There are many benefits of regular massage therapy, including reduced stress and anxiety, increased immunity, reduced pain, and more.
If you are seeking to improve your physical, mental, and/or spiritual health, you should consider massage a necessity not just a luxury because there are many surprising benefits of massage.
I have been getting massages regularly for 23 years – not as a luxury – but as a physical, mental, and spiritual health necessity. So I’m going to share some of the benefits of massage with you here today!
Additionally, I have also included some information for you to consider if you are new to the massage experience. You will find lots of great information below.
DISCLAIMER: I am not in the medical field and the information provided on this website should not be considered a personal consultation about your health. You should always consult with your health care provider about your health needs. Information contained in the articles on this website are based on personal experience and research only.
Related Article: What is Wellness and Why is it Important?
Top Health Benefits of Regular Massage Therapy
According to the American Massage Therapy Association, “Massage therapy can be an important part of an integrative approach to health and wellness.” I absolutely agree with this statement based on my personal experience.
AMTA reports that consumers are turning to massage to support their health needs now more than ever. The organization reports that 88 percent of individuals view massage therapy as a benefit to their overall health and wellness. This includes people who feel they receive benefits from massage for relieving pain, managing cancer symptoms, reducing depression, and much more.
Let me share some specific information about the benefits of regular massage therapy.
1. Reduces Stress and Anxiety
Regular massage therapy improves mental health and wellness. It soothes anxiety, stress, depression, and PTSD. It stimulates hormones that promote good sleep hygiene which directly impacts emotional stability and health.
Here’s a great article about the benefits of massage therapy for anxiety. According to the AMTA, “in the United States, almost half of adults will experience a mental health challenge during their lifetime.” An increasing amount of research indicates massage therapy is as beneficial for mental health issues as psychotherapy.
Related Article: 5 Best Types of Massage for Anxiety and Stress Relief
2. Decreases Negative Health Responses
Regular massage therapy decreases the negative health responses related to chronic stress often caused by our fast-paced, chaotic lifestyles. It lowers blood pressure and heart rate by reducing stress on the blood vessels.
Massage calms the nervous system to decrease heart rate, slow down breathing, and improve digestion; it increases endorphins to help reduce pain; and it stimulates brainwave activity that supports improved sleep hygiene.
3. Increases Immunity
Regular massage therapy increases your immunity to help prevent illness. It improves your lymphatic system to promote cleaner blood flow that helps your body fight against infection. And, it helps disperse waste products out of the muscles to relieve tension and pain. Overall, massage improves your immune system and has a calming effect on your entire body.
4. Reduces Muscle Tension
Regular massage therapy reduces muscle strain and tension by increasing the production of hormones that relax your body. It stimulates fluids around the muscle to maintain elasticity which in turn helps reduce injury and ease sore muscles.
Increasing circulation to the tissues around the muscles helps maintain good muscle health and reduce risks of injury. Regular massage therapy also helps relieve tension headaches.
5. Improves Circulation
Regular massage therapy improves circulation and overall health and elasticity of blood vessels, which in turn increases oxygen throughout the body and promotes physical well-being. Improved circulation and healthy blood vessels also help to stabilize and lower blood pressure.
6. Improves Posture
Regular massage therapy improves posture. It frees up tissue and allows the body to align more naturally. Decreased muscle fatigue and tightness promotes healthier joints that allow the body to move and align more freely with decreased risk of injury.
Regular massage also alleviates issues related to imbalance that can result from too much sitting or laying. Basically, regular massage therapy counteracts all the sitting that we do every day!
7. Reduces Chronic Pain
Regular massage therapy helps you manage chronic body pain, such as post-operative pain, lower back pain, migraines, and pain from medical conditions such as carpal tunnel syndrome and rheumatoid arthritis. Sports massage can also help relieve chronic pain from sports injuries.
If you are in physical pain it will eventually impact all other parts of your life. But medication isn’t always the answer. More and more, doctors are advising patients to seek alternative therapies for chronic pain.
50 million Americans suffer from chronic pain. Massage therapy is a safe and effective alternative to medications that can be addicting for chronic pain.
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Overall, there are many benefits of regular massage therapy and you can improve your general feeling of wellness and your quality of life. It allows your body to heal from the effects of common, daily stressors as well as chronic illness and pain. In turn, you can live your best life and be your authentic self since regular massage supports your physical, mental, and spiritual health.
The Mayo Clinic has a great article that provides a wealth of information about massage, too. As I was writing this article, I found it very interesting and helpful. You may also enjoy Massage: Get in Touch With Its Many Benefits. In closing it states, “…massage can be a powerful tool to help you take charge of your health and well-being, whether you have a specific health condition or are just looking for another stress reliever.”
Related Article: 12 Benefits of Mindfulness: Mind, Body, and Soul
How Often Should I Get a Massage?
This depends on many factors such as your pain levels, physical needs, stress levels, and mental health. A massage once a week, or every two weeks, is ideal for people who need the positive effects to improve their quality of life.
However, budget often plays a role is how often one can get a massage. It may require you to make lifestyle changes (you know, that Starbucks daily coffee run and dinner out on weekends) to be able to get regular massages. But the long-term benefits to your physical, mental, and spiritual health will be worth it!
