Yes, massages feel fantastic. They’re rejuvenating and relaxing and all-around terrific.
But did you know they’re actually really, REALLY good for you?
There’s not shortage of science to back us up. They ease muscle soreness after a trip to the gym AND they reduce stress, among many other benefits. For example, one study found that levels of the stress hormone cortisol dropped 31% following a rubdown, while levels of feel-good hormones like dopamine and serotonin increased roughly 30%.
Pain reduction, along with depression relief, is one of the benefits that research has most consistently linked to massage.
While having access to a professional masseuse is ideal, research on different forms of self-massage, including foam rolling, have found that giving yourself a good kneading can reduce muscle soreness and improve pain symptoms, even among people with osteoarthritis.
Not only can massage encourage a restful sleep-it also helps those who can’t otherwise comfortably rest.
“Massage promotes relaxation and sleep in those undergoing chemo or radiation therapy,” says Lisa Marie de Miranda, registered massage therapist and kinesiologist at Paleolife Massage Therapy.
Also, massages help infants sleep more, cry less and be less stressed, according to research from the University of Warwick.
“Most individuals are dealing with some kind of postural stress,” says Aaron Tanason, registered massage therapist, kinesiologist and owner at Paleolife Massage Therapy in Toronto. “More often than not [that stress] tends to manifest in the shoulders and neck.”
Desk workers, beware. More advanced forms of postural stress “show up as pain or weakness in the low back and gluteals caused by prolonged periods of sitting.”
Luckily, massage can counteract the imbalance caused from sitting, which means you can keep your desk job-as long as you schedule a regular massage.
Oh, and hey – have you heard that Case Chiropractic is now offering massages? 🙂