Massage Therapy is well known for being an integrative health practice. The benefits show some of the reasons why.
1. Reduces Stress + Anxiety
Regular massages are proven to decrease the stress hormone cortisol and stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for calming the body- referred to as the 'rest and digest system'.
2. Improves Sleep
The relaxation effects that result from a massage in combination with the increase of serotonin and dopamine help the body transition into a calm restful state, allowing our brain to shut down and sleep.
3. Increases Immunity
Studies show that massage increases the number of lymphocytes and white blood cells, responsible for fighting disease.
4. Eases Muscle Pain
Whether you are an athlete or get sore muscles from sitting at a desk, massage can reduce muscle pain by increasing blood circulation, aiding in the regeneration of muscle function.
5. Improves Depression
Studies show that massage therapy decreases depressive symptoms. The benefits of massage work in tandem with each other. Lowering stress hormone cortisol, improving sleep, increasing serotonin and dopamine and relieving muscle pain can all contribute to improving depression.
Rapaport, M. H., Schettler, P. J., Larson, E. R., Carroll, D., Sharenko, M., Nettles, J., & Kinkead, B. (2018, January). Massage therapy for psychiatric disorders. Focus (American Psychiatric Publishing). Retrieved January 10, 2022, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6519566/
Sherman, K. J., Ludman, E. J., Cook, A. J., Hawkes, R. J., Roy-Byrne, P. P., Bentley, S., Brooks, M. Z., & Cherkin, D. C. (2010, May). Effectiveness of therapeutic massage for generalized anxiety disorder: A randomized controlled trial. Depression and anxiety. Retrieved January 10, 2022, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2922919/