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The Benefits of Massage

The Benefits of Massage

Life can be very challenging. You could face the stress of office work – sitting at a desk all day, answering the phone, using the computer, having huge demands being put on you – sometimes you can be lucky if you can get away from your desk to have lunch. Alternatively, you could stand all day on a hard floor or drive a lorry or a van all day, constantly stopping and starting in traffic and loading and unloading heavy boxes. The strain of looking after children. The result of these and other challenges can be an aching back, a pain across your shoulders that just won’t go away, a pulled muscle, exhaustion…

You do not have to live with these symptoms. Massage can help greatly with many problems.

A good massage can be relaxing, but there are so many more potential benefits. Studies have shown that even a single massage can provide numerous physical and emotional benefits.

During a massage, I will endeavour to help you to relax by working on a specific area of the body (eg back) or the whole body. This will be beneficial in terms of overall relaxation and increased joint mobility. Often there are some muscles that are more tense and sore than others due to overuse, posture and other reasons. By working more on these muscles, the benefits can be wide ranging – including the easing of tight and knotted muscles, pain relief and relaxation.

Relaxes Muscles

This is probably what massage is best known for. Aching, sore, painful muscles can be caused by so many things – from sitting at a desk all day, to exercising too vigorously, to being under constant stress. A good massage can sooth those muscles. A regular massage can prevent any discomfort occurring in the first place.

Relaxation

Stress can lead to the build-up of the hormone called cortisol, which can lead to sleeplessness, digestive problems and headaches. However, studies have shown that massage decreases cortisol that is present in the body. As the body relaxes, the mind feels more at ease. This leads to relaxation and improved mood. Clients often report a sense of greater peace and mental alertness after a massage. Research has shown that, compared with those who did not receive massages, people working in offices who received regular massages had lower stress levels and showed greater alertness and improved performance.

Improved Posture

Poor posture can be caused by a lot of things – such as being hunched over a computer all day or sat in a car for long periods. If your body isn’t aligned correctly, some muscles will inevitably be overused and others underused. This can affect your internal organs, potentially affecting digestion, breathing and circulation. Massage can loosen overworked muscles, allowing your body to return to its natural posture.

More Flexibility & Greater Range of Motion

It is an unfortunate fact that, with age, joints become less flexible, leading to a more restricted range of movement. Massage works on the muscles, as well as the joints, tendons, ligaments and connective tissues, allowing your body to move more freely. Regular massage can lead to greater flexibility and greater range of movement which, in turn, leads to reduced chance of injury.

Better Circulation

Massage helps to improve circulation. Poor circulation can lead to fluid in the lower legs, cold hands and feet, fatigue and aching muscles. Good circulation brings oxygen and nutrients to damaged tissues, helping them to heal, and carries away waste from internal organs and muscles. This improves bodily function. Improved circulation to the skin can lead to nutrition to the skin increasing and can improve the skin’s condition and suppleness.

Lower Blood Pressure

Some massage studies have shown that regular massage decreases blood pressure. This, in turn, can lead to lower stress hormones; lower anxiety, depression and irritability; and lower risk of stroke, heart attack or kidney failure.

Promotes Deeper & Easier Breathing

Short, shallow breaths will almost inevitably lead to a state of anxiety. It may be that the muscles around the rib cage and abdomen have tightened, making deep breathing difficult, if not near impossible. Massage can help these muscles to relax, which can lead to improved, deeper breathing. Also, improved posture due to massage can lead to better alignment of the bodily structure around the lungs, leading to better breathing. As well as reducing anxiety, improved breathing can have a myriad of other benefits, including increased energy levels and better overall health.

Relieves Headaches

Tension can lead to headaches. Massage can be very effective at releasing tension. The neck and shoulders in particular are prone to becoming tight when a person is under stress. Tightness in these areas can lead to headaches – massage can ease this tightness, leading to a feeling of lightness and the easing of headaches.

Should You Try Massage Therapy?

Many people are aware how deep the power of touch can be. Massage can take this one step further. It can benefit people from all kinds of backgrounds: athletes, office workers, lorry drivers, cash till operators, stay at home mums, stressed-out executives… the list is endless. Massage can be healing, nurturing and relaxing.

Although some serious health conditions may mean massage may not be suitable for you right now, the benefits can be truly wide ranging and, in many ways, it may be the ideal treatment for you.

Please see the “testimonials” section of this website to see how others have benefited.