The Secret Health Benefits of Massage
Why in the world have people all over the world, and in every century of recorded history, practiced massage? The short answer is that your body loves it, that’s why. The long answer is pretty interesting, too.
Some of the benefits of massage are no secret. They’re pretty direct and obvious. Muscle tension is relieved, stiffness and pain subside. A person’s flexibility and range of motion usually improve, especially when massage is repeated over time.
What might be less well known is the ability of massage to improve healing. The boost in circulation – for both the blood supply and the cleansing lymphatic system – is good news for tissues that are doing their natural work of restoring themselves in response to strain or injury. Even circulation to the brain can improve. Although, ironically, most of us don’t think about it much, the brain is an organ, not a mysterious magic shop. Like other organs, it works better when circulation improves.
Beyond the Body
The secret health benefits of massage, then, may be the ones that work beyond the body. The way we feel is a combination of physical responses, yes, and it is more than that, too. Our awareness and perception include the connection we make with the outside world. Many people will tell you that massage improved that awareness and perception in ways that made life better.
Stress relief is one example. Stress is known as a contributor to physical ailments of many kinds, including chronic disease and even some of the most life-threatening conditions we face in today’s world. Our ancient DNA was not built on the speed of change that confronts us today, and so our body’s responses to the stress that arises from that pace can often hurt us more than help us. The ancient responses raise heartrate and dump hormones into the system that constrict blood-flow, speed clotting, and give us a jittery kind of extra energy. Fine for confronting a saber-tooth tiger, but not so helpful in the conference room. With no reasonable outlet, these responses can do damage. Repeated over time, they can become chronic.
Massage is known to promote calm thinking and a relaxed state of mental alertness. The release of natural serotonin and dopamine that result from this state of mind can even be an important step in relieving depression for some. For anyone, calm feels better.
Known by the Best
Even the distinguished Mayo Clinic recognizes the role massage can play in health and well-being. They note studies that have found massage may be helpful in relieving or resolving a wide range of disorders. Like us, they view massage as a component, with a role in a person’s overall approach to healthcare.
To see specifically what affordable massage therapy could add to your life, call us at 470.787.2160. A talk and a visit to Genesis4Wellness could bring you the answer you need. The best answer of all is your whole well-being. The combination of health and happiness is our work here, and we would be honored to offer it to you.