Health Benefits of Massage Therapy

10 Amazing Health Benefits of Massage Therapy

When I think about massage I immediately think of a pamper session, which no doubt it most definitely is! Let’s face it there is nothing better than getting a good massage.

I remember getting a pregnancy massage when I was 6 months pregnant and honestly it was one of the biggest highlights of a really tough pregnancy!

It is really important to note that while it is enjoyable, massage comes with so many great mental and physical health benefits that cannot be ignored.

Massaging your baby or child is not only a pleasant experience for mom and baby that helps with bonding but it will have so many more benefits for your child. I have recently started massaging my five year old daughter every evening as she is suffering from anxiety and she has always been a bad sleeper too.

Since we started this nightly ritual about a month ago her anxiety has lessened significantly, her sleep has improved immensely and she has not wet the bed once!

When I get stressed out and have something bothering me I often get a tension migraine and taking pain killers doesn’t help at all. The only remedy is for me to ask my husband for help and he will massage my back, neck and shoulders until my migraine has disappeared. It works like a charm every time.

So perhaps you really enjoy a massage but you feel guilty spending the time and money “just to spoil yourself”?

Well I disagree, I believe that all us mommies need are some good reasons to validate having a regular massage and there are plenty of those.

I am sure I am not alone when I say that there are times in my life that I feel alone. I feel dead tired, absolutely exhausted from caring for others and putting other people’s needs before my own.

Well perhaps these are the moments that I (and you) should be taking a time out and going for a well deserved and much needed massage.

Here are some benefits of massage therapy that just cannot be ignored:

1 Massage is Mentally and Physically Relaxing

This is quite simple and clear to see, having a massage feels great. During and after the massage you can feel your body and your mind relaxing.

Massage decreases levels of Cortisol which allows the body to relax.

2 Massage Therapy Reduces Stress, Anxiety and Depression

Stress is your body’s way of reacting to physical and emotional demands. Every single person has to deal with some sort of stress in their lives. Massage reduces stress levels in the body by releasing endorphins (feel good hormones) into the body that calms the peripheral nervous system.

Just as those feel good hormones help to reduce stress, they can also help to reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression in adults and children.

3 Boosts Your Immune System

Having a regular massage increases your Serotonin levels as well as increases the number of white blood cells in the body, improving your immune system.

4 Counteracts Sitting and Improves Postural Stress

Having an office job and sitting at a desk all day can put a huge amount of stress on your back, shoulders and neck. Having bad posture puts strain on your muscles and other organs. Massage helps your body to maintain good posture and reduces strain.

5 Relieves Tension Headaches and Migraines

Massage therapy relaxes tense muscles, improves blood flow, relieves muscle spasms and aids relaxation, all of which helps to relieve muscle tension headaches and vascular headaches.

Massage can also help to reduce headaches by treating the cause of the initial stress and by eliminating muscle tension that triggers the headaches.

6 Improved Sleep and Higher Energy Levels

Improved levels of Serotonin help the body to enter deep sleep. The brain also uses Serotonin to make Melatonin which is a hormone needed for good sleep.

7 Improves Circulation

Massage improves blood flow and circulation which helps to relieve sore muscles as well as carry oxygen and nutrition to muscles and tissue. Lactic acid that has built up in muscles can then be released which relieves pain and  discomfort.

8 Decreases Blood Pressure

Blood pressure is affected by stress. When someone is under a lot of stress their blood pressure goes up, when their stress is reduced their blood pressure goes down. As mentioned massage helps to reduce stress and in this way decreases blood pressure.

The fact that massage improves circulation also helps to reduce any swelling or edema that may be occurring with the high blood pressure.

9 Reduces Back and Neck Pain

For anyone suffering from chronic back and neck pain massage can be very helpful.

Increased circulation helps the recovery of sore muscles.

Decreased muscle tension can improve your flexibility and reduce pain. Increased feel good hormones esase anxiety and depression which in turn can help with pain reduction and speed up recovery time.

10 Massage Helps Recovery After Surgery

Massage can help to reduce pain after surgery as well as reduce swelling by helping to keep the lymphatic drainage system in order and ensuring proper circulation.

Better blood and oxygen flow through your system will help your wounds to recover faster and to help prevent scarring. So if you have had a c-section, what better excuse to go and have a massage?

So mommies, I encourage you all to not only massage your little bundles of joy, but also to take some much needed time out to look after your own mental and physical well being as often as possible!

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  1. So many good reasons – just to find the time 😛

  2. I need to work on this time thing lol, Im still battling to find time to exercise 🙂

    • Tamara is your little one in day care? You know what I started doing that has worked so well for me with exercising? I put it my first priority. As soon as I get home from dropping my kids at creche I get in 20 minutes of exercise before I start work. Yes it is not a huge amount of time but I am doing it every single day 🙂

      I think the same goes for things like massage and looking after yourself in general (think washing your hair LOL), schedule it first, put yourself first and then get on with your day. I have found it is amazing. I have even got an appointment for a massage on Tuesday. There is a special going in our area for paying for one full body massage for R350 and bring a friend for free! So my mother in law and I are going on Tuesday 🙂

  3. Sure need neck and back massage dont have chronic pain but will do me wonders for sure

    • @lisaanderson read and weep… I had a one hour, full body massage yesterday! There was a local place in Langebaan holding a special where two people could go for the price of one (R350) so my mother in law and I went. It was awesome!

      • I can imagine it was awesome im going to see what our spas have as a special maybe i can go with someone like a friend or someone would be even more fun and a outing also….

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