Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!
The festive holiday period can be either stressful or relaxing but it is certainly joyful. Massage can aid with stress or enhance your relaxation and be seen as a treat in this giving period. But did you know it does so much more for you and so much so that many can’t seem to live without it?
Here are a few reasons you need to have more:
1. Strengthens your immune system
Studies have indicated that massage can naturally increase the immune system’s cytotoxic capacity (the activity level of the body’s natural “killer cells”) and decrease the number of T-cells (a type of white blood cell), which improves the body’s immune functioning overall. A study by G. Ironson, M.D., HIV positive subjects were given 45 minute massages five days a week, for a month. They showed an increase in serotonin and an increase in cells that are viewed as the first line of defence in the immune system.
Whilst massage won’t guarantee to stop you catching the flu, regular massages can lead to a stronger immune system for a healthier lifestyle and lasting wellness.
2. Increases Blood Circulation
When we suffer from poor circulation, we can suffer from a variety of discomforts such as cold hands and feet, fatigue, numbness or soreness. As muscles are deprived of nutrients they can become weakened and tense up.
Massage therapy involves the direct application of kneading, stroking and rolling techniques by our professional therapist which directly applies pulling and pushing pressure on the muscles to encourage blood flow. As the muscles relax and circulation increases, nutrients rush to the muscles and waste is taken away to further enhance muscle relaxation and vascular strength.
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3. Get Better Sleep
According to the NHS, one in three Britons suggest from poor sleep with stress, computers and taking work home often taking the blame.
It has been shown that massage can reduce levels of the hormone cortisal which is released in response to stress. Not only this, but massage therapy goes beyond tackling the problem and reverses the effects as studies show it can lead to an increase production of endorphins, our “happiness” chemical, which adds to a sense of relaxation and healthiness. Many people who experience massages actually are so relaxed that they often fall asleep during massage treatments!
4. Relieves Headaches
According to the NHS, more than 10 million people in the UK get headaches making them one of the most common health complaints.
Massage Therapy addresses headaches and migraines in two ways. It reduces levels of stress and improves sleep thereby tackling the causes of migraines. Secondly, cranial and head massages helps to release tension around the head area including neck and shoulders so reduce the discomfort brought about by cranial tension and migraines. In fact, a study by the University of Auckland in 2006 showed that subjects who received massage therapy experienced greater improvements in migraine frequency and sleep quality during the weeks therapy was received and even three weeks after treatment was received. It was also noted that during the treatments massages induced decreases in state anxiety, heart rate and cortisol (our stress hormone).
5. Look better with improved posture
We often forget the importance of a good body posture. We usually get into bad postures because of sitting or standing habits which we don’t even realise we are doing. However, bad posture can have many negative impacts on your everyday life. It leads to imbalances in your muscular-skeletal system thereby requiring certain muscles, such as your lower back, to over compensate or conversely to be under-utilised and weakened.
Imbalances caused by overly tight and weak muscles are resolved by reversing the causes. Massage therapy helps to relax, loosen and elongate tight muscles through rolling, kneading and trigger point techniques. This releases the pull on the weaker opposing muscles and allows for you to comfortably return to a better posture. Massage therapy goes beyond and can even help strengthen the weak muscles is it improves circulation to bring oxygen, nutrients and removes waste to the weaker muscles to help promote growth.
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