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Benefits of massage therapy for stressed mind and body

Benefits of massage therapy for your body and mind:

Whether you’re a star athlete or someone who earns their keep sitting behind their desk all day, it stands to reason that a regular massage is something we could all benefit from. The aches and pains that our bodies suffer are only part of the reason to investigate benefits of massage therapy; our moods and emotions, and levels of stress can all be heavily impacted as well.

Types of Massage Therapy:

There are a number of different types of massage, including (but not limited to) the traditional and most often used Swedish (or regular) massage, to hot stone massage, to deep tissue massage, reflexology, and Thai massage.  Depending on what you hope to achieve or what your massage therapist recommends, this can vary drastically from person to person.  Swedish massage focuses on most of the body; the limbs, back, shoulders, neck, hands, feet and sometimes the stomach as well.  Most people who have massages have probably experienced this type.  A deep tissue massage can tend to the same body areas that a Swedish massage does, but it tends to be a bit rougher and usually the patient will ask that the therapist focus on one particular area in order to work out knots or pains.  The hot stone massage is a wonderful addition of heat and the therapist will use the stones instead of his or her hands.  This can limit the massage to only certain areas of the body but is a wonderful way to soothe aches.  Reflexology focuses mainly on the feet (but can also be hands and ears) and the therapist often uses special tools to apply pressure to areas on these extremities to help fix conditions or pains in other parts of the body.  Thai massage involves pressure, pulling, stretching and rocking to help the body gain strength and improve flexibility and movement. 

So how can massage therapy help you?

It’s a great way to relax and go back into your routine with renewed vigour, but massage therapy can actually improve your life on a number of fronts.

Our skin is our largest organ and massage stimulates it directly.  With the use of certain oils, our skin can be simultaneously moisturized while our blood circulation is improved.  A better blood circulation (along with blood oxygen levels) means improved nutrition circulating all through the body, from our skin to our internal organs.  During a massage, endorphins are released, helping the body to combat pain in the most natural way it can.  A rise in endorphins also helps us sleep better, reduce the effects of fatigue, and help us to increase energy levels.  Since some psychological issues can manifest as physical problems, a massage (which tackles our pain on both fronts, helping us to relax and working out physical discomfort) can be a great way to do double duty.  Most people find that as soon as they walk into the dimly lit room with soft sounds or music playing, their anxiety levels take a nose dive.  The next hour or so is about them, and a safe space in which to relax and empty their minds.  The list of benefits of massage therapy goes on; our metabolism is increased, along with production of gastric juices (along with urine and saliva), which makes our bodies more capable of releasing built up toxins.  The side effects of some medications often lead to more and more medications being required to combat each subsequent negative side effect of the one before.  Once you’ve found an alternative, managing pain with medications becomes less appealing, as massage has no ill side effects.  The statistics are staggering; it’s said that over 45 people die each and every day from misuse of prescription pain killers

Improves muscle movement & posture:

Your posture can also be improved with regular massage, as joints and muscles aren’t so contracted or tightly bound.  Massage can also help to stimulate weak or less frequently used muscles, which also helps to balance our posture and increase better movement throughout our entire frame.  If you’ve been injured, regular massage therapy at the hands of a professional will aid in recovery time, and with its ability to improve body movement and use of limbs, massage can help prevent injury in the first place.  You may not realize it, but many conditions that you suffer can often be helped by massage, including headache and migraines, poor immunity, insomnia and depression.

Among babies, massage therapy has been shown to reduce the severity of colic, and helps to ease babies into a better sleep pattern.  You can imagine how this, in turn, helps with post partum depression and the overall health and well being of new parents!  At the other end of the spectrum, massage therapy can be a wonderful aspect of good elder care, leaving patients more able to sustain a level of independence with improved mobility and even memory.Several studies suggest that high blood pressure, osteoarthritis and even dementia are reduced with regular access to massage.

If you’ve tried other methods and aren’t finding relief from stress, anxiety, skin conditions, joint or muscle pain or if your lifestyle means that you regularly maintain a high level of activity, massage therapy might be exactly what the doctor ordered.

Advice:The massage therapy shall only be conducted by a qualified professional, physiotherapist or massage therapist. The massage therapy by an untrained person can cause more harm than good, so be cautious that you take it from only qualified professional rather than a quack.

About the Author:

This article is written by Nina Wells. Nina is a guest author from Steam Shower Store and is a respected and expert voice in a plethora of health related subjects with over 10 years of writing under her belt.

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