Does a massage do more than just feel good?
Of course it does.
Massage therapy is a scientific system of skillful manipulations of the hands up the body for improvement of health and well-being. The word “massage” is derived from the Greek word masso, meaning “I knead”.
Some of the benefits of Massage Therapy are:
- Relaxation / Stress relief
- Increased Range of Motion or Joint movement
- Dilates blood vessels, improving circulation throughout the body
- Acts as a mechanical cleanser, stimulating lymph circulation and hastening the elimination of wastes and toxic debris
- Relaxes Muscle spasms and releases tension
- Increases blood supply and nutrition to muscles
- Improves muscle tone and helps prevent or delay muscular atrophy resulting from forced inactivity
- Is used for relief of pains, cramps, swelling, strains and many other imbalanced conditions of the body
- Provided a sedative, or stimulating effect on the nervous system
- Helps reduce edema, decrease pain, and facilitate movement
There is plentiful of research showing that massage lowers stress and it significantly decreases the level of cortisol in the bloodstream. Cortisol is the stress hormone. Chronic high levels of cortisol can contribute to high blood pressure, imbalances in blood sugar levels, decreased bone density and an increase in abdominal fat, which is associated with heart disease, stroke, metabolic syndrome and diabetes. Getting a massage or bodywork session as well as any other relaxing activity you enjoy, will help lower your stress level.
Massage Therapy helps athletes:
- Reduce the chance of injury, through proper stretching and event preparation, and through deep tissue massage
- Improve range of motion and muscle flexibility, resulting in improved power and performance
- Shorten recovery time between workouts
- Maximize the supply of nutrients and oxygen through increased blood flow
- Enhance elimination of metabolic by-products of exercise
Professional cyclists, like those in the Tour de France, receive a massage everyday as part of their recovery process and routine.
Massage therapy is also a proven and effective treatment for people with low back pain, the # 1 cause of missed work and disability in the United States. ¨Massage for Low-back Pain: A Systematic Review within the Framework of the Cochrane Collaboration Back Review Group -Spine 2002 concludes that massage might be beneficial for patients with subacute and chronic nonspecific Low Back Pain, especially when combined with exercises and education.
Massage therapy does not only treat or focus on the muscles in your body. There are techniques, like Myofascal Release, that treat dysfunction in the fascia or connective tissue of the body.
Fascia is a connective tissue in your body that supports and surrounds every muscle, bone, nerve, blood vessel, organ and every cell of your body. Fascia is the gristle on your steak and the white film between your chicken breast and the skin. It is the immediate environment of every cell of your body and should be viscous and fluid and move with your body. Fascia can be damaged by repetitive stress, trauma, injuries and inflammation. This damage can create restrictions in the fascia which can put severe pressure on pain sensitive structures and can cause pain and dysfunction. Myofascial Release is a hands-on massage therapy technique that can release restrictions in the fascia and it is applied using sustained gentle pressure and stretching by manipulating muscles and fascia directly on dry skin.
Lower your cortisol level with a massage or bodywork treatment today.