In the past, massage therapy seemed only available at luxury spas and upscale health clubs. Today it’s extremely accessible. You can now find massage therapy services at independent locations, businesses, airports, hospitals, and even the mall. As massage therapy has become more available, people have finally started to give credibility to the health benefits of massage, instead of only considering it an indulgent hobby of the wealthy. It’s also become more affordable with introductory and routine maintenance packages for repeat clients. If you’ve never experienced a massage, now might be the time to investigate the ways it could benefit you.
Why should you get a massage?
1. Relieve stress and muscle tension: This is probably the most common reason people have tried massage therapy in the past. The relaxed and serene setting, rhythmic hand strokes and kneading of tense muscles provide the perfect combination to relieve stress and relax your tight muscles.
2. Reduce pain: Several studies have shown the effectiveness of massage therapy for back pain. One study in particular showed it worked better than acupuncture or spinal modification for lower back pain, which reduced the need for painkillers by 36%. In general, massage therapy was found to be especially effective in providing long-lasting relief for patients suffering from chronic low back pain. Massage therapy studies have also shown a decrease in pain intensity among cancer patients.
3. Alleviate headaches: Many of us suffer from painful headaches and migraines, and this type of pain responds extremely well to massage therapy. Not only can it relieve pain, but research indicates that muscle specific massage therapy can reduce the number of migraines or chronic tension headaches a person experiences.
4. Restore normal joint movement: In a clinical trial, participants who received a one-hour Swedish massage had improvements in pain, stiffness and function. Overall, massage can improve an individual’s mobility by working the soft tissue, joint capsules, and intrinsic ligaments and exercising the joints’ range of motion.
5. Improve blood flow and treat exercise-related muscle soreness: A recent study has validated the value of massage therapy in exercise and injury. It also showed that massage increased blood flow and circulation throughout the body. In fact, it changed vascular function throughout the body, not just at the site of the injury or massage. The circulatory response lasted for a number of days, suggesting that massage therapy may also have protective benefits, especially for those who exercise.
There are several types of massages, and depending on personal preferences and needs, you’ll find out which type you prefer. Massage therapy is a great alternative to traditional medicine, especially since the value and availability of these services are gaining recognition and popularity. Massage therapy provides relief from stress, heals injuries, helps with certain health conditions, and promotes overall wellness. Take care of your health and wellbeing with this hands-on approach to healing today.
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