Everybody loves a massage, but did you know that massage therapy actually provides a multitude of health benefits? Here’s our top five reasons why you should book yourself a massage ASAP.
1. Improved mood and energy levels.
Massage therapy has been shown to reset the circadian rhythm—our body’s internal clock. The circadian rhythm ensures high energy throughout the day (with the help of peak circulating cortisol in the morning, dropping off in the afternoon) and a restful sleep at night (via the release of melatonin). Massage therapy can be especially helpful in the cold, dark days of winter which upset our circadian rhythm, potentially leading to Seasonal Affective Disorder or the milder “winter blues”.
2. Reduced depression and associated increase in serotonin.
Studies show that massage therapy can reduce symptoms in clinically depressed individuals via an increase in the mood-boosting hormone, serotonin.
3. Reduced stress and anxiety.
This is associated with the aforementioned regulation of cortisol. As a result, massage therapy has been proven helpful in blood pressure control in pre-hypertensive individuals.
4. Reduces chronic pain.
Massage therapy has been empirically indicated as useful in the treatment of certain populations suffering from chronic pain, such as individuals with osteoarthritic pain, low back pain and fibromyalgia.
5. Reduces delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS).
A 2005 study indicated that the massage of muscles three hours after resistance training reduced delayed onset muscle soreness. This is likely due to increased blood flow to the area, thus more quickly eliminating the pain-causing substrates from the muscle.
Information from the American Massage Therapy Association’s round up of clinical research in massage therapy. Retrieved from: amtamassage.org/research