There is plenty of research available to show that having a massage offers more than just a relaxing experience. Even having a one-off massage can have a range of both physical and emotional health benefits, including reduced anxiety and relief from aches and pains. One massage can even reduce your heart rate and blood pressure. Massage is a great form of self-care, and with a wealth of benefits it’s easy to see why.
In case you need a nudge, here are 10 reasons you definitely need a massage.
Massage to Reduce Stress
One in seven Australians will experience depression in their lifetime, and a quarter will experience anxiety. Sadly, one in eight Australians is currently experiencing psychological distress. Whilst these conditions are common they can be debilitating, affecting both your ability to work and your personal or social life. Talking therapies are rising in popularity, as are pharmacological treatments.
In addition to these steps, you may find it useful to try massage to help with any anxiety or low mood you are experiencing. Even a single massage can reduce the level of anxiety you feel at that time, and regular massage reduces a person’s susceptibility to anxiety and eases subclinical depression.
Lower Back Pain Relief
Lower back pain is a common problem. In the USA, 80% of adults have suffered from back pain, which is also the most frequent reason for workplace absence. We spend much of our time at a desk or driving, and a sedentary lifestyle can have a significant impact on the health of your spine. Back pain can also occur when lifting heavy objects or after sudden movements such as twisting or bending. The pain is particularly unpleasant because the pain can radiate into the legs and can be difficult to soothe.
Massage has been scientifically proven to reduce back pain. Participants who received a regular massage over 10 weeks reported that the treatment was effective for up to six months.
Improve Cardiovascular Health
Over 4 million Australians (18% of the population) have a form of cardiovascular disease. This disease is the leading cause of death in Australia, and can cause strokes, heart attacks, and damage to the blood vessels in the feet and legs. Whilst treatment is often pharmacological, massage also has a role to play in improving symptoms and overall health in a non-invasive manner. Regular massage reduces the blood pressure and heart rate to promote cardiac health. Targeted massage of the legs and feet can also aid venous return to reduce painful leg swelling. Reducing leg swelling can make it easier to become more active, which will also aid cardiovascular health.
Massage to Aid Sports Recovery
Whether you are a top-class athlete or simply cycle to work every day, when injury strikes it can be devastating for both your physical and emotional wellbeing. Injuries can include fractures, muscle tears and ligament or joint damage. Massage can reduce swelling and inflammation, and help to realign the new tissues that form at the site of the injury. Regular massage can also prevent the area from becoming stiff or tight by gently lengthening the muscle fibres.
Premenstrual Syndrome and Menopause
Just over half of Australia’s population is female and so many of us will be affected by hormonal fluctuations, both on a monthly basis and as we age. Premenstrual syndrome can range from nuisance symptoms to debilitating low mood, headaches, insomnia or abdominal pain. Whilst some women breeze through menopause, others can struggle with years of exhaustion, extreme hot flashes and changes in mood.
While hormonal treatments, such as contraceptives and hormone replacement therapy are available for the various stages in a woman’s life, many find relief by turning to massage.
Relieve Tension Headaches
Tension headaches occur as a result of stress, anxiety or postural problems and are notoriously difficult to treat. Tension headaches can occur every day and are often resistant to pain relief medication. Over time, they can begin to severely affect your daily life. As massage can reduce levels of baseline and trait anxiety, regular massage can help you to manage your headaches without reaching for tablets.
Treating Trigger Points
Trigger points or ‘knots’ are fibrous areas of muscle that build up, often as a result of repetitive movements such as sport or computer keyboard use. The trigger points can become painful and cause restriction in movement. Massage can gently identify and work on these areas to reduce the size of the knots, reducing pain and increasing your range of movement.
Immune System Boost
As well as a circulatory system carrying your blood supply, you also have a network of vessels as part of your lymphatic system. If you receive a massage, the physical action involved can help move lymph fluid in the vessels towards lymph nodes. If bacterial or viral cells are processed, the lymph system mounts a response to defend the body against the infection, preventing the organism from multiplying and protecting you from becoming unwell.
As we get older, it is common to find that you no longer feel as flexible as you once did and almost half of Australia’s over-75 population have some form of disability. Gentle massage can help to reduce any swelling or inflammation associated with arthritic changes, and also lengthens fibres within the limbs to aid flexibility. The relaxing properties of massage can also reduce any tension you hold within your body.
We are all looking for a better night’s sleep, and massage could be the answer. Massage promotes feelings of relaxation and reduced anxiety, making it easier to fall asleep naturally. Massage also encourages the body to spend longer in the deep, restorative stages of sleep during which you hardly move. This means that you not only feel better rested, but also gives your body valuable time to repair any injuries or cell damage.
With such far-reaching benefits there’s nothing to lose! Contact Blys today to book a massage within your own home.