Is one of your goals in this new decade to focus on your health? One easy way to do that is by incorporating regular massage therapy into your routine. Regular therapeutic massage impacts your overall health. Here’s how:
It seems like just about everyone is battling the flu, a bad cold, or some other virus this time of year, and you’d like to not catch it! Regular massages can make the immune system stronger according to the American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA).In one study, researchers studied cells in patients who had compromised immune systems. This study found that massage therapy increases the activity level of the body’s white blood cells that work to combat viruses. According to research from Cedars-Sinai, participants in a Swedish massage group experienced significant changes in lymphocytes (a subtype of white blood cells), which play a large role in defending the body from disease. Massage therapy improved how the immune system functioned. These same benefits can prevent seasonal illnesses, such as the cold and flu.
Lowers Blood Pressure
Trying to keep your blood pressure down? Just about half of all adults in the US have a cardiovascular-related disease, and high blood pressure is a big contributor. Hypertension can lead to heart attack, heart failure, and stroke, according to the American Heart Association. Regular massage therapy, though, has been shown to be effective in lowering blood pressure. In one study, an hour of massage therapy weekly was shown to reduce blood pressure and heart rate in hypertensive women.
Reduces Stress, Anxiety, and Depression
That never-ending to-do list between work and home can cause some major stress. According to an article in Prevention, massage therapy relieves depression and anxiety by affecting the body’s biochemistry. Researchers have found that getting a massage can lower cortisol levels (a stress hormone) by up to 53%! High levels of cortisol can negatively impact mood, lower energy levels, can cause weight gain and high blood pressure, and disrupt sleep.
A good night’s sleep does the body good! It helps keep us physically healthy and is a natural mood booster. Massages have been shown to increase serotonin levels (a mood-stabilizing hormone that also plays a big role in sleep) up to about 28 percent.
Regular massage helps to loosen up the muscles and increase circulation, which helps pump oxygen to joints, according to an article in Shape Magazine. Increased flexibility can help you get more out of your exercise routine and prevent injury.
Is pain getting in the way of you feeling your best? We already mentioned how massage therapy works in relieving stress and anxiety which can be a contributor to pain. But it also helps to relax painful muscles, tendons, and joints, according to Harvard Health.
Here’s to a happy and healthy 2020! Now is a great time to start making regular massage a part of your routine. At Balanced Body Therapeutic Massage, we offer professional therapeutic massages at two convenient Lehigh Valley locations. Book your next appointment online now.