There was a time when a gift certificate for a massage was the fool-proof Mother’s Day gift. “Spa day” usually included a facial and pedicure, and was the ultimate expression of luxury and pampering. Nowadays, massage therapy is recognized more for its health and wellness benefits than a luxurious hour-long get-away (although it does that, too). Here are ten benefits of massage therapy that will make you want to include it in your health and wellness routine.
- It relieves pain and stiffness
Massage therapy is a non-invasive, restorative therapy that can help relieve musculoskeletal and other types of pain. The next time your neck feels stiff or sore or it feels like you are bent in place into your office chair, talk with your doctor about getting a referral for massage therapy.
- It relieves stress
It’s hard to avoid stress these days, but that “Type A” stress that many people identify with success can also hurt you in the long run. Researchers are learning more about the long-term cost of chronic stress on your physical and mental health. Massage therapy improves many aspects of your physical health, and in addition, it can help you relax. Taking some time out of your hectic schedule for massage therapy can help regulate your blood pressure, relieve inflammation, and slow down breathing and heart rates, helping find your center and finding internal balance.
- It improves circulation
Massage therapy involves the manual manipulation of your muscle tissues. Professional massage not only relaxes tight muscles, it also encourages blood circulation through those tissues. Of course, adequate blood flow is essential for healthy muscles, heart health, and organ health, too.
- It can speed up healing
When you become injured your physician might send you for physical therapy, of which massage therapy can be part. In this context, when it complements or is part of a comprehensive rehabilitation program, professional massage therapy can speed up the healing process.
- It can prevent further injury
Tense muscles can cause painful spasms that can further injury to tissues and surrounding areas. A targeted massage therapy program can help relieve muscle knots and improve blood flow to painful joints, helping you prevent further injury.
- It helps you avoid medication
Medication plays a big role in helping people who have significant pain, particularly after surgery. But chronic use of pain medication can have unwanted and sometimes even devastating side effects. Physical therapy and massage therapy can be effective in helping regulate and lessen pain. When you feel better and stronger, you are more likely to engage in physical activity, which itself helps with pain management.
- It can help alleviate arthritis pain
Arthritis is very common, particularly among older adults in the United States; and is a leading cause of chronic pain that can lead to disability. Professional massage therapy manipulates the areas surrounding swollen joints, redirecting fluids that reduce joint flexibility and pain-free mobility.
- It can help you maintain a healthier lifestyle
If you have pain, moving isn’t fun. Massage therapy can reduce swelling and pain from chronic conditions such as arthritis, and it also motivates you to improve your diet. When you feel better, you may feel more social; it can also help lift the “mental fog” that so many of us travel through on our journeys through life.
- Save money
It’s no secret that massage therapy is much less expensive than therapy or advanced, invasive procedures. So, massage therapy that improves the way you feel can help avoid these expensive treatments. That saves you money and the downtime it takes to recover from them.
- Helps physical therapy work better
Massage therapy integrated into a physical therapy program can improve its effectiveness, and make it more enjoyable. When you look forward to your treatment, you are more likely to stick with it and get the most benefit from it.
Even though massage therapy is a very safe option for most people, you should always get the okay from your physician before starting on a program. Many times, your doctor will be the one to suggest a massage therapy program, and even recommend a trusted massage therapist or physical therapist who specializes in therapeutic massage.
Suburban Physical Therapy is one of the only independently owned centers in the Brecksville and Twinsburg, Ohio area that offers one-on-one physical therapy from caring and experienced physical therapists. To schedule an appointment to learn about how massage therapy can help you, please call our Brecksville office at (440) 746-1730 or our Twinsburg office at (330) 963-2920. You may also submit an appointment request via our Request an Appointment form.