By now we’ve all heard the seemingly countless benefits of massage therapy. But if you’re like most Americans, you still haven’t scheduled that first appointment. Well if everything you’ve read up until now hasn’t been enough to get you to pick up the phone, hopefully these Top 7 Reasons will get you on a table today.
7. Enhance Your Sleep Cycle
Unlike nearly any other form of activity, expert massage therapy has an extremely positive effect on the brain’s delta waves. These brainwaves are directly linked to deep sleep which is why people often fall asleep on the massage table. By allowing your brain to get to this point during the middle of your day, and on a regular basis, you greatly improve the quality of sleep you will experience at night and throughout the month. A healthy sleep cycle is critical to nearly every other component of your health and has long-lasting influence on everything from your overall happiness to your career and job performance.
6. Huge Immune Boost
In a study headed by Dr. Tiffany Field they found that massage has a large impact on the immune system. “At the end of the study, the women had lower depression and hostility levels and increased urinary levels of serotonin, dopamine, NK cells and lymphocytes—all of which suggested their immune systems were stronger.” The main focus group were women with breast cancer who received 30 minute massages three times per week.
5. Assassinate Your Stress
It’s no secret that stress, the silent killer, is one of the most negative things to impact your health on a regular basis. While stress is a natural part of life for any living creature, humans seem to have a great abundance of it which leads to countless health problems. Almost 90% of all doctor’s office visits are from stress-related health issues, ailments and complaints. Massage helps reduce stress both by getting the patient to relax and by forcing the muscles and lymphatic systems to release and get rid of harmful toxins being held by the body’s tissues. This release is critical for your overall health and is why you need to drink plenty of water after a massage therapy session.
4. Get More From Your Workout
It’s no secret that professional athletes regularly get massages. Why? Because they put their bodies through rigorous training, exercise and heavy lifting on a regular basis. All this activity causes the muscles to tighten up, retain toxins and lose performance over time. Sports massage has been shown to help athletes get more out of their workouts, reduce tightness and swelling while helping to prevent injuries. If it works for the pros it can work for you too no matter your fitness level; there is always something to gain.
3. Under Pressure
A 2005 study at the University of South Florida showed that patients suffering from hypertension were able to significantly lower their blood pressure when receiving 10 massages of 10 minutes each over a period of 3 weeks. Why? Because massage stimulates the pressure receptors which cause the vagus nerve to get into action. Part of this nerve’s job is to control blood pressure and massage helps stimulate it in a way to reduce blood pressure.
2. Lose Weight
Though this video would give the Pillsbury Dough Boy nightmares of being tortured, Tui Na Massage has been shown to help with weight loss. The thought behind this is that in loosening up the fat cells they are better able to release their fats into the blood stream for transport out of the body. Also by massaging the abdomen the intestinal tract moves food through it faster, speeding up digestion and metabolism.
1. You Deserve It
Let’s face it. You work hard to earn a living and put a lot into your career, family and hobbies. Its time you took the time for yourself. Take a step out of your busy life for just 30 minutes and you’ll be amazed at the results. Not only will you feel better, you’ll find you perform better in all other areas of your life.
Sarah Klein of New York writes for the Huffington Post.