Whether you are a professional athlete or just getting started with a fitness program, massage therapy has been shown to have major benefits for exercise, including enhanced performance and cardiovascular health. Massage therapy is also effective for pain management, faster recovery, and prevention of injuries, so that you can keep going. Massage therapy can be a key part of maintaining peak fitness.
Massage is at least as good as chocolate, but with zero calories. Massage therapy has been proven to boost levels of the "feel-good" hormones serotonin and dopamine, while at the same time lowering levels of the "stress-hormone" cortisol. This boost in beneficial neurotransmitters not only feels good, but it also helps ease stress and decrease appetite. Increased levels of cortisol can slow metabolism, trigger inflammation, and encourage the accumulation of belly fat. In addition to revving your metabolism, massage can also help out with any stiffness or sore muscles after that great workout! As an added bonus, a 2009 study by the National Institutes of Health, found abdominal massage effective in reducing constipation and abdominal pain.
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), insufficient sleep is a public health epidemic. Lack of sleep contributes to many of the chronic diseases--such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, obesity, and depression—which threaten our nation’s health. Inadequate sleep is associated with a number of medical conditions, and can negatively impact a person’s overall health. Massage therapy has been proven to reduce fatigue and improve sleep.
Too much stress is the #1 reason why we lose our will-power and fail to succeed at our goals. Stress takes a toll on your health and quality of life. Massage therapy can reduce stress significantly on physical and psychological levels including decreased blood pressure and heart rate and improvements in mood and emotional states (who doesn't feel better after a massage?!) Massage is also proven effective relief for anxiety and tension headaches.
Don't let a case of the sniffles slow you down! In addition to lowering cortisol levels, and increasing our "feel-good" neurotransmitters, massage therapy also improves immune function by increasing our body’s natural "killer T cells” and lymphocytes, which fight off viruses and protect us from infection and disease. Massage therapy is also being researched as a complimentary treatment to promote healthy immune and endocrine function in cancer patients.
The Balanced bodyworker