Secret #25 Enhances Exercise/athletic Performance
Whether you are a professional athlete, play on a local team, or are simply a weekend warrior who likes to play with your kids, sports enthusiasts everywhere and at any level can improve their exercise and/or athletic performance through regular massage therapy.
This study found that subjects can maintain maximum performance levels when they allow recovery time that included massage. Even more studies found that regular massage therapy allowed for improved exercise performance.
What Happens During The Massage
Before your deep tissue massage, your massage therapist will want to know about your problem areas. A deep tissue massage can involve your entire body or just one area.
Once ready, youll be asked to lie on your back or stomach, under a sheet. Your level of undress is based on your comfort, but the area being worked on will need to be exposed.
The massage therapist will warm up your muscles using a lighter touch. Once youre warmed up, theyll start working on your problem areas. Theyll use deep kneading and stroking with varying amounts of intense pressure.
For Mental And Emotional Well
Massage therapy has a surprisingly robust body of evidence showing benefits for people with depression, anxiety, posttraumatic stress disorder , and other mood-related challenges. Much of this research has been done in settings where depression, anxiety, and stress are part of a larger health picture , although one study looked at the effects of massage therapy on 70 women diagnosed with anxiety and depression who underwent a month of spa treatments not surprisingly, their stress-related hormones and other biochemical changes suggested that massage can be helpful in this circumstance .
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Do Massages Help Pain
Massage therapy has been studied for several types of pain, including low-back pain, neck and shoulder pain, pain from osteoarthritis of the knee, and headaches. Hereâs what the science says:
Several evaluations of massage for low-back pain have found only weak evidence that it may be helpful.
- The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, in a 2016 evaluation of nondrug therapies for low-back pain, examined 20 studies that compared massage to usual care or other interventions and found that there was evidence that massage was helpful for chronic low-back pain but the strength of the evidence was low. The agency also looked at six studies that compared different types of massage but found that the evidence was insufficient to show whether any types were more effective than others.
- A 2015 review of 25 studies with a total of 3,096 participants found that in both acute and chronic low-back pain, there were short-term improvements in pain after massage therapy. However, because the quality of the studies was low, the investigators who conducted the review concluded that they had âvery little confidenceâ that massage is an effective treatment for low-back pain.
- Clinical practice guidelines issued by the American College of Physicians in 2017 included massage therapy as an option for treating acute/subacute low-back pain but did not include massage therapy among the options for treating chronic low-back pain.
Neck and Shoulder Pain
Osteoarthritis of the Knee
Reduces Anxiety And Depression
Massage has been found to lower the amount of cortisol in the body. This stress hormone is released naturally as part of a natural “fight or flight” response, and an elevated amount is linked to anxiety and depression.
Studies have shown that regular massage therapy for 12 weeks can reduce anxiety symptoms by up to 50%. Not only can it reduce cortisol, but it can also replace it with serotonin, the “feel-good” hormone that stabilizes and boosts your mood.
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Massage Can Improve Your Immune Function
If you feel like you often come down with a cold or other minor illness, you may benefit from therapeutic massage. Research suggests that massage therapy can increase the number of lymphocytes a type of white blood cell that defends your body from disease in your blood. Science also shows that massage therapy can reduce markers of disease, such as inflammation and cortisol.
Pampering With A Purpose
The power of human touch has long been recognized as an imperative contribution to our sense of well being. From ancient societies to the modern Digital Age, touch remains a crucial facet of interpersonal communication.
Greek Mythologys King Midas wished to Dionyssus for everything he touched to turn to gold, only to find his beloved daughter turned into a golden statue upon embrace. Bible parables present Jesus touching countless men, women, and children to rid their bodies of demons and incurable ailments. People from all walks of life carry crystals in their pocket for healing power, tourists rub the horns of Wall Streets Charging Bull for good luck, and there is an entire love language dedicated to physical touch.
While the general wellness benefits of human touch are plenty, there is ample research available for consumption that outlines the scientific and medicinal benefits of human touch, as well. In fact, massage therapy has gradually returned to its original, intended purpose as established in 2700 BC: as a form of integrative medicine.
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Neck And Shoulder Pain
Massage therapy may provide short-term benefits for neck or shoulder pain.
What Does the Research Show?
- A 2016 review of four randomized controlled trials found that massage therapy may provide short-term benefits from neck pain. However, a 2012 Cochrane review of 15 trials on massage therapy for neck pain concluded that no recommendations for practice can be made at this time because the effectiveness of massage for neck pain remains uncertain.
- A 2013 review of 12 studies of massage for neck pain found that massage therapy was more helpful for both neck and shoulder pain than inactive therapies but was not more effective than other active therapies. For shoulder pain, massage therapy had short-term benefits only.
