breath, accelerated heart rate, excessive sweating, and chest pains. Massage Therapy, on the other hand, can have the opposite effect on your body by producing a relaxation response, resulting in the lowering of your heart rate and a reduction in body tension.
Loss of range of motion:
Massage is such a helpful aspect when muscles are tight and limiting the amount of movement available to you. Massage Therapy treatment helps to increase the range of motion by increasing the temperature of our soft tissues, increasing specific tissue elasticity, and breaking down the adhesions in these tissues. All the changes occurring in the tissue will help to clear out the inflammatory response present in the muscle and therefore increase our range of motion. Receiving a massage can also help to increase your range of motion, to maximize overall muscle and body performance. When a muscle is relaxed and stretched (becoming elastic) this will loosen muscle fibres for better motion. Keeping our bodies, joints, and muscles flexible and consistently capable of moving at our maximum performance with little to no impact on our end range of motion.
When you are stressed and can’t get something off your mind your body reacts by changing sleep patterns and diminishing the quality of a good night’s sleep. Being able to relax is one of the best ways you can help improve your sleep habits. Studies have shown that improved sleep following the relaxed state a massage treatment provides can last up to 24 hours or more! The science behind this is that massage treatment can help to increase the rate at which serotonin and melatonin (hormones allowing the body to reset back to a normal sleep rhythm) are released naturally. This increased rate will help improve your mood and reduce your stress, making it easier when it’s time to rest.
As you can see, a Massage Treatment can have a wide range of beneficial outcomes that don’t just include relaxation!