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Understanding the health benefits of massage therapy

As a massage therapist, (I massage in Bentleigh) I often spend an entire massaging session discussing with my patients the many benefits to getting a massage. Sometimes people don’t want to chat – sure, and in that case I practice mindfulness while massaging silently – but many others will spend the session asking questions about why I’m doing a particular stroke, or why I hold in a particular area. I appreciate this kind of interaction, as it means that people are curious about this kind of therapy. Having worked as a massage therapist for seven years, and with all the extra courses and study I have done, I feel that it’s important that people know the link between massage and their health.

It’s often the case that people will come in for a massage to relieve a sore neck or shoulders, only to report the next time that they were much more happy or less anxious for the rest of the day. I am never surprised to hear this sort of feedback because the link between the body and the mind is huge, and the benefits of massage therapy are numerous and marked. I want to go into some of the health benefits of massage therapy here in the hopes that the next time you are feeling sore, run down, anxious or tired that you consider massage as part of your personal treatment.

Benefit One: It counteracts your sitting!
Most of us spend a large portion of the day sitting down, whether it’s at work, in an office, at school or driving around after the kids! No matter what, when you’re sitting a lot, it causes problems for your spine. A massage is a great way to counteract the sitting that you’re doing and to make your spine happier and healthier. As a rule, tension and stress seem to accumulate in the neck and shoulders and it’s important that you work out this tension so that it doesn’t go on to impact on your body in other ways. Most forms of postural stress show up as pain or weakness in the lower back and glutes, so be aware of the pain if you get it, and do something about it with a massage.

Benefit Two: It relieves muscle stress
This is a bit of a ‘well duh’ kind of statement, but it’s true. Massage therapy is a great way to relieve your stress, and so many people simply wander around with sore muscles and backs and don’t do anything about it. Take the time to do something for yourself and see the pain reduce immediately!

Benefit Three: It soothes anxiety and depression
If you’re suffering from anxiety and/or depression, a massage may be just the thing you need to help your body and mind out of its slump! Studies have shown that human touch is very healing and therapeutic, and that it can be very relaxing. Take the time out of your busy day and schedule a massage for yourself.

Benefit Four: It helps your sleep
When you’re getting a massage, it’s very restful and studies have shown that massage also helps you to rest after the massage is over. It promotes relaxation which is conducive to sleep, and so it will be helpful thing for you if you suffer from difficult sleep.

I hope that these short benefits about the beauty of massage therapy have shown you that it’s not just about getting a massage done when you’re feeling a bit sore after sports (though that’s certainly a great time to get a massage!) but that it’s also part of a holistic healing process for your body. Next time you’re feeling sore or down, consider a massage for yourself to help you to heal.

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