Different Types of Massage Therapy
There are many types of massage therapy that treat a variety of conditions and personal health needs. Massage therapists often specialize in certain types of massage and massage techniques based on their training and experience.
My personal experiences have been with deep tissue massage, myofascial release, hot stone massage, therapeutic massage, cranio sacral massage, shiatsu massage, Swedish massage, aromatherapy massage, and even Couple’s Massage.
For the purpose of this article, I focused on the kinds of massage that have given me the most benefit over the past 23 years – myofascial release, therapeutic massage, and cranio sacral massage. These different types of massage therapies focus on different parts of your body and different kinds of massage techniques.
The massage therapist typically uses gentle pressure on trigger points and tight muscles to improve blood circulation and negative effects of anxiety disorder. They all provide stress relief, pain relief, and comfort by reducing cortisol levels.
Essential oils can he used in a variety of ways with each kind of massage.
In general, massage therapy is the practice of a trained massage therapist rubbing and kneading areas of your body, applying specific kinds of strokes and pressure to your muscles, joints, myofascial tissues, and soft tissues to manage health conditions and/or enhance overall physical, mental, and spiritual wellness.
Find a Massage Therapist
My wonderful certified massage therapist, Tianne Ellis – who has more than 25 years of experience – has helped me write this blog article so we can accurately represent benefits of getting regular massages – from my personal experience, as well as from her expertise.
Tianne graduated from Baltimore School of Massage. She has furthered her education with extensive training by John Barnes of Myofascial Release Treatment Centers. Myofascial Release opens the spaces in the body to allow the flow of lymph, blood, nutrients, and energy throughout your body.
Cranio Sacral work helps to balance the fluids around your brain and spinal cord, which is especially helpful for migraine and neurological issues. Myofascial Release is considered the ultimate mind and body therapy.
She offers a multifaceted treatment approach for ultimate results in your wellness and personal health care. She values building relationships with her clients and open communication so she can offer you an optimal massage therapy plan to promote improved health and wellness.
Tianne strongly believes that regular massage therapy offers long-term physical, mental, and spiritual benefits. And I absolutely agree with her!
Tianne is the type of massage therapist you want to find in order to get maximum benefit from your experience of regular massage. She offers a “multifaceted treatment approach for the ultimate results in your wellness and personal health care.” She is inspired by helping you find peace in your body, heart, and soul.
You can also visit Tianne’s website or Facebook Page to learn more from her! She is now specializing in the therapeutic benefits of massage and has a wonderful blog on her website that provides a lot of information.
- Tianne Ellis, CMT, Ellis Wellness Website: https://calvertmassage.com/
- Ellis Wellness Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TianneLMT
Spiritual Benefits of Massage (BONUS)
Massage as an alternative therapy is based on spiritual principles that go beyond the physical and mental health benefits. In addition to physical and mental health benefits of regular massage, there are many spiritual benefits, as well. Here are a few of those benefits:
Grounding – Being grounded means that you are connected to the energy found in the Earth and are fully present, or rooted, in your body. Grounding techniques can be a direct (ie: lying on the ground or wading in a lake) or indirect (clearing your mind and calming your emotions). Regular massage can help you stay rooted in your body and reconnect to the Earth so you reap the benefits of its energy.
Meditation – Regular massage therapy, in a calm and trusting environment, enhances your connection to self and helps anchor you in the moment. This promotes overall peace of mind.
Love Your Body – The connections created through regular massage therapy help release your self-conscious mind and breakdown barriers you have about your body.
Distribution of Energy – Regular massage therapy can help focus energy on areas of your spiritual wellness system that are out of balance. Alternatively, it can distribute energy throughout your body for uninterrupted flow of creativity and spiritual wellness.
Although there is limited scientific research about the spiritual benefits of massage, there is little doubt about how the spiritual benefits support your physical and mental wellness. In fact, I have personally received massage therapy as part of integrated medical treatment for several injuries over the years.
Final Thoughts: Benefits of Regular Massage Therapy
As discussed here, there are many benefits of regular massage therapy. You should consider your wellness needs, research your options, talk with massage therapists, check their credentials, and schedule your first appointment.
You should also be sure to provide your professional massage therapist with your personal health information so he/she fully knows how to provide you with the most benefit. Your licensed massage therapist will determine what you need during each massage session.
You will want to consider different massage techniques and whether you want to use a massage table or a massage chair. Do you want to use essential oils or lotions?
From that point, you should seek to develop a comfortable relationship with your massage therapist and determine with your therapist how often you should receive massage therapy to reap the greatest benefit. The long-term benefits of massage are incredible if you give it time and choose the right therapist.
You may also be be interested in these related articles about wellness and self-care:
- Staying Healthy After 60
- Positive Selfishness.
- 10 Simple Ways to Find Your Zen
- 21 Simple Acts of Self Care for Women
Don’t forget to take good care of yourself!
Love to All! ~ Susan
Do You Have Stories About the Benefits of Regular Massage Therapy?
What do you find is the best massage therapy? Please share your thoughts in the comments:)