The Benefits of Massage Therapy

Alan Billington
Published: 25 April 2024
Two hands on top a man's back giving him a massage

A massage treatment can be a bit of treat, a nice bit of papering, and ‘me time’. Bu, did you know that regular massage treatments can have lasting benefits?

Having a one-off treatment is nice and of course can be deeply relaxing and gratifying, however, you would really notice significant benefits and change to your physical and mental health after having 6 to 10 consecutive treatments over the same number of weeks, followed by top ups that are spread out over the year.

A City Lit tutor giving a massage treatment to a studentA City Lit tutor giving a massage treatment to a student
Regular massage treatments can have lasting benefits

My experience in massage therapy

Having worked as a complementary practitioner for over 27 years, I have had the privilege and first-hand experience of monitoring the benefits of regular massage treatments. I’ve treated many clients with a range of physical and mental health conditions and seen (again, first-hand) my clients move from a place of dis-ease to a place with a renewed sense of wellbeing and vitality.

After a series of treatments, many of my clients have reported an improvement in both their Physical and Psychological health, having an increased sense of feeling good about themselves, relief from pain and an increase in positive emotions. Consequently, these benefits have had a transformational impact on all aspects of their lives.

Whether it is through the power of positive informed touch, or the warming of tissue that improves the flow of blood around the body, massage is proven to reduce tiredness, aches and pain, tightness, it improves the mood and reduces anxiety.  Regular massage is an effective treatment in combating the everyday stresses that affect so many of us.

Here are 8 benefits that you may notice after 6 weeks of massage therapy.

 

Benefit 1: Massage improves relaxation and increases the feeling of wellness

One of the immediate benefits of massage is a feeling of deep relaxation and calm. Massage increases the temperature of the soft tissues and prompts the release of endorphins that produce feelings of wellbeing.

By encouraging relaxation in the body reduces the levels of stress hormones, such as adrenalin, cortisol and norepinephrine. The result is reduction in anxiety and stress leaving you feeling calm and relaxed.

A woman enjoying a relaxing massageA woman enjoying a relaxing massage
Massage improves relaxation

Benefit 2: Massage improves circulation, blood flow and elimination of waste products

Massage therapy is extremely effective at improving blood flow around the body. The techniques and pressure used can help to revitalise muscles throughout the body by bringing fresh nutrients to muscle tissues. As the pressure is alleviated, new blood can flow through the body tissues and push out waste products, improving waste elimination and lymph flow.

The increased blood flow can help to support and lower your blood pressure.

Benefit 3: Massage promotes muscle relaxation by reducing muscle tension and discomfort

Muscle tension is predominantly caused by stress or exercise and can be uncomfortable to deal with. It can cause the body to feel stiff, resulting in a restriction of movement.

By improving blood flow, and in return the removal of waste products, massage can help relieve tension in muscles, allowing you to move more freely with a noticeable reduction in aches and pain.

Benefit 4: Massage increases flexibility movement and improved posture

All of the benefits we’ve mentioned so far are the reasons why many people experience an increase in flexibility after having regular massages. Generally, the body feels less tense, and injuries have more of an opportunity to repair. This allows the body to move more freely.

Massage can be used to help improve posture that stem from sitting for long periods by loosening tight muscles, reducing tension, improving circulation, and increasing joint mobility and range of movement.

A man's back with a massage therapists hands on itA man's back with a massage therapists hands on it
Massage increases flexibility movement and improved posture

Benefit 5: Massage improves skin health

We’ve seen that massage improves and increases blood flow throughout the body, bringing fresh nutrients and oxygen to tissues, aiding the removal of waste products and relieving tension. As tension is released from the body and the skin begins to glow more.

Increased blood flow and waste removal improves cellular activity which is very beneficial for the skin resulting in improved skin tone, skin elasticity, and skin hydration.

Benefit 6: Massage improves and promotes better sleep

Stress and anxiety can have a negative impact on our sleeping patterns and can often lead to insomnia or disturbed sleep, usually caused by high levels of stress hormones, such as cortisol. Massage can be especially effective at improving sleep and in treating insomnia and studies have suggested that massage is capable of reducing levels of cortisol by an average of 30%.

In addition, Massage is known to improve the release of endorphins and serotonins (the feel-good hormones). Serotonin, itself, influences our wellbeing and our ability to fall asleep and wake up. Research has shown that massage can help to boost serotonin levels by up to 28%.

And lastly, Melatonin, the sleep-inducing hormone, can also be activated through a massage, causing you to feel sleepy.

Massage therapist massaging woman calvesMassage therapist massaging woman calves
Studies have suggested that massage is capable of reducing levels of cortisol by an average of 30%

Benefit 7: Massage reduces blood pressure.    

Through massage the body begins to release endorphins that relax the blood vessels and reduce the intensity of the heart pumping. This helps to shut down the adrenal glands from producing more Cortisol.

During a massage, the blood vessels dilate, increasing the flow of blood around the body. As circulation improves, more blood is able to travel around the body at a faster rate which helps to reduce overall blood pressure.                                                                                                                   

Benefit 8: Massage strengthens the immune system.

Studies have suggested that regular massage treatments can help to boost the immune system by flushing out toxins, increasing blood and lymph flow throughout the body, increasing the white blood cell count throughout the body, which are vital in defending the body against illness.                                                                                                               



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The Benefits of Massage Therapy