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 Nursingtalks 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.
Many people might think that massage is too expensive or just a luxury, not a necessity. Some might say, “Only people with butlers and maids who send their clothes off to be dry cleaned and buttons sewn back on can afford it. Besides, it’s only good to relax, and I don’t have an hour to sit with cucumbers on my eyes!” Well, stress kills, and we can help.
With the every-day stresses that accompany our daily lives, stress can be a really silent, slow killer. The only way you can escape it is if you are a care-free three-year-old only playing and eating what you want! We, as a society, tend to over-stretch our glutes and back muscles while shortening our pecs and hamstrings, just to be very general. We have forward head posture, which causes Thoracic Outlet Syndrome, which can cause headaches and does cause numbness in our hands. We spend hours at computers working and Facebooking and watching TV or YouTube in awful positions that end up causing us pain or muscle strain. We spend loads of time texting and on our phone and while we are talking about phones, we still try to hold our skinny smart phones between our ear and shoulder while we are talking on it. We get in car accidents, slip on ice, fall down stairs, stub our toes and run into things. And that’s not even getting into the psychological stresses: deadlines, weddings, divorces, kids, no kids, kids sports and activities, church or other volunteer opportunities, pets, significant others, roommates, parents, siblings, extended family, in-laws, job changes, job promotions, new managers, new co-workers, losing jobs, sleep deprivation, sickness, technology not working, phone contracts, internet installation, turning 50, pluming issues, car work, and the list goes on.
Stress of any kind raises cortisol levels, the stress hormone. Cortisol is good. It’s that feeling you get that lights a fire under you so you do what you need to do. It regulates your metabolism and blood sugar levels; it’s anti inflammatory and helps with memory storage in your brain; it regulates your blood pressure. So you can’t just remove it from your body and call it good. If you were to do that, you would have all sorts of other bad symptoms. Too much cortisol can lead to high blood pressure, osteoporosis, weight gain, mood swings, and muscle weakness.
You can regulate its production by one of many de-stressing ways:
- Go for a walk
- Eat a healthy diet
- Exercise regularly
- Learn how to say no (especially when your plate is full)
- Voice your feelings, in a healthy, respectful way
- Do yoga
- Accept things you cannot change
- Write in a journal
- Listen to music
- Be less busy
- Get a massage
- Peppermint – Increases mental acuity, energizing, digestive (and if you’re not digesting properly your brain can’t work properly because it can’t absorb nutrients from your digestive tract to support brain function! Di-Gize is also good for those with digestion issues), proven to increase accuracy 28%
- Rosemary – Stimulates memory and helps with mental fatigue
- Cedarwood – Helps with mental focus, relaxing, balancing
- Clarity – A blend that helps mental alertness, increases wakefulness and decreases drowsiness. It is recommended to apply to large toe because it is the vitaflex point for the brain.
- Sports massage to prepare your body for sports (massageclub01.wordpress.com)
- Manhattan Chiropractor Explains Virtues of Massage Therapy (biomedreports.com)