Reduces stress and anxiety
That feeling of calm after a massage can aid in reducing stress and anxiety, a study found. Your body has two nervous systems: a sympathetic nervous system that drives your “fight or flight” response in stressful situations and a parasympathetic nervous system that focuses on routine and day-to-day operations that lead to relaxation and rest. A massage is thought to increase your parasympathetic response, which can decrease feelings of anxiety.
Getting a massage can decrease cortisol (a stress hormone) and increase levels of serotonin and dopamine, neurotransmitters that are known to stabilize your mood. Studies have shown that massage therapy is beneficial for those who have insomnia related to menopause and congestive heart failure.
Lessens pain and muscle tension
A variety of studies have looked into how massage may help lessen pain like acute back pain, neck pain, headaches and knee pain. The results show that relief may be short-term, rather than long-term and in some cases receiving a 60-minute massage multiple times per week had better results than fewer or shorter massages.
Improves immune function
Can a massage boost your immune system? A study suggests that regular massages increase your body’s level of white blood cells, which work to combat viruses.
A study shows that for those dealing with constipation after surgery, an abdominal massage may help with bowel movements.
Reduces fibromyalgia symptoms
From sleep, memory, and mood, studies have shown that using massage over the course of five weeks may improve symptoms of fibromyalgia, a chronic illness that causes muscle and joint pain and fatigue.
Relieves cancer pain
For people undergoing cancer treatments, the physical and emotional toll is great. Many have turned to massage to help lessen cancer pain, increase relaxation and improve quality of life. There have been a variety of studies, some that say massage therapy doesn’t improve cancer pain and others that show a positive impact. Massage therapy may be beneficial for anyone but has been noted to help those who various conditions like cancer, heart disease, stomach problems, and fibromyalgia. You should make sure you talk to your therapist about any medical issues prior to your first session.