Massage Therapy – Part of a Healthy Lifestyle

By Lovelyn Bettison

Massage therapy becomes more and more popular every year. Most people are aware of the stress reducing benefits of massage, but many still view it as a luxury. They get massaged occasionally when they want to treat themselves to something special. Massage has had an important healing role in many ancient cultures and should continue this role in this culture. Sadly, it’s not part of most people’s health maintenance routine and these people miss the benefits that massage can offer them.

This is unfortunate because massage has valuable health benefits. Massage increases circulation. This increases the amount of nutrients that flows to cells. It pushes toxins out of muscles and increases the flow of lymph. This increase in circulation also helps speed healing times of injured muscles. It is generally good for muscle health and flexibility.

Massage affects hormone production. When given saliva hormone tests after receiving massage, people routinely show lower levels of cortisol. Cortisol is a stress hormone. All of us experience stress, so we’ve all had elevated cortisol levels. When we are consistently stressed for a long period of time our cortisol levels stay consistently elevated. Elevated cortisol levels are linked to problems like high blood pressure, lower immunity, unstable blood sugar levels, lower bone density, and suppressed thyroid function. High cortisol levels also cause your body to store more fat in the abdominal region. This is the most dangerous area to store fat in your body and is linked with an increased risk of heart attack and stroke.

Massage also helps strengthen the immune system, increase skin health and lower blood pressure. Massage provides you with so many health benefits and it feels great too.

Massage can help treat a variety of conditions like, carpal tunnel syndrome, tendinitis, bursitis, hypertension, anxiety, fibromyalgia, sciatica, and headaches. If you have a muscle related injury, massage can help your injured muscles heal. Common ailments like back pain, neck pain and shoulder pain can be treated with massage. Massage has even been used to ease the symptoms of autistic children.

Massage isn’t great for every ailment though. If you have certain conditions you shouldn’t receive a massage. Don’t get a massage when you have a fever, an infection, neuropathy or a kidney condition. If you have high blood pressure you should seek permission from your doctor before you get a massage.

Your reason for getting a massage will help you determine what kind of massage you should get. Some forms of massage are more relaxation focused. Others are more therapeutic in nature. Some forms of massage use deep pressure and others use very light pressure. You can decide what type of massage best suits you and make massage part of your healthy lifestyle.

Lovelyn Bettison is a licensed massage therapist who believes in a holistic approach to health. You can learn more about the benefits of massage therapy and the conditions it can treat at her website. You can also learn how to about the the modalities of massage and how to find a massage therapist.

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