Usually, massage therapy is associated with being an indulgent and pampering treatment. However, the narrative keeps changing as it has been around for a very long time. It is used by different cultures all across the globe as an effective alternative to relieving pain and discomfort in our day-to-day living. It also gives a lot of therapeutic benefits that cannot be gotten from medicines or other options.
Massage therapy has to be one of life’s not-talked-about but most soothing pleasures. Anyone who has had a massage, even as mild as a foot rub can easily understand how great and addictive massages can get.
Message therapy is nearly important for everyone as it has quite many benefits to get from it. Whether you are a sick patient seeking relief from discomfort or a workaholic that simply just needs to de-stress from the workload. Massage therapy is capable of improving the overall wellness of an individual; physical, mental, and emotional.
There are various types of massage therapy and they have their respective benefits and contribution to the overall well-being of an individual. Some of them are;
- Ayurvedic- this is an ancient, traditional form of massage that originates from India. It involves using mild oil and rhythmic stroke to give a gentle massage
- Thai Massage- it is an ancient practice that comes with loads of benefits which is backed up by modern science. It helps patients sleep better, relax well, have improved digestion, etc. Also, those with high blood pressure are advised to stay away from this type of massage as they are exposed to the risk of blood clotting.
- Myofascial massage- Also referred to as trigger point massage because that is the aim of massage therapy. By releasing trigger points, patients find relief from whatever pain they have been experiencing.
- Chinese Traditional Massage-This kind of massage uses slight pressure applied to acupoints on the body with fingertips working in rotating movements.
- Hot Stone Massage- This massage therapy is best for people who have muscle pain and tension. It is also for people who simply want to relax by treating themselves to self-care and pampering. Hot stone massage helps to relieve muscle tension and pain, reduce stress and anxiety, and boost immunity amongst others.
- Swedish Massage- If you are to undergo the full body Swedish massage, your masseuses will start by massaging your back and neck, then the legs, arms, hands, and sometimes the feet. It could also include a head massage, also known as a scalp massage. Swedish massage may treat neck pain, shoulder pain, anxiety, fibromyalgia, and also lower blood pressure.
- Tantric Massage- this massage therapy may offer some health benefits like improving blood circulation, lowering blood pressure, improving sexual stamina, etc.
Here are six surprising benefits of Massage therapy;
1. REDUCES SYMPTOMS OF FIBROMYALGIA
Fibromyalgia is a disorder characterized by widespread muscle pain and tenderness that is often accompanied by fatigue and altered sleep. Fibromyalgia is a terrible condition that has no cure and can only be managed.
Massage therapy can be a great source of help to patients with fibromyalgia as it alleviates the pain. Research has proven that massage can improve sleep quality, lower anxiety levels, lower fatigue levels, and reduce pain. A larger percentage of fibromyalgia patients use some form of massage therapy to reduce their symptoms.
2. ASSISTS IN REHABILITATION AFTER STROKE
Massage therapy has proven effective in helping stroke patients recover some of their lost dexterity. It also helps them to lower their anxiety and pain levels, gives them an improved quality of life, and improves sensorimotor functions.
In addition, massage therapy increases serotonin levels, which can decrease the patient’s risk of heart attack and another stroke. Another effect of stroke is swelling and inflammation of the body which can be alleviated through a gentle massage.
3. REDUCES SIDE EFFECTS DURING CHEMOTHERAPY
Cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy, radiation, and the like are exposed to negative side effects. Nevertheless, massage therapy is capable of significantly reducing the side effects experienced during cancer treatment.
4. REDUCES ANXIETY AND DEPRESSION, BETTER THAN PILLS
Massage therapy has been shown to increase serotonin and dopamine levels which results in decreased symptoms of depression. The stress-alleviating effects of a massage also significantly decrease cortisol levels, which in turn reduces anxiety.
5. MORE BEAUTIFUL HAIR
Here is a surprising secret that no one talks about when it comes to massage therapy. If you find out that your hand is thinning out or you just want to add more volume, a twice-weekly massage will help. The kind of massage that works in affiliation with the hair is called scalp massage. It can improve your hair and make it grow longer and thicker.
When the scalp is massaged by a professional, it promoted blood flow and reduces tension in the head. This allows the hair follicles to get access to more nutrients and oxygen.
6. WORKS WELL FOR THE ELDERLY
Not just young people with pain or who intend to relax deserve a massage, even the elderly ones are not left out. The benefits of massage therapy for the elderly are many. Most importantly, it relieves them of the diverse kind of pain that comes with aging, and also it improves their sense of balance.
In conclusion, some tips to keep in mind to get the most out of your massage session are;
- Shower before your massage
- One massage session is not capable of fixing everything
- Watch what you eat before your appointment. Take something light.
- Try to relax and enjoy the feeling of being treated by an expert.