RELAXING, CALMING—THOSE MIGHT BE THE FIRST WORDS THAT COME TO MIND WHEN ONE THINKS OF A MASSAGE. Quite a few also think of it as a luxury and not a necessity, but Nancy Kelly, owner of Massage Envy Cherry Hill, says many people don’t realize the health benefits of massages.
“Massage therapy shouldn’t be a luxury or a once-a-year thing,” Kelly says. “The many benefits of regular massage therapy are well-documented and it should be a part of everyone’s well-being journey. Taking care of our mental and physical health has to be a priority for all of us, as we are all under constant stress and need a holistic way to manage it.”
Kelly is here to describe the many benefits that aren’t as well-known and how massages can drastically improve your health and quality of life.
1. Massages boost your immunity:
Many studies have linked massages to improved functioning of the immune system. According to Kelly, a 2010 study showed massages improve production of white blood cells which fight against disease. The same study was repeated with a focus on how massage affects hormone levels, and it showed that people who had Swedish massages twice a week had decreased levels of the stress hormone cortisol and more oxytocin—the good hormone.
2. Massages improve your well-being:
A relaxing massage can reduce anxiety, stress and depression. As previously mentioned, massage h as been proven to reduce levels of the stress hormone cortisol. This improves your overall feeling of well-being and can reduce blood pressure. Massage can also increase levels of the neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine, which is great for people suffering from depression and anxiety.
3. Massages will make your skin glow:
The loosening of the muscles and other soft tissue just beneath the skin allow s your blood to make its way to your skin easier. This has several benefits: your skin takes on a healthy glow as the capillaries fill with blood and nutrients in the blood have an easier time nourishing skin cells. After a massage your skin will look rejuvenated, and appear smoother and firmer.
4. Massages help with pain:
Massage releases endorphins—the body’s natural “feel good” hormone. It can help people wit h headaches, arthritis and back pain. Approximately 28 million Americans suffer from migraine headaches according to the National Headache Foundation. Often, migraines are triggered or exacerbated by stress and poor sleep. In a study published in the Annals of Behavioral Medicine, researchers found that participants who received massages had better quality sleep and fewer migraines than participants who didn't. Additionally, a 2011 study of lower back pain published in the Annals of Internal Medicine found Swedish or deep tissue massage can help alleviate chronic lower back pain better than traditional pharmaceutical treatments.
Massages improve sleep:
Even insomniacs may find it easier to get a good night’s rest after a massage treatment. Some people even fall asleep while they are being massaged! Many studies have addressed this phenomenon and accredit it to the massage’s effect on delta waves, which are the brain waves associated with deep sleep. Massage therapy helps you relax by releasing serotonin, but massage also gives you a better quality of sleep over time. If you can’t rest comfortably and ease into sleep, consider seeing a massage therapist.
Massage Envy Cherry Hill
957 Haddonfield Road, Suite 3B | Cherry Hill
(856) 665-3800 | MassageEnvy.com
Published (and copyrighted) in Suburban Family Magazine, Volume 9, Issue 10 (December 2018).
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