4 Lesser Known Health Benefits of Massage
They say that you cannot put a price on happiness but I think my sister got pretty close when she treated me to a 75 minute prenatal massage yesterday. I have been experiencing a whole new array of lower back pain since roughly the third month of my pregnancy and it has gotten so bad I now keep a small sweatshirt in the car or in my purse so that I can roll it up and stick it behind my back if I am out. After the session yesterday, I had no more back pain, I slept like a rock through the night, and woke restfully at 6:45am this morning. This girl is a happy camper.
I have always loved a good spa day to pamper myself every now and again and view massage more as a luxury rather than an alternative medicine. But now that I am limited on the options I have to relieve severe back pain, I am discovering all the lesser known benefits of massage and how effective it really is. Benefits of massage include relief from back and neck pain, headaches, stress and anxiety, and insomnia. But is not limited to that, please read on to learn more about the health benefits of a good massage.
Preventative Health Care: The way our health care system is set up today is very reactive and not very preventative. We do a great job at doling out cholesterol medicine but a poor job of consulting on a preventative lifestyle to avoid high cholesterol in the first place. Massage is a great way to be proactive at managing your stress levels, improving circulation, and avoiding injury and illness. In the long run, massage can often be a less expensive way of treating costly stress related illnesses.
Alternative Medicine: Studies from The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine show that massage therapy helps reduce pain and improve function in people suffering from chronic lower back pain, sciatica, and osteoarthritis. I can simply attest that since my massage yesterday, I have seen a great improvement in my range of motion and decreased back pain from just a single session. For someone who can only take a bit of Tylenol for a range of new back pains, I am relieved to have massage on my side.
Boosting Immunity: Studies indicate that massage, in fact, can give a boost to the immune system. In 2010, researchers from Cedars-Sinai Medical Center reported that even a single 45-minute Swedish massage produced measurable changes in the immune system of healthy adults.
Weight-Loss: Because massage improves circulation and improves muscle tone, it is also been proven to have a positive effect in weight loss. A study done at The National Center for Biotechnology Information in 2010 shows that after subjects received various types of massage, the result was a decrease in the circumference of their thighs, a drop in the amount of fat on their abdomens and an improvement in their waist-to-hip ratio.
Hope this help you on the road to a healthier life! Valen