- A 2014 randomized controlled trial involving 228 participants with chronic nonspecific neck pain found that 60-minute massages given multiple times per week was more effective than fewer or shorter sessions. The participants were randomized to 5 groups receiving various doses of massage or to a single control group .
What Is A Massage
Massage therapy is systematically and strategically manipulating the soft tissues of the human body to produce a relaxed state, as well as alleviating things like pain, discomfort, anxiety, and fatigue, Christopher Deery, a licensed massage therapist who is board-certified for therapeutic massage and bodywork, tells SELF.
This working definition covers a broad range of different massage styles and techniques, Deery explains.After graduation from massage school, can go and explore different types of knowledge to suit their own personal practice. But self-massage and massages between couples do have some benefits, and during a pandemic, they are worth trying out if youre interested and able.
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Why Is Massage Therapy Important
Massage therapy has multiple benefits for nearly everyone! Whether you are a cancer patient looking for relief from nausea or you simply need stress relief, massage therapy can improve your physical, mental, and emotional well-being.
The benefits of a weekly massage include helping to calm the central nervous system, improve blood circulation, and offers superior stress relief. You will definitely get the most health benefits from regular massages.
What Is Deep Tissue Massage Therapy
Deep tissue massage therapy isnt just a Swedish massage with deeper strokes or harder pressure. Deep tissue massages use firm pressure and slow stroked to massage deep layers of muscle and fascia, which is the connective tissue that surrounds your muscles.
Deep tissue massages are used to break up scar tissue and break down muscle adhesions . These knots can inhibit our circulation and cause pain and inflammation.
When the massage begins, your massage therapist usually starts with lighter pressure to warm up your muscles and then works into deeper pressure.
The common techniques used in deep tissue massage therapy include stripping, which is deep pressure that glides along the length of your muscle fibers and friction, which applies pressure across the grain of your muscle to break up adhesions and align tissue fibers.
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Increase Your Overall Happiness:
Massage therapy has been known to lower stress, decrease anxiety, and reduce irritability. Along with increasing brain serotonin and dopamine, the combination of these effects lead to a happier individual. Being a happier person can have an infinite number of effects on their personal life and the lives of those around them.
While scheduling regular messages isnt financially plausible for everyone, it should be carefully considered for people looking for a holistic way of improving their mental health.
What Conditions Can Be Treated With Massage
Massage therapy focus on improving circulation, reducing stress, and recovering from injury. This is usually done through lessening the stress on nerves, and reducing pressure from tense muscles on the bones. Massage therapy can also improve your movement range as it opens up space around the joints so they can freely move. Improving blood flow can help to treat swollen joints, and reduce swelling caused by arthritis. Treating these types of conditions will improve your quality of life dramatically as it will improve your range of motion and your ability to enjoy pain free life.
Have you ever been under pressure to meet a deadline, or keep track of multiple projects all with their own individual due dates, and time frames? Has your job ever expanded your position to include work you didnt have to do before? These are all events that cause major stress. This stress can make you feel overwhelmed, and you may feel that you are at the end of your rope. This is where a decent massage comes in. A massage can help to restore your tranquility, and make you feel more in control of your life. The session will help to release the tension in your body and give you a chance to just relax. This will help you find your center, and restore your health so that you can pick up in your busy life with a sense of confidence.
Chronic Pain and Injuries
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How Do I Prepare For My First Massage What Should I Wear
While the idea of a massage sounds terrific on one hand, for those who havent experienced one yet, they might be feeling apprehensive about having someone rub their body while wearing next to nothing.
Being self-conscious can limit the relaxing benefit of massage. Try to relax and keep in mind that your therapist has seen hundreds if not thousands of bodies. Unless you are an alien, there is nothing that they havent seen and probably wont notice or even remember.
Dont eat anything about 2 hours before your appointment but do drink plenty of water. If your massage is scheduled during your lunch break, eat a very light meal, such as a salad, or wait until after your massage.
Wear comfortable clothing. You will undress, so anything that is easy to remove would be ideal.
The therapist will allow you privacy to undress. Most offer a towel or sheet to cover the parts of your body that arent being massaged. Your therapist understands that most people are shy and will respect your privacy and modesty.
Before the massage begins, dont be afraid to tell your therapist anything you feel is important, such as areas that might be causing you pain, such as your neck or lower back, or possibly areas that you want them to avoid. Always let the therapist know if you have any special health considerations.
More than anything else, just breathe and relax! Your therapist knows their job and your job is to simply enjoy the experience!
Benefits Of Deep Tissue Massage Therapy
Are you experiencing stress, muscle soreness, or pain? Do you feel like your body is a giant knot of tense muscles? Deep tissue massage therapy might be the solution to your problems.
Massage therapy has been around for thousands of years. Ancient cultures documented the use of massage, including Hindus, Persians, and Egyptians, who used massage to cure many different illnesses and ailments.
