Have you ever wondered why every time you bump against something, your first instinct is to reach over and rub the area? It’s intuitive and human nature to use the healing power of a simple touch, and there’s extensive scientific research backing this.
Research has deemed this phenomenon the gate theory, where the pressure receptors send signals to the brain faster than the pain receptors. Massaging the area is a common way we stimulate a faster and stronger response from the pressure receptors and close the gate to pain receptors.
This is just one of the theories that explain the benefits of massage therapy in managing chronic pain and thereby beating the symptoms of stress, such as chronic tension in the muscles. Further research has shown that people who live with chronic pain conditions such as fibromyalgia, cancer, and auto-immune diseases also report significant improvement in pain relief after regular massage therapy.
How does massage therapy help?
Another prominent theory explains that massage therapy activated the vagus nerve, which connects the brain and spinal cord to the organs and stimulates a better response from the parasympathetic nervous system (PNS). Higher activity by this system means that your body can achieve and maintain the status of being at rest as opposed to experiencing heightened senses in fight or flight state.
The more active the vagal senses and PNS are, the better your body can regulate stress-related hormones such as cortisol, which can exacerbate pain and delay healing and recovery from injury. A single session of massage therapy can also reduce levels of arginine vasopressin, which is a hormone that constricts the blood vessels and can cause blood pressure to rise.
While some of these are the most immediate effects of massage therapy in helping you feel better, it can also boost the production of white blood cells in the immune system. This enables your body to improve its ability to heal naturally and develop better immunity against viruses, infections, and even cancer.
Here are some other compelling benefits of massage therapy that can be useful for you.
Leads to faster recovery from acute or chronic injuries
Whether you play sports or participate in intensive workouts, there is a likelihood of experiencing acute or chronic injuries in a variety of ways. Severe injuries can be a result of an incident like a fall, excessive stretching while playing a sport, or even an auto accident, which can cause trauma to the muscle.
A chronic injury is the result of excessive overuse and micro-trauma to tissues that can manifest after building up gradually. This includes strained muscles from working on a computer or sitting at a desk, and bad posture while lounging. It is also common amongst athletes who favor one side of the body while playing, such as tennis players, golfers, and baseball players.
To protect this kind of injury, the body can strain itself and other muscles, causing a tear in the tendons and ligaments as well. Massage therapy focuses on increasing circulation around the joints and enabling tighter tissues to loosen and release toxins. This causes the muscles to become warmer and relax more quickly, which can lead to a speedier recovery and reduce the chances of a re-injury.
Can improve flexibility and posture
If you want to reduce the risk of injuries, you have to work on making your muscles suppler and flexible. Regular exercises like yoga can help you stretch out your limbs, but massage therapy can help you aid the process. It makes you feel better after an intense yoga session and can reduce the strain on your muscles, and over time you will realize that it boosts your performance level.
We may not know it in our daily lives, but our bodies have succumbed and slowly started to adapt to staring into a computer screen, and smartphones in our hands. This takes a massive toll on our posture, which looks bad and disrupts the functionality of some muscles, as they get weaker while other muscles work harder.
Be more mindful of your posture in your everyday activities and allow massage therapy to soothe overworked areas in the body. One of the benefits of the strokes and kneading in massage techniques is that they can unlock the buildup of lactic and uric acids in the body, which is very common during a workout.
Is preventative care from beating chronic stress
When it comes to managing your health and wellness, you have to realize the importance of not waiting for something to break before you rush to fix it. We need to practice curating a lifestyle that is focused on serving the body rather than treating it. This also means striving for the ultimate balance between overexerting yourself and pushing yourself and realizing the body’s desire to rest and recover.
There is a wide range of massage therapies you can avail suited to the kind of benefits you want to avail. For example, athletes who continue to train vigorously benefit from regularly availing a sports massage as it can help better circulation in the body. Other massages like deep-tissue, shiatsu, and Swedish massage use a variety of techniques to help you feel more relaxed and release good hormones in your body.
It can also work on making your body more resilient by activating the lymphatic system, which can help transfer more oxygen to the muscles and allowing you to feel more energized.
A natural means of pain management
There are numerous therapeutic benefits of massage that contribute to optimal emotional and physical health. By allowing the body to release its pent up stress and frustration, it creates more avenues for natural healing and pain management.
It’s also a holistic path to wellness that addresses more than one source of pain and allows the mind and body to synchronize. Living with chronic pain is exhausting and unfortunately, is a reality for several thousands of Americans. It can impact other facets of your life and reduce the quality of living. Massage therapy allows you to experience both mental and physical health benefits simultaneously, which can make pain recovery easier.
Immerse yourself in a thoroughly relaxing and rejuvenating experience with Eden Massage Therapy Services. We offer comprehensive services at our clinic, which is fully equipped to cater to all your needs and provide an unforgettable experience. We offer several massage therapy services in Fort Bragg and Fayetteville, including a couple’s massage, Swedish massage, and deep tissue massage. For further information, contact us today at 910-229-3986!