Health Benefits

As you might expect, massages are especially effective for aches like lower-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. 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.

Tight back muscles can cause your back to get out of alignment.  Chiropractic treatments treat the symptom of poor spinal alignment, not the cause.  A massage releases muscle tension, which can cause you to sit at odd angles, or to sleep poorly.  Either of these can cause you to then have poor spine alignment.

Massage also eases distress from migraine, labor pain, and even cancer, as well as the body tenderness seen with fibromyalgia. The benefits may last as long as a year after just a few treatments.  Massage can assist in the reduction of chronic pain, fatigue, some types of sleep disorder.

Fluctuations in several types of brain waves either relax you or wake you up. Massage increases delta waves — those linked with deep sleep — according to a study at the Touch Research Institute. That’s why it’s easy to drift off on the massage table, from a slow massage, or be invigorated by a faster paced massage.

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