Experts estimate that upwards of ninety percent of disease is stress-related. And perhaps nothing ages us faster, internally and externally, than high stress. Massage is an effective tool for managing this stress, which translates into:
- Decreased anxiety.
- Enhanced sleep quality.
- Greater energy.
- Improved concentration.
- Increased circulation.
- Reduced fatigue.
Massage can also help specifically address a number of health issues. Bodywork can:
- Alleviate low-back pain and improve range of motion.
- Assist with shorter, easier labor for expectant mothers and shorten maternity hospital stays.
- Ease medication dependence.
- Enhance immunity by stimulating lymph flow—the body's natural defense system.
- Exercise and stretch weak, tight, or atrophied muscles.
- Help athletes of any level prepare for, and recover from, strenuous workouts.
- Improve the condition of the body's largest organ—the skin.
- Increase joint flexibility.
- Lessen depression and anxiety.
- Promote tissue regeneration, reducing scar tissue and stretch marks.
- Pump oxygen and nutrients into tissues and vital organs, improving circulation.
- Reduce postsurgery adhesions and swelling.
- Reduce spasms and cramping.
- Relax and soften injured, tired, and overused muscles.
- Release endorphins—amino acids that work as the body's natural painkiller.
- Relieve migraine pain.
In the hours after your Massage
After your massage you may notice profound changes in your body and mind. Here are some things that have helped many people get the most form their massage.
1. Drink extra water. During a massage circulation is improved, which helps flush irritating waste products from stressed muscles and other tissues. Drinking water aids the functioning of the whole body including the circulation and the kidneys, which are both involved with relieving the body of waste products. Drinking extra water also seems to help reduce soreness and fatigue after a massage.
2. Schedule time to take it easy after your massage. Rest if you feel the need. If you can, take a nap or get in bed early. If you haven't been sleeping well, receiving massage may relax you enough that you will want to turn in and catch up.
3. If the focus of your massage is on a particular injury or body part, remember to stretch, ice, or apply heat to that area with the advice of your massage therapist, Or, you may want to do some gentle movement, such as walking, sometime in the hours after your massage to mildly encourage your muscles to work in a balanced and efficient way.
4. People sometimes experience some soreness for 24 hours or so after a massage. If you do feel sore or think that you might, stretch gently in a hot shower or take a warm bath with Epsom salts. And remember to tell your massage therapist about your experience so it can be taken into consideration in your next session.