When most people think of massage, teh first thing they think of are the physical benefits. Her are just a few of those benefits experienced by people who receive massage:
- Relaxes and softens injured and overused muscles.
- Reduces spasms and cramping.
- Increases joint flexibility.
- Releases endorphins - the body's natural painkiller.
- Improves range-of-motion and decreases discomfort for patients with low back pain.
It seems logical that a person who has experienced the physical benefits of massage would naturally have a better disposition, an elevated mood and hence, be more lovable. Many of us have known from our own experience that massage lowers levels of stress and anxiety, and reduces pain. More recently, scientific research has confirmed what we already knew - in general, massage makes us feel better about ourselves. More importantly, when we take care of ourselves to reduce pain and stress, we have a greater ability to love ourselves as well as others.
In addition to the physical benefits, many clients also experience positive emotional and mental benefits from massage. Massage clients often talk about having better focus after their session and research has actually shown that massage can improve your ability to solve problems with a higher degree of accuracy. Massage often results in an increased sense of well-being, decreased anxiety and a reduction in the symptoms of depression. Studies have show that the physical changes such as a reduction in the levels of cortisol (a hormone released during stress) occur in the body during and after massage. This is likely a contributing factor to teh emotional and psychological benefts.
Recent studies cited in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry indicated that massage may be an effective tool to use in treating depression. Other studies have shown that massage has a positive effect on female patients with eating disorders such as bulimia and anorexia. Massage helps us to reconnect with our bodies and improve our self esteem. So we're back to the fact that massage helps us feel better about ourselves. Of course anyone with a serious mental health issue should see a mental health specialist. However, if you are feeling a bit crabby, in a bad mood or just feeling a little down on yourself, massage may be just what you need to get you back on track. Spread the love - get yourself a massage!