As well as generally making you feel good, massage has also been found to be very effective in helping injured muscles to recover more quickly. Scientists studying the advantages of massaging the body after intense exercise or injury have found that applying force to leg muscles removes inflammatory proteins and improves the regeneration of muscle fibres. This is just one of many benefits of massage, a supplementary therapy that can be easily incorporated into a health regime. From naturally improving emotional wellbeing to reducing physical pain and regulating biological variables, massage makes a great compliment to any fitness plan and can improve overall health in several different ways.
Relieving Pain and Improving Circulation
Massage therapy is now widely accepted as an effective element of pain management, from alleviating chronic back pain to dealing with troublesome sports injuries. Deep tissue massage treats musculoskeletal problems and involves applying pressure to muscles and their connective tissues. This not only helps to reduce tension but can also help to relieve pain by breaking up any residual scar tissue. Massage devices that also produce deep vibrations can help to relieve pain and improve blood circulation further. By enhancing the flow of blood to specific areas of the body, rapid bursts of pressure that reach deep into body tissues not only provide pain relief but can also improve flexibility and motion range.
Repairing Muscles After Training
As well as relieving pain, deep tissue massage can also be used to ease tightness in muscles after an intensive exercise session, allowing the fibres to recover. Lighter massage strokes are also effective after physical training as they encourage the elimination of lactic acid and other toxins produced during strenuous exercise. Overall, massage can enhance performance by improving blood flow and encouraging the circulation of oxygen and nutrients within the muscle fibres.
Enriching Periods of Rest and Relaxation
It is well known that resting the body, either during a good night’s sleep or in shorter periods of relaxation can help it to heal both psychologically and physiologically. The benefits of relaxation are heightened with massage as it helps to reduce stress through the release of pain-relieving endorphins and the dissipation of the stress hormone cortisol. Within just ten minutes, massage can stimulate the body’s natural system for reducing stress, allowing for psychological and physiological regeneration to take place. In turn, by decreasing stress levels through massage, sleep, which plays a vital role in healing and repairing the body, is also improved. With a better night’s sleep, the immune system functions better and is more effective at dealing with inflammation, infection and injury.
While massage is an enjoyable way to relax and unwind, it is also a very effective method of stimulating the body’s natural responses to pain, injury and stress. From enhancing muscle repair for better physical performance to reducing discomfort and stress for a better night’s sleep, massage can improve many different aspects of a healthy regime.