The Health Benefits of Massage

MassageContributed by Joyce Cowens, LMT

There are medical, physical and emotional benefits to massage. It’s summer. Take some time out.

If you’ve ever had a massage—and I hope you have—you know how wonderful it can make you feel. I hope you get some time this summer to make time for a massage. But did you know that it’s not just about being pampered? There are medical, physical and emotional benefits to massage, and the science to prove it!

Massage gets your internal juices flowing
When muscles become tight or contracted for an extended period of time, they experience a lack of oxygen. This causes muscles to become dry, hard and painful to touch. Massage, or soft tissue manipulation, increases circulation and lymphatic flow within your body. This has many benefits. When your “internal juices” are flowing your muscles are better able to relax and unwind. And, improved circulation helps remove built-up waste products that can cause muscles to fatigue. Finally, increased circulation results in an increase in white blood cells, which boosts your immune system.

New study touts the benefits of massage
Arnold Kelly, an expert at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, said massage therapy can lower blood pressure, help prevent colds, enhance skin tone and more. According to Kelly, massage provides two types of benefits: immediate and cumulative. Immediate massage effects include reduced muscle tightness, improved blood flow and breathing, plus reduced anxiety and stress. Cumulatively, massage can increase your range of motion, strengthen your immune system and provide an improved sense of well-being.

Additional benefits
Over the past several years, massage has also been connected to several other benefits, including managing anxiety and depression, eliminating chronic pain, aiding in sleep, boosting immunity and beating PMS, just to name a few.

To learn more about the integrative medicine services offered in the Women’s Center or to schedule an appointment with Joyce Cowens please call (513) 475-UC4U (8248).

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