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May 23, 2016

5 benefits of massage

Image credit: iStock/Oleksandr Gudenko

There’s nothing quite like a nice massage to help you relax and work out all of your aches and kinks. The whole experience of a massage – from having it done to the light feeling afterwards – is highly enjoyable and can help you feel refreshed if things have been a bit hectic.

But there is more going on with massages than you might think. Believe it or not, they actually provide a number of health benefits that could leave you feeling healthier, both physically and mentally.

Here are five benefits of massage that you may not have considered:

Pain management

If you have injured yourself or have a long-term condition, living with the pain can be very difficult. While there are painkillers you can take to help manage pain, these aren’t a long-term solution and aren’t the best way to deal with the problem.

Massage can help to accelerate your body’s healing processes and reduce any pain you’re feeling. It does this in a number of ways, including improving your circulation, allowing you to achieve a better range of motion and generally just relaxing your muscles.

If you have any problem areas that cause pain, you should tell your massage therapist, as there could be other areas of your body affecting injuries.

Reduces stress

Not only does massage help your muscles relax, it allows your mind to unwind to. This can deal with the symptoms of stress and allow you to cope with it better.

Massage reduces blood pressure, which has a calming effect that allows your muscles to relax and improve your mental state. Regular massages can help maintain your stress levels and leave you feeling better able to deal with any situations that cause you stress.

More energy

Although massages will relax you, they also leave you feeling energised. Improved blood flow and stretched-out muscles help you feel ready to take on anything, which is why massages are great if you get fatigued easily.

The oils that are used during massages and the overall atmosphere of the therapy room can help reduce fatigue, as well as the actual massage. However, it is the increased blood flow through your muscles that really gives you that post-workout glow without having to go to the gym.

Stronger immune system

Did you know that regular massages can actually help keep you healthy? Getting massages helps to improve your immune system as it results in increased activity among your natural T-cells.

These cells fight off illness and viruses, meaning your body is better able to keep you healthy. It could be a good idea to have regular massages during the months when cold and flu is rampant, as they could help you avoid getting sick.

Improves posture

Bad posture can result in a number of problems, including persistent pain. However, it can be relatively easy to correct as massage therapy helps to improve muscle movement.

This encourages your body to move in the way it is supposed to, which means you may find that you stand and walk with a straight back and no hunching. This can help deal with other issues you might have, such as painful hips.