The advantages of massage therapy go far beyond the physical. This ancient form of healing can also impact your emotional health. Having good emotional health means being happy, resilient, confident, and self-aware. People who are emotionally healthy are better equipped to recover from setbacks and handle life’s many challenges. Massage can clear your mind and release built-up pressure both physically and mentally. It can also offer an alternative treatment to numerous psychological issues, such as anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder.
Stress can cause the body to build up an unhealthy amount of hormones. The “stress hormone” cortisol can cause headaches, digestive problems, and sleeplessness. Massage has been found to reduce levels of cortisol in the body which encourages rest and recovery. Relaxation can last long after the massage is over due to changes in brain chemistry. If you’re new to massage therapy, it can take time for the relaxation process to kick in. When you allow your body and mind to relieve built-up tension, you can maximize the full effects of massage therapy.
In modern society people are always on the go, too immersed in their day-to-day lives to feel much of anything. Massage allows you to slow down and become more self-aware. As your mind relaxes, you’re better able to “hear” your body’s signals. When you really tune into your body, you may find that it’s fatigued, stressed, or overworked. Massage also allows you a period of peace when you can focus on what’s going on in your head, whether you’re struggling with work, family life, or relationships. When you recognize signs of strain, you can take the necessary steps towards healing and recovery.
Massage can affect energy levels in multiple ways. It can reduce cortisol levels in the body to aid in sleep, which gives you a natural energy boost in the morning. Mental conditions like stress and depression can significantly reduce your energy levels. Massage therapy has been found to alleviate stress and depression by releasing endorphins or those “feel good” chemicals in the brain. Research also shows that massage encourages proper blood flow. This causes more oxygen and nutrients to be delivered to the body’s cells, which are essential for energy.
If you’re having trouble focusing, massage therapy could help. Trouble concentrating can be caused by a wide range of conditions, such as insomnia, sleep apnea, ADHA, drug use, hormonal imbalance, and depression. Massage can help improve concentration by reducing symptoms associated with the problem, such as muscle tension and pain. It can also improve sleep which is needed for alertness and ability to focus throughout the day. Manipulation of the skin and underlying tissues can play a major role in improved concentration. When certain acupressure or reflex points are stimulated, there is a natural change in your concentration and memory power. These changes can be beneficial in your day-to-day life.
Studies have shown that six 30-minute massages over a two-week period can improve mood in cancer patients. Massage has a direct impact on your hormone levels. During a massage, chemical neurotransmitters like serotonin, dopamine, and endorphins are released which help you unwind and feel good. In contrast, the body produces adrenaline and norepinephrine when in dangerous or stressful situations. Massage therapy can help reduce the levels of these hormones and encourage the body and mind to truly relax. When you have higher amounts of “feel good” chemicals like serotonin in your body, you can maintain a more balanced mood and become more focused and productive.
Headaches can have a plethora of causes, ranging from dehydration and muscle strain to influenza and alcohol-induced hangovers. Massage can help improve headaches in different ways, depending on the cause. For headaches associated with muscle strain, massage can relieve muscle spasms and release shortened muscles in the neck, shoulders, and back. Hormonal issues can also trigger headaches and migraines. By controlling the stress hormone cortisol, endorphin production is increased which helps reduce headache intensity, length, and frequency. Massage can also reduce headaches through improved circulation. As massage improves oxygen levels, pain is reduced.
We all know that massage therapy is highly beneficial for individuals suffering from muscle soreness and sports injuries. However, it’s also a highly effective way to improve your emotional health. Most people experience improvements in their overall health within the first three massage therapy sessions. Once you begin to feel a significant improvement in your emotional health, it can be helpful to continue getting occasional massages to maintain health.