We all know that getting a good massage feels great—but did you know there are real, proven health benefits too? Here’s why committing to massage therapy could be one of the best health decisions you’ll ever make.
1. Stress and Anxiety
One of the most immediately palpable effects of massage is its impact on stress and anxiety. Countless studies have reached the same conclusion: massage therapy has measurable effects on the mental well-being of recipients, as evidenced by decreases in cortisol levels and a lowered resting heart rate. If you find yourself so stressed out that it’s negatively impacting your life, or so anxious that you feel unable to fully engage with the world, massage therapy could be a great tool in helping you manage it.
There’s a price for utilizing this glorious corporeal form that moves us through this plane of existence, and that price often manifests itself as muscle pain. Lucky for us, we have massage therapy to help ease those aches! Massage helps people with all kinds of muscle pain, whether it’s from a recent sports injury or more permanent chronic back pain. Studies have shown it to be as effective, and sometimes more so, than other pain relief methods, such as over-the-counter meds like ibuprofen.
Muscular stiffness doesn’t just mean being uncomfortable—it can lead to a higher risk of serious injuries, too. If your muscles aren’t as limber as they could be, you’re more likely to hurt yourself during physical activity. Massage therapy helps release the tension in your muscles, working through knots and whatever else is keeping them stiff. Seeing a massage therapist regularly in order to keep your muscles relaxed can help prevent the kinds of injuries that can leave you hurting for life.
Getting sick is awful; not only do you feel ill, but your whole life gets completely interrupted as well. If you commit to massage therapy, however, you might get sick less often. Recent studies have shown that massage has previously unrecognized immunity-boosting powers. The effects are present after just one massage session, so just imagine what regular sessions could do for your immune system.
5. Helps With Serious Illnesses
For all of the reasons listed above, massage therapy has been found to be tremendously helpful to people struggling with serious illnesses, such as cancer. All of those things that generally healthy people deal with, like anxiety, depression, pain, fatigue, and sickness, are experienced tenfold by people who are seriously ill. Massage brings a much-needed sense of relief and relaxation to people who are in a constant fight for their lives. Luckily, more and more doctors are accepting massage therapy as a legitimate practice, meaning that more patients who could really use it are getting access to massage.
As you can see, massage therapy has very real health benefits. If you’re interested in becoming a massage practitioner, massage therapy programs are easier to find than ever before. After a short certificate program, you could be out there healing people in no time.
Stephanie Brown is a natural healer herself who resides in the pleasantly alternative Berkeley, CA. Stephanie has recently covered topics related to health and wellness programs.