A truck driver battling persistent back pain brought on by long hours behind the wheel, a student finding it difficult to manage the stress of a heavy course load, a nurse assigned to the nightshift struggling to sleep during the day, and an athlete frustrated by a stubborn sprain all walk into the office of a massage therapist. While this might sound like the beginning of a silly joke, it is actually an illustration of the potential health benefits of massage therapy. For patients dealing with a diverse assortment of health conditions, the healing touch of a massage therapist can be just what the doctor ordered.
The Many Health Benefits of Massage Therapy
A lot of people think of massage as an indulgence or luxury, but massage therapy can do more than make someone feel pampered. As a form of complementary medicine, it can offer significant health benefits when delivered by a professional massage therapist.
Pain hurts. It can shatter your focus, make it difficult to complete basic tasks in an efficient manner, interfere with your sleep, and generally make you totally miserable. While over-the-counter and prescription painkillers are available, these medications come with the risk of serious side effects, so it is smart to limit their use.
Fortunately, massage therapy offers a drug-free way to fight back against discomfort. It eases aches and pain by reducing muscle tension, improving circulation, and prompting the body to release chemicals that act as natural painkillers and anti-inflammatories. Are you struggling with back or neck pain, migraines or tension headaches, arthritis pain, fibromyalgia, post-operative discomfort, or lingering pain from an old injury? If so, massage may deliver welcome relief. As a bonus, many people with chronic pain find that undergoing massage therapy reduces or eliminates their dependence on traditional pain medications.
The human body responds to stress by releasing a surge of hormones that hits you like a tidal wave. Your cardiovascular, digestive, immune, and reproductive systems are all affected. Even the areas of your brain that control mood and motivation get in on the action. With such a large-scale reaction, it is no surprise that stress is cited as a contributing factor in a number of worrisome health problems, including heart disease, obesity, digestive issues, anxiety, depression, sleep disorders, headaches, and memory impairment.
Perhaps one of the best-known health benefits of massage therapy is its ability to promote relaxation. It reduces pain and tension and stimulates the body to release morphine-like chemicals called endorphins that can boost your mood and induce feelings of pleasure. Stress may be unavoidable in today’s world, but massage can help manage your stress, which can reduce the toll it takes on your health.
In our 24/7 society, sleep doesn’t get much respect. That is unfortunate because a lack of sleep has been linked to numerous problems. Sleep deprivation negatively impacts a person’s mood, judgment, focus, and ability to learn. If it is a chronic issue, it can also raise a person’s risk of developing several serious health problems, including cardiovascular disease, obesity, and diabetes.
Is pain keeping you up at night? Does stress make it impossible for you to stop thinking and start sleeping? If you are having trouble falling or staying asleep, a massage therapist may be able to help. After receiving a massage, people generally enjoy deeper, more restful sleep. This may be because massage can reduce both pain and stress, and better management of these problems often leads to improvements in sleep quality.
Elite athletes determined to be at the top of their game and senior citizens who want to reduce their risk of falling share a common goal: they want to enhance their body’s performance. Anyone who would like to improve the way their body functions might find a visit to an experienced massage therapist beneficial.
Massage promotes physical wellness in several ways. It reduces muscular tension that can lead to imbalance and injury. It also improves circulation, increasing the flow of nutrient-rich blood that can fuel the repair of injured tissue, combat troublesome inflammation, and speed recovery after exercise. In addition, the work of massage therapists can help patients enjoy increased flexibility, a greater range of motion, and improved balance.
Could you feel better with massage therapy? To learn more about the health benefits of massage therapy and to discover whether or not this form of complementary medicine has the potential to help you, please consult Loehr Chiropractic and Acupuncture today. Our licensed massage therapist specializes in Swedish massage, deep tissue massage, precision neuromuscular therapy (NMT), and prenatal massage. If you live in or near Springfield, Missouri, please give us a call today at 417-887-8075 or contact us online to schedule an appointment.