My Top Five Benefits of Massage

by | Apr 9, 2024 | All Blogs, Health, Massage

‘All I did was turn round to pick up my phone and I felt a stab of pain in my shoulder. Now it’s a dull ache that’s interfering with my sleep at night. What happened? And why?’

If you’ve had a similar experience, you may have asked yourself the very same question. In this post, I outline the possible causes and why massage is such an effective therapy for so many of my clients.

Let’s start by considering the body’s immune system, a remarkable and complex system that protects our overall health and wellbeing. If your immune system is compromised for some reason – stress, general fatigue, muscle weakness, weak digestion and more – something must give. It could well be your shoulder muscles.

Without strong, healthy, active muscles, your bones and joints won’t stay in place and your overall health will be affected. Overstretched or misaligned ligaments and tendons can also cause discomfort, constant aching and/or intermittent pain that may be referred to another part of the body. All this explains why a simple, everyday movement like reaching for your phone or getting out of the car can be the straw that breaks the camel’s back.

Massage in all its forms – relaxation, Swedish, remedial, deep tissue, lymphatic, cross fibre and sports – can be highly effective therapy. When offered by a qualified and experienced therapist, massage supports your body to repair damaged muscles, tendons or ligaments. Manipulative Muscle Therapy, for example, is a massage technique that releases all the muscle layers right down to the small, deep, slow twitch muscles that play such an active part in your overall wellbeing.

When it comes to the benefits of massage, here are my TOP FIVE:

#1 Massage triggers relaxation

Massage encourages the body to ‘slow down’, bringing it from a heightened state – even anxiety – to a calmer, more relaxed state. The simple act of touch and methodical kneading invites the body to ease up and sink into relaxation. This emotional response is ignited by the body’s natural happiness and relaxation hormone, serotonin. Serotonin stabilises your mood and supports your body’s essential basic functions such as eating, digestion and sleeping.

#2 Massage relieves tense muscles

When you’re stressed, your body involuntarily tightens up and your muscles become tense. High levels of tension can cause muscles to shorten, restricting movement and causing pain. With the aid of massage therapy, your muscles can return to a relaxed state which, depending on your situation, can also alleviate chronic pain. Massage techniques – including trigger point therapy, rubbing, stretching and stroking – relieve tension by increasing tissue elasticity and stimulating the parasympathetic nervous system.

#3 Massage reduces blood pressure

Massage has been shown to improve blood circulation which, in turn, helps lower blood pressure. Massage therapy helps calm the sympathetic nervous system which is responsible for raising the blood pressure in response to stress. This is most likely because calming, gentle touch releases serotonin, causing your body to self-regulate and return to a more natural, healthier state.

#4 Massage improves sleep

Because massage can directly influence the body’s production of serotonin, it can also help release the sleep hormone, melatonin. Pressure and manipulation of muscles in the neck, shoulders, back, legs and feet trigger the production of melatonin. Massage also reduces cortisol – the stress hormone – which can disturb sleep patterns. In its place, the hormone dopamine stabilises your mood and helps create that relaxed state of being that is needed for sound sleep.

#5 Massage is good for mental health

Massage can promote your psychological health by stimulating the receptors, nerves and hormones responsible for mood regulation. A moderate pressure massage can bring therapeutic relief and improve your mood and wellbeing noticeably. Massage increases vagal nerve activity – which is often low if you’re feeling depressed – which decreases cortisol levels and leads to feelings of relaxation and contentment.

About Trisha

A practicing therapist for over a decade, Trisha holds qualifications from the Australian Institute of Applied Science.

Trisha offers specialised services in Naturopathy, Herbal Medicine, Nutrition, Craniosacral, Manipulative Muscle Therapy and Massage at her clinic in Boonah, Queensland.

She helps her clients with conditions that include persistent pain; muscle and sciatic pain; problem joints; repetitive strain or sports injuries; and weight loss.

I help children, adults and the elderly improve their long-term health and wellbeing. Naturally.

Follow me on Facebook or call for an appointment at my Boonah Clinic.