Whether you suffer from physical or mental health issues, massage therapy offers an essential primary or complimentary treatment option. Massage for wellness comes with many health benefits that help treat a variety of diseases and conditions, according to medical studies.
"Research has shown that massage can reduce heart rate, lower blood pressure and increase blood circulation and lymph flow," according to the University of California San Francisco Medical Center. "It also relaxes muscles, improves range of motion and increases endorphins, which all can enhance medical treatment."
No matter what your ailment, massage can help. However, there are some conditions for which massage has shown to be a particularly effective tool for reducing symptoms and promoting recovery. Read about top 5 conditions that massage for wellness can treat.
Massage promotes relaxation, making it a great method for reducing a variety of pain conditions, from those caused by surgery or injury to chronic problems. Research has shown, for example, that massage therapy can help those who suffer from the common problem of low back pain. Massage can promote blood flow to parts of the body experiencing pain and release the body's natural painkillers.
Anxiety and depression
Massage for wellness can help those who suffer from mental health issues. For example, a study found that massage lowered the stress hormone cortisol in patients suffering from anxiety by 53 percent, according to the American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA). Research has also found the natural treatment increases serotonin and dopamine, which helps those experiencing depression.
Migraines and other headaches
Many factors contribute to headaches, including stress, fatigue and other health issues, including disease. Massage helps ease tension and pain, which helps patients reduce the symptoms of headaches or avoid them altogether. Migraine sufferers who receive massage for wellness experience fewer episodes of head pain, less severe symptoms and an improved quality of sleep, according to research.
Breast and other cancers
Research shows that breast cancer patients benefit from a reduction of stress and anxiety when treated with massage therapy. According to the AMTA:
"Pre-surgery, massage relaxes muscle tissue and increases the flow of lymph. Post surgery, women who apply specialized lymph drainage techniques from a well-trained massage therapist to their treatment may experience less pain and swelling."
In addition to relieving stress and anxiety, massage helps those undergoing or recovering from cancer treatment to reduce their experiences of depression, pain, fatigue, sleep problems and nausea.
Repetitive strain injuries
Massage helps reduce symptoms in people suffering from repetitive strain injuries, or issues that affect the muscles and joints and cause symptoms like tenderness, throbbing pain, tingling or loss of sensation. These issues can be caused by overusing a group of muscles, maintaining a particular posture for a long period of time, heavy lifting and other factors. Research on patients with carpal tunnel syndrome, for example, found that massage therapy helped reduce pain and increase grip strength.
Massage helps patients dealing with a variety of other health problems in addition to the ones listed above, including but not limited to:
- Hypertension, or high blood pressure
- Recovery from heart bypass surgery
- Sports injuries
- Stress-related conditions
Talk to your massage therapist and find out how therapy can work to treat and prevent whatever conditions you may face.