Many people consider massage an indulgence, but there’s a reason that massage therapy is sometimes included in health insurance benefits and is often prescribed after a car accident or when training for an endurance event. Your bones, muscles, organs, and skin make up the major parts of the body. Muscles come in a variety of sizes, but every one of them can be over-stressed or torn, regardless of their size. Considering you have around 700 muscles that you depend on for both movement and rest, it’s no surprise that sometimes things can go wrong.
Caring for your muscles requires a wide range of activities, and the amount of care increases with age, your level of activity, and the amount of any former trauma you may have experienced. Of course some activities, such as jobs that require repetitive or heavy movement, and sports put a higher stress on muscles than it does with more sedentary people. Sarcopenia, or age-related muscle loss, is also a common concern.
However, massage doesn’t only treat muscle problems. It can be used to treat migraines, improve functionality of ligaments and tendons, and even treat chronic conditions.
Here are seven benefits of massage therapy that everyone can benefit from:
Whether you’re looking into massage therapy to treat migraines or common headaches, licensed massage therapists can help ease muscles that can cause headaches – which may not necessarily be located in the head. The neck, back, and shoulder area can all cause headaches and migraines. Getting these areas to relax and release tension is key.
Prevent Future Injuries
It’s very common for endurance athletes such as marathon runners to see a massage therapist leading up to and after a race. Massage therapists, like all medical professionals, put preventative measures first. Ensuring muscles are in optimal condition is the best way to reduce the risk of injury.
It Can Lower Your Heart Rate
High blood pressure is increasingly common in the west due to higher stress levels, carrying excess weight, and some would say the foods we eat. Massage therapy can relax the body and mind into a deeper state than what’s achievable on one’s own. The benefits can be both immediate and lasting. High heart rates are related to heart disease, which is the number one killer of women in the first world.
Find Out About Trouble Areas Early
Another avenue massage therapy uses to figure out problem areas (preventative measurements) is with regular sessions. Just because one part of the body hurts doesn’t mean there’s a problem there; it may be in another area entirely. Massage therapists are skilled at knowing what’s irregular, what’s causing it, and can often refer clients to the right specialist.
It Helps With Sleep Hygiene
Relaxing is a lot harder than it sounds. The Sleep Foundation estimates that the majority of Americans are chronically sleep deprived, and having good sleep hygiene is critical. Massage therapy can be a great part of that, and massage therapists can provide tips that clients can take and use at home.
It’s An Important Part Of Self-Care
Self-care is paramount, particularly in an era where many people put everyone else first. We think it’s selfish to look out for ourselves, but self-care must come before caring for any other person. Massage therapy offers a concrete way with a firm timeframe to set time aside just for you.
It Helps With Body Positivity
Some people don’t want to go for a massage because they fear judgment. Self-loathing, particularly with our own bodies, is rampant. However, every person needs touch and affirmation. Massage is a fantastic and professional way to get it, all while learning how to love ourselves and how our body responds to various movements and pressures.
Massage should not be considered a luxury. Instead, it’s a means of human touch that we require for a healthy life.
Rachel is a freelance content writer. She has written for a variety of industries including health, fitness, travel, and beauty. Aside from writing, Rachel enjoys hiking, traveling, and playing at the beach with her two dogs.