Massage is great to be added into any health care regiment. Yes, I said ANY. Whether you are looking to relax, decrease migraines, improve athletic performance, deal with anxiety, or a multitude of other conditions you may have in your life right now, massage therapy can help.
Are you stressed? Feeling sluggish? Getting sick often? Can’t seem to get enough or great sleep? How about your workouts: are you achieving your exercise goals, or have you hit a plateau? Have you thought about adding massage to help you with any of these?
If you haven’t, here are 5 reasons to make 2015 a healthier year for you!
- Massage Improves Sleep. If you have suffered from insomnia or just wake up a million times during the night, you know how awful that is. You always feel tired but you can’t get enough sleep–you feel like an unraveled sweater! A study the AMTA conducted showed that massage improves sleep in adolescents, children, those with psychiatric disorders, insomnia, pain, fibromyalgia, cerebral palsy, cancer, or hand pain, caretakers of hospital patients, adults, infants, and many more.
- Massage Increases Flexibility. When muscles get tight, their elasticity decreases. We’ve talked about this before in an article called Stretch Yourself, but it really important to keep your muscles flexible. Movement is life, and if you can’t move, your body will degenerate much quicker. Through massage manipulating and eliminating knots and tension, Range of Motion increases, and you can be a more flexible person.
- Massage Decreases Pain. Another topic we touch on frequently, pun intended, decreasing pain is often the most common reason people come to see us at Under Pressure Therapeutics. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. It’s not a secret that massage can decrease pain. You just have to find the right type of massage therapist. Sometimes, pain is decreased through lighter touch, breaking up sensitive scar tissue, and other times, the Massage Therapist really has to beat you up. Either way, we know how to help your pain. And if we don’t we will suggest other options for you to manage your pain or get rid of it!
- Massage can Decrease Headaches and Migraines. A study performed by the National Center for Biotechnology Information stated that “The muscle-specific massage therapy technique used in this study has the potential to be a functional, nonpharmacological intervention for reducing the incidence of chronic tension headache” Now headaches and migraines can be tricky, such as if there is a chemical imbalance, previous trauma to the actual brain or brain area, eye strain, or other possible causes of headaches. Massage is amazing for tension headaches and migraines caused by stress. Most of the time with stress migraines, it’s because you’re wearing your shoulders as earrings! That’s tension related, and massage can help.
Massage Increases Relaxation.
Many scholarly journals and articles have been published about the relaxing benefits ofregular massage therapy. The International Journal of Neuroscience
talks about how massage decreases cortisol and increases dopamine. The Journal of Clinical Nursing
talks about how great light massage on the back and hands of the elderly can really benefit their health. And even if you don’t care about the studies, it gives you some You Time, which none of us get enough of in this day and age, with everything at our fingertips. Going for a walk, most of us feel obligated to take our phones with us and quickly answer any correspondence during what’s supposed to be our “relaxing” walk.
I know, I talk about how great massage is all of the time. But it’s the best! With the new year, we are geared up and ready to serve you as best we can.
Most people don’t like ice. It’s uncomfortable. It’s cold. It’s wet. After a while, it makes you ache. We try and protect ourselves from ice and cold as much as we can. So why, oh why, would you let your Massage Therapist put ice on you for part of your massage!?!?
Especially with chronic issues, cryotherapy (Ice massage) can be better for you than heat. Heat will increase inflammation, if any is present, which would exacerbate the pain-causing issue.
The way it works: your therapist takes some ice and rubs it on the area he/she wishes to massage. There are stages of ice that you have to bear through in order to get the most benefits from it: cold, burn, ache, hurt, and then finally to the numb stage! Getting your body to this point is where you will have the most beneficial factors for cryotherapy. It usually takes around 7 minutes with the ice cube (usually 20 if you are icing yourself with an ice pack or a bag of peas) for the area to get numb.
Then the fun begins! The therapist can then dig in on the area and break up scar tissue, tight fascia, or knots that won’t go away, while you are getting the benefit of icing the area, which calms everything down and allows the body to really take a look to see what’s going on with your shoulder, or your lower back, or whatever your issue is.
Ice is not fun to get, but I promise you that it will help you get greater relief from certain aches, pains, and limited range of motion.