Nine Reasons to Try Massage

massage

While most people think of massage as a way to ease sore muscles and help with relaxation, the practice also offers other health benefits. Here are nine reasons you should consider scheduling a massage with a local massage therapist.

  1. Reduce the effects of depression. Studies show that massage lowers cortisol levels, which in turn elevates mood. It also raises levels of the mood-enhancing neurotransmitters dopamine and serotonin.
  2. Aid in pain relief. As effective as medication at relieving aches and pains, massage also helps increase range of motion and flexibility, especially for those with osteoarthritis.
  3. Promote better sleep. Research shows massage increases delta waves, the brain activity associated with deep sleep.
  4. Increase immunity. Boost your immune system by tapping into massage’s ability to increase white blood cells and decrease stress. Both have been shown to increase immune response.
  5. Regulate mood. Whether you struggle with premenstrual syndrome or otherwise experience mood swings, look to massage to moderate your symptoms. As a bonus, massage can help reduce the bloating and cramping associated with PMS.
  6. Increase alertness. Studies show that even a 15-minute massage can increase your accuracy and speed for mental tasks.
  7. Decrease headaches. If you suffer from regular migraines, look to massage for relief. Doctors found that migraine sufferers who received regular massages reduced the number of and lowered the perceived pain level of headaches.
  8. Improve facial skin. Skip the fancy lotions and creams for a brief, gentle facial massage. Massage increases skin tone by increasing blood flow, while also encouraging removal of toxins by invigorating the lymphatic system.
  9. Lower blood pressure. A large body of research suggests that massage helps reduce hypertension. While the exact mechanism is not known, it looks as though the pressure applied during a massage stimulates the vagus nerve, which regulates blood pressure.

If you would like to learn more about massage, join us for Wellness Wednesday on Wednesday, March 13, 2013 from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Our guest is the Chequamegon Food Co-op’s very own Derek Campbell. You will usually find Derek in the produce aisle or stocking the shelves, but he recently completed the massage therapist program at WITC. He will be here to share his knowledge of massage and to give chair massages. Stop by and learn more about massage!