Around 88% of consumers feel that massage can be effective in reducing pain, and around 47.5 million Americans enjoy a massage in a given year. Soothing pain and tension, reducing stress, and giving themselves a pampering experience are just a few reasons why people might head to a spa. However, the benefits of massage are far-reaching, ranging from the reduction of cancer-related fatigue to reducing headache frequency and boosting the body’s immune system functioning. Read on to discover just a few of massage’s most surprising health benefits.
Massage Reduces Inflammation
Massage benefits people who have had musculoskeletal injuries and those with chronic inflammatory disease, as found in a study published in the journal, Science Translational Medicine. The research showed that massage reduces inflammation in muscle cells, while promoting the production of the energy powerhouse of cells (the mitochondria). The pain reduction associated with massage is thought to involve a similar mechanism as that exerted by anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen. If pain is your problem, make sure you choose the right type of massage. Two popular styles are Swedish and deep tissue massage. To work out the Swedish vs deep tissue massage conundrum, ask yourself what results you’re after. If a soothing, relaxing massage is the order of the day, the Swedish massage may be ideal. If, on the other hand, you’re an athlete who experiences chronic muscle injuries, then a deep tissue massage (which involves stronger stroking and kneading motions than those employed in Swedish massage) may be necessary.
Massage Helps Infants Sleep More And Cry Less
Massage has several benefits for infants, as found in research from the University of Warwick. Infant massage, the researcher reported, can cause babies to enjoy better quality sleep, to cry less, and to have lower levels of stress hormones like cortisol. Studies have also shown that massage, eye contact, and talking to an infant have a significant effect on their growth and a significant reduction in disease and visits to the doctor. If you have a baby and want to ensure your technique is right, attend a baby massage class so you can practice techniques like tummy massage and foot massage.
Head And Foot Massages Console The Bereaved
People who are grieving the loss of a loved one can find some consolation in hand and foot massages – as found in a study published in the Journal of Clinical Nursing. The study involved the provision of eight weeks of soothing hand and foot massages to people aged 34-78 who had lost a relative to cancer. The participants all reported that massage provided consolation and helped them to find equilibrium between their need to grieve and their need to adapt to life after their painful loss.
Massage has a plethora of physical and mental benefits. It is commonly used to treat pain in areas such as the lower back, but it is also a useful way for athletes to battle inflammation. Massage helps both young and old, and also provides welcome relief after the loss of a loved one.
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