Apart from the super relaxed feeling that you get after a proper massage session, massage therapy offers a lot of other therapeutic benefits to your body. Before going into the long-term benefits of massage, let’s try to understand the main reason behind the effectiveness of this amazing therapy. As you might already know, muscular tissues of your body work hard on a daily basis. They go through numerous contractions and expansions hundreds of times a day. This constant movement can lead to a great amount of muscular fatigue.
There are cases where the patients are found to use same muscle groups repeatedly for the same type of movements. This usage often leads to muscle injuries and the overworked muscles become quite tight and contracted permanently. The same logic applies for even the under worked muscles. Your muscles start to lose their definition and tone, once you stop using a particular muscle group. Now this muscle fatigue can be effectively tackled by applying a proper massage technique. What massage does is; it stretches and relaxes your affected muscle groups to release the tension effectively, which is perfect for reducing the cramps, improving flexibility, getting rid of stored toxins and boosting the muscle tone. Let’s have a look at some of its long term benefits.
Improving your cardiovascular health
Your cardiovascular health is directly related to the flow of blood in your body. Massaging the body is known to improve the blood flow. Improved blood flow essentially means that all your body parts and joints will get a sufficient amount of blood and nutrients.
Besides increasing blood circulation, the massage therapy strokes of effleurage, kneading and tapotement stimulate skin receptors that send messages of relaxation to the central nervous system. These reflexes cause vasodilation: where the blood vessels widen to decrease blood pressure and heart rate. As such, the massage strokes just described are known to aid hypertension – one of the most prominent forecasters of cardiovascular disease.
According to massage therapy and osteopathic medical expert Dale G. Alexander, LMT, MA, PhD, there is another way massage therapy can benefit heart health. In a recent Massage Today article, Alexander describes how massage can literally create more space for the heart within the thorax. In the article Alexander explains, “This is achieved by increasing the suppleness and length of the soft tissues both within the chest and those of the outer wall, enhancing the mobility of the thoracic joints, and by reducing the pressure within the cavity itself.” Based on this premise, freeing restrictions found in the sternum, rib and thoracic areas will help the heart function at maximum capacity, thus improving overall cardiovascular health…More at Massage Therapy for Cardiovascular Health – Institute for Integrative Healthcare Studies – http://www.integrative-healthcare.org/mt/archives/2012/05/massage_therapy_12.html
No wonder, it is also an effective treatment method used in the rehabilitation of stroke victims and those who suffered sports injuries.
Curing the posture related injuries
The fact is that many people do not realise the consequences of a poor posture until it becomes too late. Neck problems and back problems often caused by poor postures. Apart from these problems, poor postures can cause problems in the most crucial systems of your body such as the respiratory system. If you are also suffering from the posture related problems, a good massage session is all that you need to get rid of these irritating issues.
Improving the joints health
If you keep your body inactive for prolonged periods of time, the synovial fluid in your joints can become quite thick and can cause movement problems. A good massage can help in maintaining the healthy flow of synovial fluid through your joints thus relieving you from the joint-related problems. Massage works like a double edged sword on improving the functionality of joints. Firstly, it improves the efficiency of joints by improving the flow of synovial fluid and secondly, it improves the flexibility of the muscles surrounding the joints thus decreasing the tension on the joints.
Massage Therapist – Occupational Outlook Handbook: US Bureau of Labor Statistics
Alternative therapies relax heart patients – Harvard Health Publications
Massage Theraphy Improves Posture – Benefits of Massage Therapy: www.massageenvy.com
Arthritis – UW Medicine – Department of Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine