Updated: Nov 23, 2018
Massage therapy is something that has become available through many channels. What originally was primarily an activity to be found at a massage spa or resort can now be accessed through standalone massage therapy clinics, doctor's offices, chiropractors, fitness gyms and even at the airport.
Yes, massage can be a relaxing experience that help to relieve tension built up from the stresses of our busy lives. This is why the emergence of massage therapy in airports has been so prevalent in recent times. There is little more stressing than sitting in a cramped airplane seat for a three hour flight coupled with layovers, delays and business deadline pressures.
Many use massage as a treat while on vacation to relax and unwind. A sort of pampering for themselves to forget about work for a while and enjoy soothing music and melt into a table while having the kinks worked out.
All of these are viable reasons to get a massage and ultimately lead to a healthier you, however more and more the health benefits of massage are coming to light. Even the Mayo Clinic has written about the healthy reasons you should make massage a part of your routine. https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/stress-management/in-depth/massage/art-20045743
Stress and Anxiety are attributed to ill health effects on the human body. A regular massage can keep those negative influences at bay. While those that experience headaches or digestive disorders also may see significant improvements in the conditions through massage therapy.
One study looked at the effects of massage therapy on biochemistry. The article details the decreased levels of cortisol and increased levels of serotonin and dopamine after a subject receives massage therapy. In studies where cortisol was measured, significant decreases in cortisol levels were seen. These average decreases were approximately 31%. In the studies where serotonin and dopamine were measured, an average increase of 28% for serotonin and an average increase of 31% for dopamine was seen. These studies suggest stress-alleviating effects along with increased serotonin and dopamine as significant health benefits of massage therapy on medical conditions and stress.
Those that lead a healthy lifestyle probably already engage in exercise, which in and of itself leads to lower levels of stress and anxiety, but can oftentimes lead to muscle strains or injury. Getting a deep tissue or sports massage is the correct remedy for promoting healthy blood flow to the regions of impairment and can often speed recovery.
A healthy lifestyle is just that... a lifestyle. Having a well-rounded diet, getting regular exercise to increase your heart rate and lower your levels of stress should be part of that way of living. If you want to have a full compliment to creating a healthy body, include massage therapy as part of your regimen.
Relaxing on a beach, enjoying the waves and indulging in a massage is also a good start to a happy and healthy you.