Why Does Remedial Massage Help Stress?


The Problem

Stress. A condition we have all suffered. Stress may be responsible for a significant percentage of all diseases in the Western world including headaches & migraines, neural problems, muscular aches & pains, depression & anxiety. As the world in which we live becomes increasingly stressful both physically & emotionally we either reduce stress, or we learn how to deal with it effectively. It is impossible to avoid stress completely, & therefore the only real solution is to find ways to manage the stresses & strains we encounter each day. One of the best & proven ways is the use of massage therapy.

The Benefits Of Remedial Massage

  • Alleviate pain & improve range of motion.
  • Ease medication dependence.
  • Exercise & stretch weak, tight, or atrophied muscles.
  • Increase joint flexibility.
  • Help athletes of any level prepare for, & recover from, strenuous training.
  • Lessen depression & anxiety.
  • Promote tissue regeneration & reduce scar tissue.
  • Reduce post-surgery adhesions & swelling.
  • Pump oxygen & nutrients into muscle tissue & vital organs, improving circulation.
  • Reduce spasms & cramping.
  • Relax & soften injured, tired, & overused muscles.
  • Relieve headaches.
  • Enhance immunity by stimulating lymph flow—the body’s natural defence system.

Biochemical Effects Of Remedial Massage

Research shows that massage can be of tremendous value in helping reduce stress, anxiety & depression. Massage causes the body to release many therapeutic mood & health enhancing chemicals. It increases endorphins, dopamine & serotonin, & also reduces the stress hormones cortisol & adrenaline. It increases the relaxation alpha brain waves & also increases pain relieving levels of endorphins. Massage lowers adrenaline & lowers the hormone ACTH (Adrenocorticotrophic hormone) which is released when experiencing high stress. Mood & sleep patterns can also be improved by massage, with research showing that people slept more soundly & for longer periods of time following massage. The subjects massaged were found to have lower levels of cortisol, a stress hormone in saliva. Other studies have confirmed that the majority of adults with aches & pains due to chronic muscle tension who did not improve after being given painkillers reported much less tension & pain following a course of massage. So if you regularly feel tense, stressed or fatigued, or if you regularly take medication to reduce aches & pains, why not try massage as a proven effective non-drug treatment for all of these common complaints Jeremy Syme Remedial Massage Therapist

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