Massage is still widely accepted as both a tool for relaxation and stress relief and also to alleviate pain, treat arthritis, bursitis, fatigue, high blood pressure, diabetes, and depression, among other conditions. Deep tissue massage is one advanced massage technique to address certain issues.
Keep reading to learn more about deep tissue massage therapy and some of its benefits.
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A New Age Of Integrative Medicine
Insulin injections for diabetes, benzodiazepines for anxiety, antihistamines for allergies, and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs for arthritis or joint pain are all modern medicinal treatments for common health ailments. Modern medicine is, in fact, modern and has only existed for a brief period of time compared to what we now deem alternative medicine.
But, the tides are turning. Doctors are thoughtfully expanding their prescriptions to include alternative forms of medicine in addition to medical treatments, creating a term we now call integrative medicine.
The American Massage Therapy Associations 24th annual survey asked respondents to share their experience discussing massage therapy with their medical doctors. The results revealed that 25% of respondents were referred to a massage therapist by their primary doctor and 24% of respondents were strongly encouraged to receive a massage as a form of additional treatment.
Massage therapy is a particularly effective form of integrative medicine that can be used to improve a handful of physical and mental ailments. Lets explore just how beneficial massage therapy is for your overall health.
Can Massage Help Cancer Patients
With appropriate precautions, massage therapy can be part of supportive care for cancer patients who would like to try it however, the evidence that it can relieve pain and anxiety is not strong.
- Massage therapy, with or without aromatherapy has been used to attempt to relieve pain, anxiety, and other symptoms in people with cancer. A 2016 evaluation of 19 studies of massage for cancer patients found some evidence that massage might help with pain and anxiety, but the quality of the evidence was very low , and findings were not consistent.
- Clinical practice guidelines for the care of breast cancer patients include massage as one of several approaches that may be helpful for stress reduction, anxiety, depression, fatigue, and quality of life. Clinical practice guidelines for the care of lung cancer patients suggest that massage therapy could be added as part of supportive care in patients whose anxiety or pain is not adequately controlled by usual care.
- Massage therapists may need to modify their usual techniques when working with cancer patients for example, they may have to use less pressure than usual in areas that are sensitive because of cancer or cancer treatments.
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Muscle And Tendon Injuries
Muscle and tendon injuries are usually related to overuse. Research has revealed that when these injuries persist, traditional anti-inflammatories are not effective, and physicians are encouraged to explore noninvasive options before recommending surgical repair. Fortunately, these injuries often respond well to manual therapies. Studies of tendon injuries in a violinist , at the elbow , at the Achilles tendon , and the knee show that skilled massage therapy can be a helpful contributor to successful muscle and tendon recovery.
Does Massage Therapy Improve Circulation
Yes, it does. Massage improves circulation because the pressure applied moves the blood through the congested areas. The squeezing and pulling also flush lactic acid from the muscles. Another remarkable benefit of massage therapy is the stimulation of lymphatic circulation. The lymph fluid moved by the pressure carries away metabolic waste from muscles and internal organs, leading to lower blood pressure and overall improved body function.
Massage Reduces Muscle Pain And Soreness
A tough workout, whatever tough means to you, leaves you feeling like a regular flight of stairs is a 20-mile uphill backpacking trip. Therapeutic massage is one of the top recovery tools for sore muscles after workouts, especially in elite athletes.
In addition to soothing sore muscles, massage therapy can reduce bodily pain in people who struggle with chronic pain or any syndrome of which pain is a side effect. Studies show that therapeutic massage can relieve pain related to fibromyalgia, surgery, and more.
Can Massage Be Helpful For Fibromyalgia Symptoms
Massage therapy may be helpful for some fibromyalgia symptoms if itâs continued for long enough.
- A 2014 evaluation of 9 studies concluded that massage therapy, if continued for at least 5 weeks, improved pain, anxiety, and depression in people with fibromyalgia but did not have an effect on sleep disturbance.
- A 2015 evaluation of 10 studies compared the effects of different kinds of massage therapy and found that most styles of massage had beneficial effects on quality of life in people with fibromyalgia. Swedish massage may be an exception 2 studies of this type of massage did not show benefits.
For more information, see NCCIHâs fact sheet on fibromyalgia.
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Benefits Of Massage You Should Know
If you clicked on this article, youre probably curious about the benefits of massage. Maybe, as you’re reading this, you’re trying to figure out why your shoulders hunch and your neck is so tight it feels like it might snap. Or perhaps youre just one of those people who find massages pleasurable. Whether youre craving a loving rubdown from someone you trust or a professional massage therapy session, lots of people enjoy a good massage now and again. But what exactly counts as a massage, are there different types, and what are the possible benefits of a massage? Here, we talked to two massage therapists to better understand what you mean when you sigh and say, I could go for a massage right now.