It’s cold and flu season! Did you know that researchers have reported people who undergo massage experience measurable changes in their body’s immune response? How does massage work and what else is massage good for? Ellen Bleau and Lea Ricard, licensed massage therapists who practice at New Morning Market’s Vitality Center, speak to the top benefits of massage from their own experience.
Top Benefits of Massage
- Relieves Muscle Tension + Pain – Massage can be used to target tight and painful muscles. Trigger point massage, for instance, uses targeted pressure to help release contracted muscles.
- Boosts Immune Response – Massage can lead to an increased number of lymphocytes—the white blood cells that play a large role in defending the body from disease.
- Increases + Improves Circulation – Massage gets your blood flowing! As your muscles relax and loosen, increased blood flow follows.
- Decreases Swelling – Massage stimulates the lymphatic system, located just below the skin’s surface. This helps promote drainage and reduce swelling, which can be caused by an injury—or by a baby on the way! Prenatal massage targets adema to help relieve built-up fluid which can cause pressure on mama-to-be’s joints and ligaments.
- Improves Posture + Body Alignment – Your body is always working to keep your eyes on the horizon and that means it’s compensating for any postural problems. This can lead to back, neck, and shoulder pain. Regular massage, especially in conjunction with chiropractic care and exercise, can help you find balance.
- Soothes Stress / Anxiety – Stepping away from the stressors in your life and dedicating time and space to your wellbeing is a benefit all on its own. Massage earns bonus points for calming the nervous system, which acts a conduit for relaxation.
- Aids in Digestion – Massage also stimulates the digestive organs and can help with healthy digestive functions.
- Promotes Healthy Sleep – Feeling super relaxed after a massage? Going to bed with relaxed and loosened muscles promotes more restorative sleep. Massage can be beneficial for people suffering from insomnia.
- Reduces Fatigue – Increased circulation can help you feel less tired! As will all of that good sleep you’ve been experiencing post-massage.
Everyone can reap the benefits of massage! It’s fully customizable to you and your body’s needs. Working with a licensed massage therapist, you can decide which modality suits you—from deep tissue for relaxing layers of muscles and connective tissue to Thai massage for stretching the body and draining built up lactic acid to a combo of different techniques tailored just for you!