Massage therapy has been used to treat different physical conditions for the longest time, including ancient times. However, the effectiveness of massage therapy has always been a contentious issue amongst many people. There has not been enough evidence to substantiate the effectiveness of massage therapy in treating health conditions. However, several researches have been carried out with people suffering from different conditions. When massage is performed on such patients, they have shown significant improvement from the conditions, compared to placebo. This article looks at the effectiveness of massage therapy.
- Enhanced Circulation
During massage therapy, the manipulation works by releasing the small adhesions that cause blockage of blood vessels. When such spasms and adhesions are released, the blood vessels unblock and blood can once again flow smoothly. As this happens, the flow of lymphatic fluid is also enhanced, and this leads to toxins being directed out of the body. When this happens, the patient will experience a reduction in blood pressure and heart conditions like cardiac arrest will be prevented in the process. The increased flow of lymphatic fluid causes the removal of toxins from your body. Since the lymphatic fluid removes impurities such as excess sebum that cause skin deterioration, you tend to look good and younger for your age.
- Reduced Muscle Tension
When someone undergoes a muscle injury, the muscles tend to tear or get lots of tension such that they affect the smooth mobility, with some resulting to complete immobility. During this period, the patient is usually in debilitating pain and if it is the case of an athlete, they cannot be involved in their daily workouts. When a massage therapist manipulates such injured muscles, they are released of the tension where they become less rigid. As this happens, the pain go away and the patient can move the muscles again. Reduced muscle tension leads to the healing of physical conditions such as arthritis and chronic back pain and migraines.
- Reduced Inflammation
Injured muscles are always painful due to the inflammation that happens because of irritated nerves and ruptured blood vessels. When nerves are destroyed, the more hot blood is directed towards the skin in a bid to repair them, in which case a patient feels a burning sensation, coupled with lots of pain. During a massage, a therapist uses some essential oils that, on top of lubricating the skin, have healing properties that help reduce inflammation by calming the nerves. Besides manipulation, a therapist may also use cold pressure to cure the irritated nerves.
- Fascia Release
After an injury or an accident, one might get injured muscles that are usually very painful, causing immobility. In addition, due to overuse, misuse, and disuse of muscles, the muscles may tend to be misaligned such that instead of following the longitudinal direction, they are crisscrossing each other. Since this is not the right alignment, a patient experiences a lot of pain and is not able to move such muscles. However, thanks to manipulation applied a therapist during a massage, such misalignment is corrected and the patient regains their mobility. This type of muscle treatment is applied in sports massage therapy to treat muscle injuries in athletes.
- Increased Levels of Endorphins
During the massage, the manipulation works by reducing the levels of the stress hormone cortisol and enhancing the production of the feel-good hormone endorphins. Experts claim that this effect is brought about such activities as fascia release, enhanced circulation and reduced inflammation and tension in the affected muscles. This exchange of hormones leads to enhanced moods, more relaxation, and the good feeling after the therapy. The effect of the production of more endorphins trickles down to causing enough and quality sleep in patients suffering from insomnia. Massage has also been found to help reduce the risks of autism in children by making them more relaxed.
Having learned how effective massage therapy is, its importance to your health is no longer in doubt. Even as you plan to go have a session, it is important to note that you should disclose all the existing health conditions that you might be suffering from. This is because massage therapy should not be performed on people with certain conditions like weakened bone disease, and spinal injuries. As much as the massage is known to help ease lower back pains in pregnant women, you should note that massage techniques are not advisable for pregnant women. In addition, the essential oils used during massage could have side effects on people with allergies. That being said, you will want to be honest with the therapist as much as possible before you climb on that massage bed.