Holistic massage is an excellent healing method that’s been around for centuries in many cultures and countries. Touch is natural. It comforts the human reaction to stress and pain, conveying support, calmness, and compassion.
Have you experienced that post-massage feeling? Your body is relaxed. Your mind is clear. If the occasional massage can make you feel this great, just imagine what regular massages can do.
The massage techniques used by your therapist build on themselves and help you maintain your body’s relaxed state. Your muscles remain loose even during times of mental and physical stress. Evidence shows that the more you receive therapeutic massage, the better you feel day to day.
Read on to learn four ways that massage promotes good health and wellness.
#1. Relieves Stress
Stress is universal, but problems may arise if you never find relief from the stress. Constant stress can become “distress,” which is a negative stress reaction.
Distress can lead to physical symptoms such as elevated blood pressure, chest pain, headache, upset stomach, and problems sleeping. Moreover, it can aggravate some symptoms and diseases.
When it comes to therapeutic massage therapy, stress relief is one of the first benefits that come to mind. It’s also a key component for achieving a healthier lifestyle. Massage is known to lower blood pressure and heart rate, increase endorphin production, and help relax your muscles. Massage also releases dopamine and serotonin, which provides a feeling of calm relaxation.
#2. Encourages Relaxation
If you’re meeting a work deadline or you’re stuck in a heavy traffic, your body produces an unhealthy buildup of the hormone cortisol. An increase in cortisol levels can lead to digestive problems, headaches, and sleeplessness.
Therapeutic massage therapy is known to decrease cortisol levels. It helps your body enter into a relaxing rest-and-recovery mode. Massage is known to trigger some brain chemistry responses, resulting in lifelong feelings of relaxation, improved mood, and lowered stress.
#3. Promotes Easier and Deeper Breathing
Constricted breathing is a sign of stress and anxiety. Once you begin taking shallow breaths, it becomes impossible to reach a relaxed state. The muscles around your abdomen and rib cage may tighten, thus constricting your air.
Therapeutic massage can play a significant role in training your body to improve breathing and help you relax. Respiratory issues like asthma, allergies, and sinus problems can also improve with massage techniques that help lengthen and relax the accessory respiratory muscles, enhancing your breathing capacity and function.
The rhythmic, percussive stroke known as tapotement is a beneficial way to relieve respiratory problems through massage. When performed on the back, along with shaking and vibration, it can help loosen mucus in the lungs. Most importantly, it can increase airway clearance for better lung function.
#4. Improves Posture
Today, many types of tension can lead to poor posture. If you hunch forward, your body is not properly aligned. Poor posture doesn’t just look bad, but it also forces some of your muscles to work hard all day while other muscles get weaker.
As compared to other bad habits, poor posture can be corrected. Therapeutic massage can help you achieve better alignment. One of the benefits of a massage therapy session is that it allows your body to reinforce natural, healthy movements. If your muscles are sore because of improper posture, therapeutic massage can help you loosen and relax them. In turn, this will allow your body to position itself in its pain-free and natural posture.
Adding therapeutic massage to your health and wellness routine does more than just relax your mind and body. It can also cure what ails you by helping your body work towards homeostasis. You will look, feel, and simply be healthier far into the future. Regular therapeutic massage is indeed a better way to prepare for a happy, healthy, and long life.
Image from iStock/Gudenko-Alex(main image).