Massage is used by people for an assortment of reasons. Some use it to simply relax and unwind, while others have regular massage to help them manage or cope with specific physical, mental or emotional problems.
Remedial massage, when used as a form of regular treatment, can reduce pain and inflammation, improve range of motion and assist the body’s natural healing process.
Many studies have linked massages to improved functioning of the immune system. In one 2010 study, massage was shown to improve production of white blood cells which fight against disease. The same study was repeated with a focus on how massage effects hormone levels and it showed that people who had Swedish massage twice a week had decreased levels of the stress hormone cortisol and more oxytocin, the trust hormone.
A relaxing massage can reduce anxiety, stress and depression. As I mentioned previously, massage has been proven to reduce levels of the stress hormone cortisol. This improves your overall feeling of well being and can reduce blood pressure. Massage can also increase levels of the neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine, which is great for people suffering from depression.
A 2011 study of lower back pain published in the Annals of Internal Medicine found that Swedish massage or deep tissue massage can help alleviate chronic lower back pain. After receiving 1 massage a week for 10 weeks, 1 out of 3 patients were relieved of pain compared to 1 in 25 given ‘usual care’.
A 2006 study published in the American Archives of Internal Medicine showed that frequent massages could decrease stiffness and pain and improve movement in people with osteoarthritis.
Even insomniacs may find it easier to get a good night’s rest after a Spa Experience massage treatment. Some people even fall asleep while they are being massaged! Many studies have addressed this phenomenon and accredit it to massage’s affect on delta waves, which are the brain waves associated with deep sleep.