Massage, one of our first “go to” therapy’s.
Massage Therapy, it’s been with us for thousands of years. Some estimates suggest between 5000-3000 years. In its base form “hands on Healing” and the therapeutic effect of touch has been used as a healing tool for pain relief, emotional comfort, balancing energy flow and promoting self-healing in the body for as long as we can remember.
Many ancient cultures had some form of healing touch technique or ritual to promote health or healing. *The earliest written records of massage therapy were discovered in Egypt and China. Tomb paintings in Egypt, dated approximately 2330 BC, depict individuals being kneaded by others. Furthermore, Egyptians are credited with creating reflexology in approximately 2500 BC. In China, texts documenting the medical benefits of massage therapy date back to approximately 2700BC. Ayurveda is the traditional holistic medical system in India. Ancient seers and natural scientists developed this system based on centuries of studies, experiments and meditations. Research suggests that they could have started practicing massage in approximately 3,000 BC, possibly earlier. (*source-Natural healers.com. History of massage).
In comparison, Massage therapy in western medicine was in its infancy. Massage was generally accepted from 1600-1800, with many benefits being documented. But it wasn’t until the latter half of the 20th century when rising interest in natural healing methods helped to revitalize massage therapy. Today, industry standards in licensing and education have emerged. Scientific evidence grows daily. While, the accredited Massage therapists of today are both educated and professional. As a result, Remedial massage has earned a place as a legitimate and respectable form of alternative and complementary medicine.
Top 5 benefits of massage.
Hopefully, in general you have a better idea as to what this massage thing is all about, where it came from, and now what it can do for you!
So, without further delay, here are the top 5 things massage can do for you.
1. Eases pain
Massage therapy is an excellent way to ease the effects of chronic pain. Patients who suffer from fibromyalgia, migraines, arthritis, and severe back pain have experienced improvements in physical function, increased range of motion, and lower levels of anxiety which all ease the overall effects of pain the body feels. While massage therapy may not completely replace pain reducing medication, it can be incorporated to improve the quality of life for pain management patients.
2. Improve your sleep
For individuals who routinely experience bouts of insomnia or sleep difficulty, massage therapy can provide a cost-effective and non-habit-forming treatment for sleep issues. Massages naturally increase the production of serotonin in the body (in a recent study conducted by DR Michael Mosely, serotonin levels in the body where increased by as much as 70% after one hour of massage therapy). This helps to reduce stress and regulate the body’s natural sleep pattern. If the serotonin production is too low, your stress level will continue to elevate throughout the day causing a spike in stress when your body should be calming down to sleep. Massage helps to realign this natural rhythm to your sleep cycle. For increased benefits to your therapy session, ask your practitioner in incorporate lavender aromatherapy into your massage session. Lavender aids in relaxation and will increase the overall benefits.
3. Jump start your immune system
In addition to providing an excellent source of stress release for overworked individuals, massage therapy has been shown to increase the production of T cells. These cells act to stimulate and increase the productivity of the body’s immune system. Furthermore, massages increasing serotonin levels help the body ward off disease and sluggishness.
4. Improves poor posture
Today’s technological advances have a major drawback for our bodies, which is poor posture. Constant texting and never-ending computer use lead to weaker neck muscles and back tension. We tend to slump over more than previous generations. Massage therapy can correct many of these problems. By relaxing the muscles in the neck and upper back, massages improve posture by increasing the range of motion in our upper bodies.
5. Lowers your blood pressure
Known as the silent killer, high blood pressure affects men and women, young and old. One of the primary culprits of higher blood pressure is an elevated stress level. For many people, reducing the level of stress is difficult, if not impossible. It is possible, however, to incorporate techniques that help alleviate some symptoms of stress. Massage therapy helps relieve some of those stress symptoms and lowers overall blood pressure. What’s more, routine massage therapy can lower long term blood pressure levels.
So, what are you waiting for?
Sounds good yeh?! It’s important to note that massage has a cumulative effect. The more often you receive a massage the more benefit you get. A good therapist will discuss time frames for recovery, preventative exercises/stretches and what you may expect as an outcome from your treatments.
As a therapist I can say that the longer you ignore those aches and pains. And, “Soldier on” through repetitive sprains and strains without treatment of some kind. Then the more chance you have of it becoming a bigger problem. The overall theme of any treatment I have is to help the client rest, recover, reset or reclaim their body from illness or injury.
The plan is to have an outcome better than when you first walked into the clinic. But, depending on what condition or injury you have, time frames differ. Everyone is different, and we all heal at a different rate.
So, if you think massage may be for you, go book one this week. At the very least, you have taken the time out do something beneficial for you. We would love to help. Call, message or book online for your next step to feeling better.
RELAX YOU LATER!!
Steven Bowden Dip Mass