When was the last time you received a massage? Think back, whether it was from a loved one, a professional, full body or just your feet, you were offered an opportunity to relax.
How does massage help us relax? Massage stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system, governing our capacity to “rest and digest,” the antithesis of “fight or flight,” managed by the sympathetic nervous system.
To relax, it’s popular to self medicate with combinations of street drugs, prescription drugs, alcohol, sugar, cigarettes and addictive behaviors, all of which are known to have a myriad of detrimental side effects. Massage on the other hand, having a much deeper impact on the body than is widely realized, provides the followIng benefits:
Opens the lymph* channel for better flow
Increases urine volume and excretion
Increases blood flow to the skin, which improves health and condition
Promotes muscle relaxation
Improves muscle tone
Improves athletic performance
Reduces or alleviates pain directly
Promotes balance between the parasympathetic and
sympathetic nervous systems
Promotes natural release of pain killers (endorphins)
Reduces stress and anxiety associated with respiratory problems
Promotes fluid removal from the lungs
Reduces stress, improving the function of the immune system
Reduces cortisol (stress hormones)
Promotes overall positive feelings (emotional and physical)
Encourages better nutrition, exercise, and health practices
Reduces physical and emotional fatigue
Increases productivity and morale
Promotes deep relaxation
Helps rebuild positive self image and self-worth
Touch helps to restore mind/body communication
* Lymphatic system is comprised of white blood cells, responsible for delivering nutrients and oxygen to red blood cells and neutralizing their waste.
Massage is essential to maintaining the balance required to allow our mental, physical, and emotional bodies to rebound from stressors they’re exposed to on a continual basis. The practice of incorporating massage into your lifestyle, pays innumerable dividends by extending your quality of life and forestalling medical intervention.
Let’s make wiser choices going forward, by loving ourselves in new ways, starting today!