Benefits of Massage Therapy
Having your honey rub your back is sweet, but it’s tough to compete with the hands of a pro. A good massage therapist can make you feel like a new person. And now research suggests massage can ease insomnia, boost immunity, prevent PMS, and more. Maybe that’s why hospitals are making it a standard therapy.
It sounds like a no-brainer, but rubdowns are especially effective for aches like low-back pain. Researchers at the Group Health Center for Health Studies in Seattle, Washington, found that massage works better than common treatments including chiropractic therapy and acupuncture.
Cortisol releases when you experience high levels of stress, and it suppresses your immune system. Less cortisol means a stronger immune system! It’s not clear why, but several studies show massage reduces levels of the stress hormone cortisol while boosting the feel-good hormones serotonin and dopamine. Those changes slow your heart rate, reduce blood pressure, and block your nervous system’s pain receptors. Massage also increases blood flow to the muscles, which may help them heal.
A full body massage can boost immune function. Massages help boost your natural killer cells, white blood cells, which are your body’s first line of defense in fighting off infections.
A small study of 24 women with severe PMS found that massage reduced symptoms such as pain, water retention, and mood swings. Try it with proven remedies such as exercise (and who-cares-if-they-work solutions like a little dark chocolate).
Source: Health Magazine