Massage isn't just something to promote relaxation or loosen sore muscles. You may be surprised by some of the health conditions massage therapy can help with.
Headaches are most often a result of tension, often due to a combination of mental and physical stress. Taking a few minutes out from a busy week to disconnect and relax on a massage table helps reduce mental stress. Massage also works and loosens tightened muscles and tissues that lead to headaches, particularly those around the neck and shoulders.
2. Anxiety Symptoms
Anxiety comes in two forms — fleeting anxiety, which can be traced to something happening in one's life, and chronic anxiety, which often persists in the background even when there are no obvious reasons for the feeling. Massage therapy can help with both types. Part of the anxiety relief comes from massage reducing muscle tension and body aches, both of which contribute to anxiety. Repeated treatments can also help one develop the skills needed to relax appropriately, which can reduce ongoing anxiety symptoms.
Some forms of insomnia are caused by the inability of the brain and body to simply relax and "turn off." If you tend to have trouble sleeping because of racing thoughts and general restlessness, then massage may help you develop the habit of relaxation necessary to fall asleep more easily. A relaxing massage can help increase the production of the brain chemicals that aid in maintaining your circadian rhythm, which can lead to better sleep at night. Afternoon and evening massage therapy appointments may be especially helpful in helping you relax near bedtime.
4. High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure can lead to severe health repercussions, such as heart disease or stroke. Lowering your blood pressure requires attention to diet, regular exercise, and sometimes medication. Massage can also play an important role in improving your blood pressure. Certain types of massage, like Swedish massage that is performed primarily on the neck, shoulders, and chest, have been shown to reduce blood pressure when performed regularly.
Balance issues can have a lot of causes, but for otherwise healthy individuals, one cause is a lack of muscle and ligament mobility. You may have problems with balance if you always feel stiff or inflexible, for example. Massage therapy can help work and loosen muscles and ligaments so they relax and become more flexible. You may be able to regain some of your balance by combining massage with stretching exercises.
These are just a few things that massage therapy can help with. Reach out to a therapeutic massage therapist to learn more.