There are many physical, mental, and emotional benefits gained by receiving a massage.
It would take too much time and space to present a full list. The following is a small
subset of the benefits of massage, according to American Massage Therapy Association:
Helps relieve stress and aids relaxation
Nearly everyone has some sort of stress in their day-to-day lives. Massage is a
great way to relieve that stress. More and more Americans are beginning to realize
the benefit of stress relief.
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Helps relieve muscle tension and stiffness
Massage therapy involves the specialized art of rubbing. The strokes are designed
to increase blood flow (circulation) throughout the entire body. Blood carries a
mixture of fresh oxygen and nutrients. The body's muscles need this combination to
remain healthy. Massage also stimulates the body to remove build up and other
waste byproducts helping to relieve pain.
Promotes deeper and easier breathing
Massage therapy works by allowing the client to slip into a deep state of
relaxation. Once the client is fully relaxed, their breathing will naturally become
slow and deep. If the client is having trouble reaching a relaxation state, the
therapist may use techniques to focus the client's attention to their breathing.
These techniques are designed to assist the client to breath correctly, bringing on a
state of relaxation.
Improves circulation of blood and movement of lymph fluids
The circulation system is controlled by the heart. The blood is "pumped" through the
body via a series of connected arteries and veins. The blood delivers vital nutrients
to the cells and muscles. Massage can greatly affect circulation. By focusing your
body's attention to a specific area, the body will respond by sending blood to that
area. Muscles act like a sponge. By squeezing the muscles, the previous blood will
be expelled which causes the muscle to pull in a fresh supply of blood. Waste
products contained in the muscles are also delivered to your lymphatic system to be
expelled from the body.
Satisfies needs for caring nurturing touch
As human beings, we have an innate desire to be touched. The need is more than
physiological, it is psychological. Through massage therapy, the body is
therapeutically touched over 85% of the body. Emotionally, this touch can be very
powerful as it lets us know that we are not alone in this world and that there is
another human being out there that cares about our well-being.
Reduces levels of anxiety
Massage therapy provides a "quiet time-out" from the stress of our every day lives.
By concentrating his attention on the area the therapist is working on, the client
will forget about everything else. During this time, breathing is deepend, allowing
the body to receive greater levels of oxygen. Massage has also been shown to increase
serotonin and dopamine levels, which are both neurotransmitters that help reduce