Who doesn’t love a relaxing massage?
Taking an hour out of your busy life to lay back, and forget for a little while about the endless emails piling up in your inbox is not only a great chance to de-stress, it has a number of other benefits as well.
From helping to lower blood pressure, increasing range of motion, or providing treatment for sports or over-use injuries, massage therapy has a large number of health benefits.
Today we’re going to look at some of the lesser-known benefits of registered massage therapy.
What Is Registered Massage Therapy?
Massage therapy is a hands-on treatment, during which a registered massage therapist manipulates your body’s soft-tissue, with the aim to lessen discomfort.
Soft tissue includes muscles, tendons, connective tissue, joints and ligaments.
It can be used as a treatment for acute conditions such as an injury or strain, as well as chronic conditions such as fibromyalgia or chronic back pain.
Who Can Practice Registered Massage Therapy?
Perhaps you’re lucky enough to have a friend or partner who is good at shoulder rubs or back massages and likes to share this skill.
Maybe you’re wondering why, if your friend is willing to help you out, you should visit a registered massage therapist (aka an RMT)?
An RMT has gone through hundreds of hours of hands-on training and has a thorough understanding of anatomy, which helps make treatment safer and more effective.
And they are trained to provide specific treatment for conditions such as migraines, osteoporosis, and fibromyalgia.
So while that shoulder rub from your friend might help in a pinch, there are good reasons to visit a registered massage therapist.
Health Benefits Of Registered Massage Therapy
Although relaxation is definitely an effect of registered massage therapy, there are numerous other health benefits associated with massage.
Keep reading to learn about some of the other ways visiting an RMT can help you.
1. May Lower Blood Pressure
A 2013 study by MahshidGivi published in the International Journal of Preventative Medicine studied a group of 50 women with pre-hypertension.
Pre-hypertension is a condition where one’s blood pressure is considered in the higher end of acceptable blood pressure level.
It’s often an indicator that you’ll develop hypertension in the future, and puts you at greater risk of heart disease.
In the study, half the group was given a 10 minute RMT massage three times a week for 10 sessions, and the other half was given a relaxing environment with no massage.
At the end of the study, the ones who had RMT massages had significantly lower blood pressure than the others.
If your doctor has told you you have high blood pressure, or if you have a history of high blood pressure in your family, an RMT massage may help.
Massage treatment can also help to reduce cortisol levels, which in turn has an effect on blood pressure levels.
Regular treatment can also reduce the risk of stroke, heart attack, and other health issues.
2. May Improve Posture
According to data from Statistics Canada, 80% of Canadians will deal with at least one instance of back pain at some point in their lives.
For many of these instances, it’s difficult to point to a single cause.
However, we know there are a number of contributing factors, and poor posture is one of them.
When you have poor posture, you force certain muscles to work harder than they need to, while others end up not working at all.
This can lead to mobility issues.
As well, your posture may place pressure on your digestive tract, cardiovascular system, and even your lungs.
Poor posture, in fact, can make your entire body have to work a lot harder than it needs to.
If you sit at a desk all day, are carrying a little extra weight, or love high heels chances are your posture could use some treatment..
Seeing a massage therapist can help relax and loosen tense muscles, and bring your posture back into alignment.
3. May Strengthen Your Immune System
Massage therapy can help keep your immune system strong.
The stress-reducing effects of massage can have a beneficial impact on immune health because individuals who experience high levels of stress can be more susceptible to illness.
In particular, a 1996 study by Ironson Et Al studied a group of 29 gay men, some of whom were HIV positive.
It found that giving this group daily massages for a month provided a significant decrease in anxiety and relaxation, which should come as no surprise.
More significantly though, it found a number of markers of enhanced immune system performance, which has implications in helping to fight a number of chronic diseases.
4. May Improve Circulation
Massage therapy uses hands-on manipulation techniques to provide pressure and release to sore muscles and tissues.
A by-product of this is increased blood flow to the areas being manipulated.
In addition to improved blood flow, this can have the effect of increasing the flow of lymph fluid, and promote removal of lactic acid from muscle tissue.
A 2014 study from the University of Illinois at Chicago found that massage therapy improves blood flow and can reduce muscle soreness after exercise.
5. May Improve Sleep Quality
Massage often leads to relaxation and lower stress levels which can help promote better sleep.
Sometimes people even fall asleep on the massage table – this is not only common, but it’s also considered a good sign for the massage therapist because it means you trust them and feel comfortable in their care.
Book An Appointment With Mahaya Health
Are you having difficulty sleeping?
Are you are constantly stressed out and need some help to relax?
Or maybe your back and shoulders are sore due to poor posture from sitting at a desk all day.
Whatever the reason for you wanting to try massage therapy, Mahaya Health is here for you.
Contact us today to book an appointment with a registered massage therapist who can help you with any muscle-related issues you are concerned about.
Yours in Health,
Mahaya Health Services
2 College St., Suite #105,
Toronto, ON M5G 1K3
Mahaya Health Services is an integrative naturopathic clinic in Toronto. With a variety of practitioners each drawing on their own modalities, you’ll find a well-rounded team that can help you with your health concerns.