What are the Benefits of Massage?

“To keep the body in good health is a duty... otherwise we shall not be able to keep our mind strong and clear. “
— Buddha

The primary benefits of massage are derived from two basic things

 

Improved Circulation Human Touch

Both of these things contribute greatly to stress reduction. Stress can, and will, cause significant health problems if left unchecked.

From the combination of therapeutic touch, improved circulation, and stress reduction, one will usually experience the following benefits:

  • Decreased Anxiety, Enhanced Sleep Quality, Greater Energy, Improved Concentration, Improved Mobility, Reduced Fatigue, Reduced Irritability, Reduced Muscular Soreness, Reduced Stress, Restored Patience, and potentially more.

See the attached links at the end of this page for more detailed information.

 

Specialized Benefits of Massage:

 

Addiction rehabilitation and massage therapy

Massage therapy helps to balance hormones associated with addiction by increasing dopamine and serotonin and decreasing cortisol. This will help ease withdrawal symptoms. Massage is not a replacement for a rehabilitation program however, but it compliments a program very well.

Read an Article:

AMTA - Massage & Addiction


Athletic performance or active lifestyle and massage

There are many techniques massage therapists utilize that can improve, or restore, physical performance and mobility.

Sports massage can improve focus by reducing stress, decrease recovery times, reduce muscle tension, reduce muscle soreness, increase range of motion, increase flexibility, and reduce inflammation. Massage also promotes the growth of new mitochondria, the energy-producing units in the cells.

Read an Article:

Health and Fitness Magazine - Benefits Of Massage For Athletes


Chronic pain relief / management and massage

There are many techniques that massage therapists can use to assess and relieve chronic pain caused by a multitude of reasons.

Many times the area that hurts is not the root of the discomfort. It may take multiple visits to make significant progress depending on the severity, complexity, and age of the problem. Also, regular maintenance massages may be necessary to keep the problem from returning if the lifestyle patterns that initially caused it remain unchanged.

This is generally achieved by targeting specific tight muscles, scar tissue buildup, and fascial restrictions around the body to reduce the strain on the pained area.

 

Injury Treatment - Post Surgery Rehabilitation and massage

Before receiving massage it is standard practice to wait 72 hours after a minor to moderate injury, such as a car accident you walk away from.

It is also standard practice to wait 6 weeks after a major surgery to receive massage. Minor surgeries can vary, it is best to consult your Doctor.

Massage is effective at treating non-life threatening injuries like pulled muscles. It is also useful aftercare on more severe injuries or surgeries once wounds have healed.

Treatment massage can improve healing, reduce scar tissue, restore range of motion, decrease pain, decrease medication dependence, reduce stress, and reduce swelling.

Read an Article:

Surgery Supplements.com - 8 Science Backed Benefits Of Massage After Surgery

TIME - Post-Op Rx: Get A Massage

 

Prenatal Massage

Massage can ease pregnancy difficulties and improve labor experience. However, if you are a high risk pregnancy you should consult your doctor first.

Read an Article:

WebMD - Pregnancy Massage


Relaxation or Stress Reduction Massage

Even purely relaxing massages will provide the general massage benefits as well as reduce stress. The impact of chronic stress on the mind and body should not be discounted even slightly. The following articles describe in detail how chronic stress can debilitate an otherwise healthy person.

Read an Article:

APA - Stress Effects On The Body

Psychology Today - Chronic Stress Can Damage Brain Structure and Connectivity

Be Brain Fit - 12 Effects of Chronic Stress on Your Brain


Informative Links:

Massage benefits:

Massagetherapy.com - Benefits Of Massage

Touch:

PickTheBrain.com - Day 5: 6 Reasons You Need To Be Touched

Berkely - Hands On Research: The Science of Touch

Circulation:

HealthyandNaturalWorld.com - 16 Warning Signs of Poor Blood Circulation

AskANaturopath.com - Poor Circulation

Stress:

APA - Stress Effects On The Body

Healthline.com - The Effects Of Stress On The Body

The American Institute of Stress - Stress Effects