Therapeutic Massage

How Massage Therapy Can Improve Your Health

Massage Therapy Tulsa is often used to treat a variety of health conditions. It can help reduce stress, promote relaxation, improve flexibility, and reduce muscle and joint pain.

Massage Therapy

Regular massage has also been shown to boost immunity. This may be due to the fact that massage de-stresses the body and helps improve the immune system’s functioning.

Stress is unavoidable, but it can be detrimental to your physical and mental health. Studies show that stress can lead to high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, heart disease, and depression. That’s why managing your stress is important, and massage therapy can help.

During a massage, your body releases feel-good chemicals called endorphins and serotonin, which improve your mood and relieve pain. Aside from these positive effects, a massage also causes a decrease in the hormone cortisol. Cortisol is released when your body experiences stress, and it signals the “fight or flight” response. Cortisol can be detrimental to your health if it’s constantly released, as it leads to inflammation, weight gain and suppresses the immune system.

In addition to improving your mood, a massage helps reduce fatigue by decreasing muscle tension and increasing circulation. As a result, you’ll have more energy throughout the day and get better sleep at night. Regular massage can also reduce stress hormones and increase the body’s natural production of endorphins.

Stress can be caused by many factors, including exercise, work, relationships and the evening news. It can also be triggered by illness, injury or surgery. When stress becomes chronic, it can lead to anxiety and depression. Studies have shown that massage can decrease anxiety and depression by reducing stress and enhancing the body’s natural coping mechanisms.

Physical stress can cause tense muscles, which can restrict movement and inhibit flexibility. Mental stress often leads to irritability, anger and sadness. Both physical and mental stress can increase pain, but massage decreases both by releasing feel good hormones and by stimulating the parasympathetic nervous system which promotes relaxation and eases tension.

Massage can be a great way to reduce stress, but it’s important to incorporate regular sessions into your self-care routine and to take care of yourself between massage appointments. Both Ludwig and Rissolo encourage their clients to incorporate other wellness practices like yoga, meditation and deep breathing to maximize the benefits of massage therapy. It’s also helpful to talk with your therapist about how frequently you should receive massage, as everyone’s needs are different.

Improves Sleep

A good night’s sleep is a vital component to mental wellness. Although everyone has the occasional sleepless night, chronic insomnia can lead to a myriad of health issues including depression, obesity, heart disease, and diabetes. A few studies have shown that massage therapy can improve sleep disorders. Researchers discovered that massage stimulates the body’s autonomic nervous system to increase levels of serotonin, a chemical precursor to melatonin. This is a natural sleep-inducing hormone. Additionally, the nurturing touch of massage therapy reduces feelings of anxiety and depression. By increasing serotonin, the body can manage both mental and physical tension and stress, which can contribute to sleep problems.

While research on sleep and massage is still in its early stages, the anecdotal evidence speaks for itself. Many people report that they fall asleep easier after a massage session and have longer, more restful sleep overall. Some even report that they wake up less during the night and feel more refreshed in the morning. Aside from the direct benefits of increased sleep, massage has also been linked to lower blood pressure, reduced anxiety, and better overall mood.

If you suffer from a sleep disorder, consider getting regular professional massages on a consistent basis to help ease symptoms. However, it’s important to choose a massage therapist that can accommodate your schedule and budget. If your doctor approves, you should aim to receive massages every other week or twice a month for the best results.

In addition to helping with sleep, massage can reduce pain, loosen tight muscles, and improve posture. It’s recommended that you choose a relaxing massage modality such as Swedish, deep tissue, or trigger point for this purpose. These massages incorporate long strokes, kneading, vibration, tapping, and other techniques to create a sense of relaxation.

Reduces Anxiety

Anxiety is a normal human response to stress, but when the body feels it’s constantly under attack it may become a serious mental health issue. While there are medications that help ease anxiety, natural remedies such as massage therapy are also beneficial for reducing symptoms of the condition.

On a physiological level, massages trigger the release of hormones that boost mood and reduce anxiety levels. These include endorphins, serotonin, and dopamine. Increasing these positive hormones in the body helps combat the effects of anxiety disorders, such as generalized anxiety disorder (GAD).

A study conducted by researchers found that a single 30-minute hand massage significantly decreased psychological and physiological anxiety levels. They tested participants before and after receiving a hand massage, along with other factors such as blood pressure and pulse rate. Hand massage reduced the production of cortisol, which is produced when the body experiences high levels of stress, as well as epinephrine and norepinephrine.

In addition, the soothing touch and bond that develops between therapist and client can be helpful for individuals who struggle with social anxiety or self-doubt. The comforting nature of a massage creates a space where these issues can be addressed, and patients can learn to overcome them in the context of a safe and nurturing environment.

There are many types of massages that can reduce stress and anxiety, including Swedish, deep tissue, and reflexology. The key is to find a massage that’s right for you, and to visit a reputable clinic. A skilled therapist will be able to identify problem areas, and recommend the correct massage techniques. For example, deep tissue massage involves the kneading and stretching of tight muscles to release the knots that can cause tension and anxiety. Another option is reflexology, which involves the application of pressure on different parts of the feet to alleviate chronic stress and anxiety. A 2018 study found that this type of massage reduces anxiety in patients undergoing cardiovascular procedures, a finding that supports the benefits of this practice. Anxiety disorders affect about 18% of adults, and while everyone will experience it at some point, there are ways to manage and treat the condition to improve quality of life.

Relieves Pain

The physical manipulation of soft tissue during massage relaxes tight muscles. This loosening can reduce painful muscle spasms and contractions. It also increases flexibility and range of motion, which can help prevent future muscle soreness and stiffness. Massage also stimulates blood flow to any congested areas, delivering oxygen and nutrients to the tissues to support healing and flushing away waste products that may be contributing to pain.

Massage therapists are trained to identify problem areas and address them appropriately. They may use different techniques, including:

Remedial: focuses on damaged or painful muscles, tendons, ligaments or connective tissue. Examples include sports injuries, chronic back or neck pain and posture problems.

Pregnancy: reduces swelling, stress and pain in the joints and muscles of pregnant women.

Therapeutic: treats specific health conditions such as arthritis, chronic pain, migraines and back pain caused by poor posture or injury.

During a massage session the client removes their clothes and lies down on a table covered by a sheet. The therapist may start by applying gentle pressure and gradually increase it, always working within the client’s comfort level. They will communicate with the client to determine what area(s) of the body need attention, how much pressure is needed, whether they would like soothing music played or not, if they have any special requests or are experiencing any discomfort.

The goal of massage is to interrupt the pain cycle. When an area feels hurt specialized receptors called nociceptors detect damage and send signals to the brain that are perceived as pain. These pathways become hypersensitive and can cause pain even when no damage has occurred. Massage can help by stimulating competing nerve fibers to inhibit the transmission of noxious signals and by increasing the body’s natural production of painkillers.

In addition, massage increases the body’s immune system by improving lymph flow. Lymph is a fluid that drains the tissues of toxins, helping the body fight infection and heal injuries. This may be due to the mechanical stimulation of tissue or the release of chemicals that encourage circulation, such as nitric oxide and acetylcholine.