Massage therapy is often considered a luxury or a treat for a special occasion. Very few people consider it as a form of medical treatment when it is actually the oldest form of medicine!
When you get a cramp in your calf, what is your initial reaction? You place your hand on your calf and rub that cramp!
When you feel a strain in your back, what do you immediately do? You grab your back and rub the strained muscle!
These are actions that are instinctively performed which is the core basis of massage therapy – physical touch heals.
Here are 5 ways massage therapy can benefit you:
Reduces recovery time. Massage therapy helps improve blood flow through the muscles. While breaking down any adhesions and stretching muscle tissues, the swelling in joints are flushed out reducing the amount of time it takes for muscles to recover.
Reduces muscle spasm. Although it may hurt at first, pressure on the muscle spasm from a massage will alleviate the pain. Lactic acid is released from the muscle after a massage, and blood and oxygen will begin flowing through the muscle again.
Reduces pain. Massage increases blood circulation to stiff joints and muscles, and also releases natural endorphins called opioids in the brain. Oxytocin, the hormone that relaxes muscles, is also released quickly which can lead to feeling relaxed and calm.
Reduces stiffness. Vigorous muscle use such as exercise can definitely stiffen up a person’s muscles. Although it’s been verbally reported that massage can ease the pain associated with muscle stiffness, a study published in the February 1st issue of Science Translational Medicine found that massage reduced cytokines, an important compound in inflammation, and stimulated the mitochondria which converts glucose into energy (fundamental for cell repair!).
Promotes stress relief. Stress affects more than just our minds – it affects our whole body. Too much tension can lead to stiff muscles, but it also leads to headaches, difficulty sleeping, stomach issues, and fatigue. The physical touch of a massage can promote the relief of stress!
If you have questions about how massage therapy can help you or a loved one, we encourage you to give us a call at (808) 674-9998. We’d be happy to help you bounce back to life