When you think of therapeutic massage, what comes to mind? What can massage help with? Tight muscles? Low back pain and neck pain? Stress-relief? Yes, massage is an excellent way to work on all of the above. But you may not realize how versatile therapeutic massage really is. Below are four unexpected things that massage can help with.
Research indicates that massage can improve mood, reducing depression in the short-term. It has also been shown to reduce depression in specific populations including those with chronic pain, children and adolescent psychiatric patients, and people with a host of chronic diseases.
Sleep can be interrupted, difficult, or otherwise compromised due to stress or muscle tension. It’s difficult to have a relaxing sleep while the body is carrying tension in the form of tight shoulders, neck, back, legs, head…really anywhere! When we massage the body, we not only relax on the spot, we teach the body how to relax, what it feels like to relax. This can have incredible effects on one’s ability to sleep.
Diet and Exercise
By improving mood and well-being, reducing fatigue, and facilitating relaxation, massage can help us with our attempts to eat a better diet and exercise more often.
Specifically, massage can help alleviate and prevent tension headaches. Tension headaches are one of the most common types of headaches and are caused when muscles in the neck, face, scalp, or jaw are contracted. Strained muscles cause disruptions in blood flow and hence, oxygen flow. It makes sense then, that a massage to the area to loosen the muscles of the neck, face, scalp, jaw, and even connected muscles in the shoulders, back, and chest, can help with tension headaches.