The Benefits of Massage Therapy
It may only have exploded in recent years but the practice of massage therapy dates back to the time of Hippocrates, the Father of Medicine. And that is about 4000 years ago. In a clear reference to massaging, Hippocrates wrote in one of his medical notes that physicians must know the practice of ‘rubbing.’
Now, massage therapy cannot just be called as ‘rubbing.’ With most of the young Hollywood getting a massage or two every week, it has become the toast of the social set. Its popularity can be seen with the way a lot of massage therapy clinics have opened shops in the last few years with many more planning to in the next couple of months. Currently there are about 100,000 massage therapists in the country and the numbers are increasing two-fold.
Massage therapy in the scientific terms is the process of putting pressure on muscular structure and soft tissues in the body for relaxation. Pressure in this instance can mean a lot of things, from holding and pressing to kneading and rocking. Massages are primarily done with the hands although some massage therapists also use other parts of their bodies like the forearms, elbows and the feet.
Its popularity is actually not surprising especially with this stressful world. Many people are turning to massage therapy for relaxation and regeneration. And unlike other de-stressors, massage therapy is scientifically based and its advantages are all research proven. Besides its physical benefits, it also known to improve the overall wellbeing of the mind and the spirit.
Below are some of the benefits that massage therapy gives us.
This is the number one reason why people coming back to the clinics. After a week of stress in the office or at home, people especially women, just want to relax. Massages are great for the skin as it stimulates the release of toxins and hormones. In fact, some studies have even shown massages as being able to lower the possibility of wrinkles production.
2. Relieves pain
Another benefit of massage therapy is the fact that it can loosen those tight muscles especially if you frequently have cramps on your legs. Going to the clinics can also relieve you of your tired and aching muscles. This is especially useful with people who are into sports or those who live the active lifestyle.
Massage therapy also acts as a mechanical cleanser pushing along the lymph and hastening the elimination of wastes and toxic debris. It also helps to eliminate edema or dropsy of the extremities.
3. Makes you a better athlete
People who are into sports can also benefit much from massage therapy. If you feel that your muscles have become tight and rickety, massages can improve on your flexibility and also increase your range of motion. If you get massages all the time, you will notice that you can now do movements that were painful to do before. Massages also improve the body’s resistance. It lowers the blood pressure, heart rate and even helps in recoveries from injuries and sprains. It also strengthens the immune system.
4. Improve mental faculties
Massages are also great ways to improve your mental performance. It can actually reduce mental stress, allowing you to work better and think clearer. It is also known to relieve headaches. Massage therapy also allows you to concentrate better on the task at hand. After a massage, you will basically have a clean slate in your mind that is equivalent to the restful therapy that sleep gives.
5. Prevent illness
If you are ill, massage therapy dilates and opens up blood vessels, improves circulation and relieves congestion. It also increases the number of red blood cells for those who are anemic.
Massage to some extent compensates for lack of exercise or muscular contraction especially for those who are recovering from an injury by returning venous blood to the heart and at the same time eases the strain on this vital organ.
Depending on the type of massage therapy given, some people may feel sleepy, stimulated or exhausted.
7. Loose weight / bust fat
Believe it or not, massage may burst the fat capsule in the subcutaneous tissue so that the fat exudes and becomes absorbed. Combined with proper nutrition and exercise, this can help the person lose weight.
Studies have shown that massage therapy improves the general circulation and nutrition of joints and hastens the elimination of harmful particles in the synovial fluid. It helps lessen inflammation and swelling of the joints thereby alleviating pain.
Massage therapy improves the general circulation and nutrition of tissues often accompanied by an increase interchange of substances between the blood and tissue cells thus heightening tissue metabolism.
There are so many benefits with regards to massage therapy which is why almost everyone needs it. If you haven’t found a favorite yet, you can try one style this week and then another next week to how different they are from the other.