How Massage Therapy Heals Physical Pain
Massage therapy is the ancient healing practice with numerous physical and mental benefits.
Anyone who enjoys massage knows how wonderful it feels. It is truly one of the best and more relaxing treats we can give ourselves. However, massage goes way beyond just being a feel-good activity; it has real medicinal benefits and is a therapy that is used more and more like medicine to treat various medical conditions.
It is believed to relax both physically and mentally, which lowers heart and respiratory rates, and blood pressure. It can greatly reduce the physical and mental effects of stress and also helps boost the immune system. In general, massage is one of the greatest wellness tools for the health of the mind, body, and spirit.
There are many types of massage therapy such as Swedish, deep tissue, sports, reflexology, and acupressure massages which people use for relaxation and wellbeing, in addition to addressing specific sources of pains and aches.
One of the goals of massage is to help relieve tension in muscle tissue where there is tension and stress. All that built-up tension can cause restriction in our blood circulation as well as the supply of nutrients going to all the body’s tissues and organs; massage can help decrease nerve compression, increase joint space, and range of motion.
This may lead to decreased pain, as well as increased function in mobility and range of motion. It also helps with circulation, which helps improve the way oxygen and nutrients are delivered to muscle cells and helps remove waste products.
Massage therapy can help reduce the symptoms of depression such as lethargy and anxiety, according to the Touch Research Institute at the University Of Miami School Of Medicine…
“The healing power of touch extends across the lifespan,” says the Institute’s Tiffany Field, Ph.D., “from helping babies grow and children concentrate at school to decreasing chronic illnesses and disease.”
This type of ancient healing offers genuine benefits, so much so that some conventional hospitals are making it a standard therapy for patients.
Along with helping with relaxation and improving the sense of well-being, getting a massage has been shown to:
- Relieve general pain
- Decrease symptoms of PMS
- Provide arthritis relief by increasing joint flexibility
- Release nerve compression (carpal tunnel, sciatica)
- Increase relaxation by stimulating the release of serotonin and dopamine.
- Decrease stress by reducing the production of cortisol (the stress hormone)
- Provide relief for tight muscles and increases their flexibility
- Helps fibromyalgia pain
- Helps with recovery from injuries
- Reduce joint pain, stiffness, soreness and injuries
- Decrease swelling (or edema)
- Improve sleep
- Alleviate acute and chronic lower back pain
- Help lower blood pressure, anxiety, fatigue and depression
- Improve athletic performance and helps prevent sports injuries
- Pain Related To Cancer, HIV and Parkinson’s Disease
- Muscle tension in back, shoulders and neck pain
- Myofascial Pain Syndrome
- Rotator Cuff Syndrome
- Frozen Shoulder
Research shows that those who receive massages on a regular basis have a reduced level of anxiety than those who don’t. One study found that receiving regular massages could help lower blood pressure, anxiety, and stress hormones in those with hypertension and migraine headaches.
The best part about this type of therapy is that it affects the nervous system via nerve endings. This helps to stimulate the release of endorphins (our body’s natural “feel good” chemicals). Endorphins help increase the sense of relaxation and well-being. It also helps relieve pain and reduces levels of stress chemicals (such as cortisol).
Massage helps promote the circulation of the blood, which boosts the supply of oxygen and nutrients to tissues in the body. It also helps to flush toxins from the lymph nodes. Of course, massage is excellent at melting tension, knots, and stress from stiff muscles and joints, and this helps to improve mobility and flexibility.
Experts advise that massage stimulates the activity of the vagus nerve that controls the secretion of food absorption hormones, breathing, and heart rate.
Massage is also noted as being especially helpful in working out stress-related tension from the body, which experts believe accounts for as much as 80 percent to 90 percent of disease.
If you live with chronic pain for whatever reason or you have some acute pain from an injury look into getting a massage from a trained and licensed massage therapist, it may help your pain and also help you to feel better emotionally and mentally.