6 benefits of massage you may not know
1) Massage is the Anti-Dote to sitting
Most people in this modern world exist in a desk-bound, car-bound life-style. The pressure this puts on our spinal column causes all kinds of tension and pain in the neck and shoulders.
However if you are sitting in a desk most of your waking life (9-5pm full time office workers beware) then more serious forms of stress will start to manifest in the lower back area too.
Research has shown, however that regular fortnightly massage can help re-balance your back muscles and keep you in your job and off compo! So just be sure to schedule your massage as this is an integral part of a healthy work/life balance.
2) Massage eases back pain
The Touch Research Institute (TRI) in Miami, FL has shown that regular massage increases blood flow to the muscles and alleviates the sensation of pain felt by patients. So if you stand up after a long period of sitting, and reach to your lower back and feel stiff and sore, then a “prescription” of fortnightly remedial massage is just what the doctor should be ordering you (NOT anti inflammatory drugs and endone).
Massage increases blood flow to muscles and helps to break up fibrous tissues (which cause pain). Increase blood flow improves flexibility in the muscles and reduces the chance of muscle spasm (felt when you “put your back out” reaching for a shoe on the floor) and muscle tearing (this isn’t good, and this alone should be your reason for booking preventative massage!)
3) Massage eases anxiety and depression and stress
The benefits of soothing, supportive nurturing touch are the basis for any good relationship – including with your massage therapist. With the right therapist, you can receive “body counselling” as well as physical stretching, and massage. Regular visits with your massage therapist creates more than just a good feeling in your muscular body – it creates good feeling in your brain as well.
Positive touch – especially for people who are not in close intimate relationships – can boost mood and improve overall feelings of happiness.
And for pregnant women, the news is even better: the TRI has found that just 20mins massage each week over 12 weeks significantly reduced the rate of depression in their pregnant patients, and also reduced the amount of stress hormone – cortisol – that was in the mum (and bub’s) body! DOUBLE win!
Depression is a major ailment affecting around 1 million Australian adults , and over 2 million have anxiety. Research has shown that teens and adults who receive regular massage have lower stress levels and report feeling much more relaxed and happy. (Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry). Considering anti-depressants are being handed out like lollies, and have a heap of side effects, surely a visit to the massage clinic fortnightly would be a better way to manage depression?
When you combine massage therapy and energy healing and counselling your experience becomes much more than just a “feel good” appointment. Belle offers deep healing and transformation appointments, because she combines the best of three worlds: talking therapy and energy healing and massage therapy. Her appointments are in hot demand, because her clients walk in stressed, angry and frustrated with pain in their neck and shoulders and back, and walk out lighter, calmer and pain free. This is because when the emotional body is stressed it gives you physical symptoms. Remove the emotional stress and the physical pain ease.
4) Massage improves sleep habits
Massage helps to sedate and soothe the nervous system. Most adults aren’t getting enough restful, deep sleep every night. We call it Sleep Hygiene, and to be honest the majority of the population are filthy according to sleep standards!
You’ve heard of the “fight or flight” response of your nervous system? And no doubt you have felt that second wind you get around 11pm at night….that moment during GoT where your eyes are getting heavy and you know you should turn the TV off, but it is so engrossing, and you really must keep watching to see if Tyrion is going to be killed, and then the plot changes suddenly and WHAM! you are wide awake again. You nudge your partner and say “want to watch another ep?”
Suddenly you are so awake you feel amazing and you grab some chips from the kitchen and a cuppa and then you can’t get to sleep until 1am when your eyes finally start to droop (and have watched another 3 eps).
Don’t tell me you don’t know what I’m talking about!
This is a huge disruption in your circadian rhythms and if you miss your sleep cues you are screwed for another few hours.
Massage will help your nervous system to re-boot and relax, meaning it will help you to settle yourself easier later in the night -it doesn’t matter what time of day you have a massage – but only YOU can make a choice to get up and turn the telly off at 9.45pm and start getting ready for bed.
Game of Thrones aside, massage improves sleep for both the young and old alike! This is music to every new mum and dad’s ears! Baby massage has long been used to help new parents bond with their newborn, but the possibility of helping their child sleep like…ahem…”a baby” is even more of a reason for learning baby massage. Don’t you think?
Soothing massage with pure lavender or chamomile oil can help ease tummy pains, and has been shown to improve digestion and sleep/wake cycles. So it is worth starting off early with your kids and spending some time each day giving them a quick tummy or foot massage.
Massage also encourages a restful sleep for those who can’t otherwise comfortably rest. Oncology massage is a perfect way to help clients who are undergoing treatment, or just finished treatment. The technique is softer and more gentle and the emphasis is on pure comfort (both Tamara and Ange are fully qualified Oncology Massage Therapists).
5) Massage boosts immunity
In this, our worst Flu season in YEARS, this is music to your ears right? The prevention for flu is a regular massage? Possibly. Cedars Sinai conducted research that showed Swedish or “light touch” massage improves the immune system function after just 45mins massage.
This is exciting news, because it proves what we already know – there is a time and place for deep tissue massage – but NOT when you are feeling under the weather. In our clinic our policy is: If you are feverish, sneezing or coughing, you cannot come for massage (you will pass on germs), but if you are Post-Viral, or just feel like something is coming on, then a Relaxation massage is definitely what the doctor ordered!
6) Massage eases PMS
SHOUT IT OUT LADIES – this is your MASSIVE EXCUSE to tell your partner you need to dedicate some of the household budget to fortnightly massage therapy! I bet you that he will agree to anything you want, if he knows massage will help put the T-Rex in it’s box!
Joking aside, massage therapy twice per month decreases anxiety, depressed mood and pain associated with cramping and the longer term effects of massage therapy included a reduction in pain and water retention and overall menstrual distress. (Hernandez-Reif, M, Martinez , A., Field, T., Quintino, O., Hart, S., & Burman, I. (2000). Premenstrual syndrome symptoms are relieved by massage therapy. Journal of Psychosomatic Obstetrics & Gynecology, 21, 9-15.)