10 Benefits of Massage

Man having his neck and shoulders massaged

10 Benefits of Massage

Massage is so much more than a chance to unwind and relax, though isn’t that reason enough to book an appointment? There are clinically proven physical and psychological health benefits, here are our ten favorites.

1) Reduces inflammation in muscles

Of course, massage feels great on tense muscles. But it actually does more than just make them feel better. According to a study done at McMaster University in Canada, massage actually affected the activity of certain genes. This genetic reaction provided an anti-inflammatory response similar to taking ibuprofen and thereby reducing recovery time from exercise. At Brennan, we offer a Sports Massage meant to do just this.

2) Improves the quality of sleep

Tension and stress produce unhealthy levels of the hormone, cortisol. Massage can lower cortisol levels in the body by an average of 30 percent. Cortisol can cause sleeplessness, among a host of other issues such as headaches and digestive problems.

3) Helps symptoms of anxiety and depression

Decreasing physical and emotional stress is crucial and necessary for improving overall health conditions and well-being. And when cortisol levels decline, serotonin — one of the body’s anti-pain mechanisms — increases by an average of 28 percent after receiving massage therapy. By doing this you are helping your body to fight off pain, anxiety, and feelings of sadness. Additionally, the warmth of physical touch is proven to help fight off feelings of isolation common to anxiety and depression. Brennan offers a variety of massage including, Swedish Massage or Deep Tissue Massage, that can help with these types of symptoms.

4) It can improve lymphatic circulation

The lymph system is part of your body’s immune system. As we all know our immune system is crucial in maintaining health and preventing disease and infection. The lymph system transports oxygen and nutrients to cells. Along the way, it also collects toxins and flushes them out through the lymph nodes. The pressure that is applied during massage promotes improved circulation allowing blood to move through the unhealthy areas of the body more freely. Consequently, this action improves lymph fluid circulation and carries away metabolic waste products away from vital organs and muscles.

5) Headache relief

Headaches are caused by a myriad of reasons. Tension, stress, increased levels of cortisol in the body, sinus pressure, and shifts in barometric pressure can all contribute to headaches. Massage can be used to proactively prevent headaches by managing stress levels and decreasing cortisol production. It can also be used to treat active headaches by targeting pressure points and helping to relieve tense muscles in the face, shoulders, and neck that might be contributing to the discomfort. To help alleviate headache symptoms try our Craniosacral Therapy or Wildlime Scalp Treatment and Massage.

6) Lower your blood pressure

Elevated blood pressure can increase your risk of a cardiac event, such as heart attack and stroke. Consistent massage therapy sessions have helped reduce blood pressure levels. Some longer-term studies have shown a marked decrease in both systolic and diastolic blood pressure numbers. Massage could make a great addition to your healthcare plan to help attempt to manage your hypertension.

7) Relieves tense muscles

Many Americans experience muscle pain and tension for a variety of reasons, especially in their back and neck. However, one of the main causes is poor posture. Prolonged hours in front of computers and cell phones many times a week has made this phenomenon worse. Couple that with extra weight, or weak muscles and it’s a recipe for disaster.

Massage therapy aims to properly align the body once again and improve posture. Massage helps your muscles loosen and elongate promoting relaxation, and thus allowing the body to re-position itself in pain-free posture. Additionally, the joints begin to release, and your range of motion and flexibility increase. Try our Therapeutic Back Attack to concentrate efforts on alleviating back pain!

8) Increases your libido

Massage is not something you have to do alone. Couples massage can add a level of intimacy to your relationship, while individual massage has been known to increase libido. Additionally, it can benefit your sex life by increasing circulation, reducing stress, increasing flexibility and relieving pain. Massage is proven to increase the release of feel-good hormones like serotonin, which consequently reduces stress, and helps put you in the mood.

9) Helps you lose weight

When thinking of losing weight, massage probably isn’t the first thing that comes to mind. Massage has proven helpful for many clients trying to lose weight. First of all, it is much easier to exercise loose and flexible muscles. Many people have a hard time jumping into an exercise regime when their muscles are sore. Helping increase this motivation to work-out, by making it less painful it a definite advantage of massage. In addition, massage makes a great non-edible reward or treat for someone actively dieting.

10) It makes you happier

Taking the time to take care of yourself is important, vital really. Simply by making that massage appointment, you are saying “I’m valuable, I’m worth it, and I deserve to feel good.” Massage will help increase your circulation, your flexibility, and your serotonin levels, while decreasing stress, tension, and cortisol in your body. These are all positive steps in the direction of taking care of you! And if taking care of yourself doesn’t make you happier, what will?

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