What is Massage Therapy?
Many people enjoy getting a massage because it is typically seen as a relaxing experience after a stressful week. But if you have never had a massage before, you may be wondering what exactly massage is and what are the benefits of receiving one? Massage Therapy is a treatment performed by a licensed professional and usually includes the manipulation of soft tissues such as muscles, tendons, ligaments, and the skin. The manipulation can occur with a wide range of different techniques such as kneading, pressing, and rubbing using varying degrees of pressure. Massages can be for relaxation or possibly for medicinal purposes depending on your personal health goals and needs.
Beyond relaxation, you may be wondering what the point of Massage Therapy is and how it can be used alongside standard treatment practices. Below five major benefits of massage therapy are discussed!
5 Benefits of Massage Therapy
Eases Pain, Muscle Soreness, and Tension
Many people struggle with pain throughout different areas of the body such as the back, neck, knees, joints, and more. This can be chronic (long-term) or acute (short-term) pain. Multiple research studies have found that massage therapy can help reduce the pain, muscle soreness, and tension that can be felt in these areas of the body. Massage can even ease fibromyalgia symptoms, a chronic illness associated with muscle and join pain. A licensed Massage Therapist would be able to assess and recommend a treatment plan for these types of pain and tension.
Reduces Stress and Anxiety
Massages are typically used as a relaxation tool and tend to cause a feeling of calm afterwards. The body has a system, called the parasympathetic nervous system (PSNS), that helps us recover from and manage stress. Studies have shown that massages activate a response from this system to help you feel more relaxed and at ease. Massages also tend to help improve overall mood, provide a sense of relief, and allow you to realign your mind-body connection.
Improves Sleep and Energy Levels
Since massages are a great way to reduce stress, this typically will improve sleep, too. Whether you are prone to insomnia or need help staying asleep, massages may have a positive impact. Sleep is restorative to the body and is a key component in health and wellness. If you can sleep more soundly, you may experience a decrease in fatigue and pain and an increase in overall mood and energy levels. Massages can provide a deep level of relaxation which typically translates to a better night’s sleep.
Helps Increase Circulation
Another great benefit of a massage is increased blood circulation throughout the body. Poor circulation can cause a number of discomforts including cold hands and feet, fatigue, and pooling of fluid in the extremities such as the feet. Massages help increase the blood flow due to the pressure created by the massage technique, which moves blood through congested areas. This can also help improve the circulation of lymph fluid and flush lactic acid from the muscles, which leads to lower blood pressure and overall improved body function.
Massages can help ease the pain of a variety of soft tissue injuries. These are injuries of the muscles, ligaments, and tendons that can occur throughout the body such as the back, neck, knee, elbow, etc. This can include anything from a sprained ankle to a strained muscle in the neck, muscle spasms, and much more. Massages encourage increased blood circulation, the relaxation of muscles, and could allow for the injured area to become more flexible, which could be a supplement to standard injury rehabilitation and may help heal the affected area at an accelerated rate.
A Massage Therapist could also help assist those with repetitive strain injuries (RSI) to find the right types of massage techniques to ease the pain felt with these injuries. RSI is caused by the overuse of a body part, such as if you work at a computer all day, for example.
Start Your Massage Therapy Program Today
Are you excited to learn more about becoming a licensed Massage Therapist to help people with these kinds of health concerns and more? In our Massage Therapy program, we cover a variety of different techniques to help you prepare to become a licensed Massage Therapist and take the next step in your career. Contact us to learn more about how you can get started. We can’t wait to hear from you!
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Cleveland Clinic, “Everything you need to know about Massage Therapy”, (2021), Cleveland Clinic, Wellness, Everything You Need to Know About Massage Therapy – Cleveland Clinic
Conrad, Ivy, “Benefits of Massage Therapy”, (2022), Mayo Clinic, Speaking of Health, Benefits of massage therapy – Mayo Clinic Health System
Gregory, Brielle, “6 Healthy Ways Getting a Massage Benefits Your Entire Body”, (2019), Prevention.com, Health, 6 Benefits of Massage Therapy – Why It’s Important to Get Massages (prevention.com)
Mayo Clinic Staff, “Massage: Get in touch with its many benefits”, (2021), Mayo Clinic, Healthy Lifestyle: Stress Management, Massage: Get in touch with its many benefits – Mayo Clinic
Meier, M., Unternaehrer, E., Dimitroff, S.J. et al. “Standardized massage interventions as protocols for the induction of psychophysiological relaxation in the laboratory: a block randomized, controlled trial” (2020) Sci Rep 10, 14774 Standardized massage interventions as protocols for the induction of psychophysiological relaxation in the laboratory: a block randomized, controlled trial | Scientific Reports (nature.com)