Relax, destress, unwind, some of the common effects of getting a massage. But getting a massage does more than just promote relaxation. Massage therapy has many health benefits that are a bonus to massage making you feel relaxed and amazing. Studies are done all the time showing the health benefits of massage therapy. The American Massage Therapy Association conducts annual research on the benefits and effects of massage therapy(1). Some of the common health benefits findings include:
Lowers Blood Pressure
Perhaps one of the most important benefits of massage is lowering blood pressure. Hypertension is one of the major culprits of the increase in cardiovascular disease in the world(3). Sweedish Massage is a complementary treatment that is known to reduce blood pressure by reducing stress(4). In a study done it showed that an hour weekly for four weeks of regular massage therapy showed significant systolic and diastolic reduction(4).
Improves Mental Health
Massage therapy has been shown to lower depression and anxiety. A meta-analysis of seventeen clinical studies found a significant reduction in depressive symptoms after starting a regular massage therapy program(4).
Boosts the Immune System
Regular massage has been known to boost the immune system. Massage therapy increases the activity level of the body’s white blood cells that work to fight germs and viruses(5). I know I would take a massage over a flu shot any day.
There are many other health benefits to massage therapy including:
Massage therapy is a great alternative therapy, it can be a lot healthier and have less negative side effects than other treatments. It is always best to find the right therapist for you and discuss your treatment options with them. Massage therapy is growing as a legitimate treatment for a number of different conditions and insurance companies are even starting to cover massages as treatment. Massage is definitely worth a try to see if it is right for you!
1. American Massage Therapy Association. “Research”.
2.American Massage Therapy Association. “ Massage Therapy May Boost the Immune System”.
3.Givi, Mahshid. “Durability of effect of massage therapy on blood pressure.” International journal of preventive medicine vol. 4,5 (2013): 511-6.
4.Supa’at, Izreen et al. “Effects of Swedish massage therapy on blood pressure, heart rate, and inflammatory markers in hypertensive women.” Evidence-based complementary and alternative medicine: eCAM vol. 2013 (2013): 171852. doi:10.1155/2013/171852
5.Sylvia Braufman Mental Health Center.” Massage Therapy For Mental Wellness”. 2016
6. Image by <a href=”https://pixabay.com/users/Mariolh-62451/?utm_source=link-attribution&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=image&utm_content=567021″>Mariolh</a> from <a href=”https://pixabay.com/?utm_source=link-attribution&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=image&utm_content=567021″>Pixabay</a>