We often think of massage therapy as a spa-like indulgence to help us relax and relieve stress, but this ancient practice has plenty of health benefits. It can be a valuable form of treatment for a variety of conditions, while also helping us feel younger, healthier, and more balanced.
The benefits of massage therapy are vast! Depending on each individual, massage can help:
- Relieve pain
- Improve range of motion
- Enhance immunity
- Increase joint flexibility
- Alleviate symptoms of depression and anxiety
- Relax injured, tired, and overused muscles
- Release endorphins—the body’s natural painkillers
Different types of massage can help serve different purposes, each utilizing different types of movement and levels of pressure.
Massage for older adults tends to differ from traditional massage practices, and usually includes gentle stroking, kneading, and light pressure on specific points. Targeted pressure can help lubricate joints, which relieves the pain and stiffness of arthritis. And the relaxation and communication promoted during massage can even help people living with Alzheimer’s disease.
Unlike many medications, massage is a natural way to stimulate the nervous system and increase blood circulation. In fact, according to Massage Today, regular massage can often help reduce the need for medications.
Massage therapy can benefit most people; however, it may not be appropriate for those with bleeding disorders or who are taking blood-thinning medication; people with deep vein thrombosis; or when you have open or healing burns or wounds.
Speak to your doctor before scheduling your first massage.