The Importance of Massage Therapy
In the midst of our busy lives, it can often feel like a luxury to invest in a good massage. I have often thought that unless I suffered an injury, pulled a muscle or felt especially sore, massage is a special, if unnecessary, treatment. However, my younger sister has recently enrolled in a school specializing in massage therapy and I have quickly discovered that I couldn’t be more wrong! After receiving a proper massage, I found easier mobility in my daily tasks, better posture and more energy…
Of course, pressures in life, busy schedules, carrying babies, groceries or tools, long-days at work, pregnancy, illness all contribute to muscle soreness and tension in our arms, legs and backs. These are just some of the reasons regular massage therapy is actually extremely beneficial for us – improving our body’s circulation, muscle movement by releasing a healing chemical in the body called oxytocin, and even improving our mental health by relieving stressors we take on in our day.
- Alleviates low-back pain and improves range of motion.
- Assists expectant mothers with shorter, easier labor and shortened maternity/hospital stays.
- Stimulates lymph flow in the body’s defense system, enhancing immunity.
- Exercises, relaxes and strengthens weak, tight, overused or atrophied muscles.
- Increases joint flexibility.
- Lessens depression and anxiety.
- Promotes tissue regeneration, reducing scar tissue and stretch marks.
- Improves circulation by pumping oxygen and nutrients into tissues and vital organs.
- Reduces post-surgery adhesions and swelling.
- Reduces muscle spasms and cramping.
- Releases the body’s natural painkiller amino acids – endorphins.
- Relieves migraine pain.
I hope you will find some healthy tips below that will encourage you to seek out a quality massage for your health and fitness.
Some reasons to get a massage:
- Aching muscles and joints after an athletic exercise or event.
- Cramping muscles
- Water retention and/or cramping associated with PMS.
- Recent surgery
- Stressful or stationary work environments.
- Chronic conditions such as arthritis, bursitis, diabetes, infertility, etc.
- Anxiety and/or depression
- Fewer aches and stiffness among arthritis sufferers.
- Relief to major muscles after workout or athletic event.
- Increased blood and oxygen flow in the body.
- Release of the disease-fighting and “feel-good” endorphins.
- Decreased stress and anxiety.
- Improved ability to concentrate.
- Reduced fatigue.
- Lessened cramping and water retention.
- If you have a chronic illness or condition, please make sure you visit a licensed massage therapist who has received proper training.
- Before receiving a professional massage drink green tea – containing many important health benefits to the body.
- Drink lots and lots of water before and after your massage as it helps release many toxins.
- Remember to breathe deeply.
- Take a warm bath and pour a small amount of bath oil containing lavender, mint eucalyptus or other aromatic herbs or flowers that add important vitamins and nutrition to your body’s largest organ – your skin.
- Make sure your massager is rubbing and kneading towards your heart area, not away.
- If your massage doesn’t feel right or becomes painful, speak up. Massages should not cause injury but if done with too much pressure, can actually compound injuries.
- Be prepared for at least one hour for a good massage.
- Ask for body oils and/or lotions containing environmentally friendly/non-toxic natural ingredients.
- Alert your massage therapist if you have any allergies to any ingredients in creams or oils.
- Do not undergo a major massage or ask anyone to “pop” muscles who do not have experience and/or a state license.