There’s no question that massages feel wonderful. BeyonScreen Shot 2017-01-26 at 11.11.19 AMd the bliss, they’re also incredible for your health, fitness and overall wellbeing. Massage benefits everyone, from athletes to people suffering from high anxiety to even those looking for a nicer complexion. As if you needed any more reason to enjoy a massage, here are 10 fantastic ways a session can improve your life. Support your recovery If you’re working with a physiotherapist or chiropractor, massage can complement their treatments by releasing muscle tension in problem areas. The doctors’ adjustments are then easier and safer as there is less resistance to motion. Massage also helps to increase your range of movement and flexibility. This can make the exercises they prescribe even more effective. Many practitioners work as a team with massage therapists and refer patients to them for these reasons. Relieve headaches Many headaches are caused by muscle tension or restricted blood flow, especially in areas around the neck and crown of the head. Massages can target and reduce tightness in these spots and are a powerful way to increase circulation. Even some patients with migraines have found relief through massage therapy techniques. If you suffer from headaches, speak with a massage therapist about treatment options for your specific triggers. Reduce stress Epinephrine and cortisol are hormones that flood your body in response to stress: physical or emotional. Endorphins are hormones that reduce those unpleasant feelings and massages are one way to stimulate their release. Endorphins also boost your mood. You may have heard athletes describe experiencing an “endorphin high” after a workout. Massages trigger these same chemicals while you simply lay back and relax. Alleviate depression and anxiety The emotional bliss you feel from a massage is thanks to serotonin and dopamine. These hormones have been linked to feelings of happiness and human connection, and you get a boost in them during a session. People with depression often have low levels of these happy hormones and have reported improved mood and wellbeing from massage therapy. Increase circulation Low blood flow can lead to a variety of health concerns, as metabolic waste and other byproducts that your cells produce build up and don’t get flushed out. Even worse, vital nutrients don’t reach places that need them. Massage therapy stimulates blood flow and increases circulation at the source and beyond. Massage is especially beneficial to people with diabetes and other conditions where circulatory problems are common. Massaging the extremities, like feet and hands, can help reduce complications and keep them healthy. Make skin glow A healthy complexion is linked to balanced moisture, good circulation, and low stress. These are all byproducts of massage. Massage oils provide a lovely hydrating treatment, while the pressure increases blood flow to the skin and reduces stress hormones. Relieve pain Do you find yourself rubbing the same achy spot while you engage in hobbies, sit at a desk all day, or move in a certain way. These spots may be “trigger points”. Targeted pressure techniques can release and alleviate this pain. Boost your immune system Besides the immunity increasing side effects of reduced stress and increased circulation, massage also elevates levels of white blood cells. These cells fight infection and help keep you healthy. Maintain your active lifestyle The boost in circulation from massage helps to keep your joints moving and treats injuries at the source by reducing inflammation. If you’ve had a sports injury, massage treatments have been noted for speeding up rehabilitation time especially when paired with physiotherapy. Increase your endurance Who knew that massages could lead to better sports performance? In a recent study of cyclists, the muscles of athletes who received a massage sent more signals to the part of their cells responsible for power production and building stamina.   Screen Shot 2016-12-30 at 10.19.17 PMThe next time you’re having a massage, you’ll know why you feel so wonderful in the moment and beyond. This form of therapy has lasting impacts on your physical and emotional wellbeing. If you have any questions about how massage can benefit your life, we invite you to call our clinic. Or better yet, stop in!  
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