If you’re like most people, you may be under the impression that having a regular massage is only for the affluent. Perhaps it appears to be an opulent extravagance that only the fortunate few can afford. However, research proves that the benefits of a massage are so remarkable that a regular massage should be classified as an investment in you and your health. Read on to discover why.
Although massage therapy is often seen as a delightfully decadent practice, it’s a powerful form of medical treatment. It’s also one of the oldest forms of medicine. In the medical literature of TCM that dates to 2,700BC it’s referenced as being an important medicine.
Even Hippocrates, who is the pioneer of western medicine wrote of how essential it was for a physician to be experienced in the art of rubbing. He said that rubbing could loosen tight joints and tighten loose joints. Most doctors today are in agreement that Hippocrates had a valuable point in his statement.
Remember the last time you hurt yourself, whether it was a stubbing of your toe or knocking your head, your first reaction is to rub the pained area. If you ever suffer from cramp, you’ll know that you’ll immediately put your hand on your muscle to relieve the pain.
Using your hand in the rubbing motion is an action that is genetically programmed in you to deliver relief. It’s this reaction that is the fundamental part of massage therapy. It’s the belief and appreciation that human touch can go a long way to promote healing.
What is pain and how is massage therapy helpful?
It might not be something that you’ve considered before, but most pain comes from the body’s soft tissues. For example, when you have a headache, that pain is coming from the upper region of the back, otherwise known as the sub-scapularous and from the muscles in the head and the neck. Sciatica will usually come from the muscles rather than the spine itself.
In certain situations, undergoing regular massage can even remove the need for operations. Take carpal tunnel syndrome, the pain and numbness felt in the hands can originate from muscle tightness in the neck and head.
Massage therapy can help most conditions through applying the magic of human touch to help tendons, muscles, ligaments, tendons and soft tissues. Manipulating the soft tissue structure can help to relieve pain, stress, discomfort and muscle spasm in addition to boosting well-being and overall health.
There are a number of other benefits of having regular massage therapy. Apart from the feeling of wellbeing and pain relief, it’s been scientifically found to lower blood pressure, reduce stress, improve circulation, lower heart rate, help lymph flow and increase endorphins which act as natural pain killers. It’s also been found to help eliminate toxins.
What can massage therapy do for you?
If you’re somebody who already lives a healthy lifestyle, you may be wondering why you should add regular massage therapy to your schedule. Massage therapy is not something that is just for those who want to treat themselves but should really be considered as an essential practice to stay flexible, aid recovery time, improve muscle tone and increase range of motion.
Acting as an ‘extra heart’ by helping blood and lymph circulation, massage can help to remove toxins and any other wastes that are created through resistance training. It also speeds recovery time.
Some sports injuries can heal faster through massage
For example, a recent case was when a friend over-extended their leg during a track and field training session. He literally could not walk on his leg as the muscle must have been torn.
After just three sessions of massage therapy, over a period of three weeks, his muscle reached the point of recovery where he could start gentle training sessions again. His soreness and pain subsided rapidly, and the trauma was able to be rubbed out of the muscle over the weeks as circulation was improved, and healing was promoted.
This brings us back to the time that Hippocrates said that massage can loosen a joint that is too tight. It really is a medicine that should be practiced regularly for not only helping with ailments, but overall general wellbeing.
Why you should get regular massages
Although three weeks of massage therapy won’t be enough to cure any health issue, it’s important to invest in regular massage to keep the body functioning at its best. For those who enjoy regular gym exercise training sessions, then massage will help your performance, protect you against injury risk and help you to optimise your gains.
Taking regular massage therapy is not just a delightfully decadent practice for the affluent and economically advantaged. It’s something that can help everybody and should be considered as a vital investment in one’s health and overall wellbeing.