Massage therapy has many physical and mental benefits. What most clients experience is the feeling of relaxation, and isn’t that what most people think it is designed to do? Lets look at some of the other aspects and benefits you might not be aware of.
Background: Massage therapy is derived from eastern practices but then combined through western ideals it has been developed to not only help people relax but also to benefit the body itself.
Be it through an injury, chronic pain, chronic illness, pregnancy, or even maintaining your physical well being massage can and does do all of this and more! Of course there are many different types of massage therapy. 2 of the most common are Swedish massage (massage designed for relaxation ideals) and deep tissue or sports massage (more for athletes and active clients who need to work through soreness and even injuries pertaining to their sport/ hobby).
Relaxation is typically the main result of massage. However, days following massage clients may experience some soreness or aching through their bodies. This soreness stems from toxins and lactic acid that was loosened within the muscles now traveling through the blood stream in order to flush the body of what it does not need or will use. Muscles are mostly storage units for nutrients that will not be used immediately after digestion and our bodies will hold on to them “in case” there is ever a need. Unfortunately, more often than not we do not need to hold on to these extra items and massage helps eliminate and move them out so as to keep replenishing the muscles and body itself. The soreness is just that, our bodies trying to get rid of what we do not need. Water is essential to help flush the systems within the body. Water also help reduce the soreness felt after a massage. After the next day or so clients tend to almost feel the best they have ever felt or maybe just since their last massage.
Mental benefits are felt mostly through clarity. Clients are relaxed or distressed and will have more of a sense on consciousness and focus. When our bodies are functioning better our minds function better.
Massage benefits many people and conditions. These basics are just a start. Listen to your body, and pay attention to how you feel. Consider trying a massage and experiencing what may happen for yourself.
Written by: Jennifer Lusk, CTA, LMT