Good health. This is often the No. 1 wish peoplehave for the coming year. People hope for a healthy, happy 12 months, both forthemselves and their loved ones.
While NewYear is a time of hope and excitement, it’s also a time for reflection.
People getto reflect on their health and lifestyle over the past 12 months. Quite often,guilt pervades these thoughts. Perhaps you haven’t been as committed to yourwellness as you feel you should have been. Perhaps you haven’t felt as fit andhealthy as you hoped. Perhaps there’s a niggling injury that needs addressing.
So, you resolve to focus more on yourhealth the following year.
Your typicalNew Year resolutions include a decision to eat a healthier diet, cut back onsugar, fatty foods or fizzy drinks. Perhaps you may promise to cut down or tocompletely eliminate tobacco, alcohol or caffeine. Or maybe you resolve to getmore exercise. These are all worthy resolutions that will make a difference toyour overall health.
However,there is an alternative resolution you can make that will improve your physical and mental health. It will help you feelstronger, healthier, and more positive about life. Plus, it’s definitely one ofthe more enjoyable resolutions too…
It’sregularly attending a massage therapysession.
In thesesessions, a degree of pressure is applied to the patient’s soft tissues. Thisstimulates involuntary reactions from the patient’s body, which includelowering heart and breathing rates, muscle relaxation, improved bloodcirculation, and many others.
In fact,because of the health benefits, regular massage is a part of everyday life inmany cultures across the world. Think of shiatsu massage from Japan, Ayurvedictherapies from India, and the world-famous Swedish massage.
Intrigued byexactly how and why a regular massage may benefit your health?
Here are 4 reasons to consider visiting aprofessional massage therapist today, or starting this 2019:
1. To Reduce Aches and Pains
Regularaches and pains are common, even when we are otherwise fit and healthy. We mightsuffer from a regular niggle in a shoulder or knee, for instance. Some of ussuffer more severely from chronic pain that can make going about our livesmiserable.
Aches and pains can make eveneveryday tasks challenging, leading to frustration and despair. Repetitive strain injury (RSI) maybe a problem for you if you need to make the same small movements day in, dayout. You may also need to take more pain medication than you would like to beable to cope with certain tasks.
Massage canhelp pain sufferers. A therapist who has studied to qualify in sports and remedial massagecan help pinpoint the cause of pain and target their treatment accordingly.They should have a systematic knowledge of the musculoskeletal system and willfully understand how to adapt their massage treatment to improve pain symptomsfor the patient.
Massage works by:
- Stimulatingblood flow
- Removing wasteproducts from the injury site
- Relaxing muscletissue
- Reducing nervecompression
These arethe involuntary responses the body has to pressure to the skin. Massage willalso stimulate the release of endorphins — the body’s natural painkillers.
If youconsider your instantaneous reaction to a minor bump is to rub the area tosoothe the pain away, you’ll understand a little more how the professionaltouch of a therapist can improve painful spots in deeper tissues. Any seriouscause of pain has should be ruled out by your family doctor before turning tomassage therapy.
2. To Improve Sleep Patterns
Poor quality sleep can cause manyproblems. After abad night, you may become irritable and impatient, and lacking in concentrationand stamina. A good night’s sleep is essential for everyone.
In manycases, the cause of poor sleep is a degree of anxiety. It might be that you arefeeling pressure at work or in your studies, or you are worried about thefuture in some other way. It’s ironic that at these times you need good sleepto be able to deal with the problem head-on, but that these are the times whensleep eludes you.
Regular massage can reduce anxiety and, therefore, benefit sleep. Byrelaxing muscle tissue and by lowering blood pressure and heart rate, massagehelps the body achieve a greater state of relaxation.
At the sametime, serotonin is released into the body during massage. This naturallyoccurring substance is often referred to as the “happy hormone” and is theforerunner to melatonin, the sleep-inducing hormone.
After yourmassage, your more relaxed body should fall asleep faster, and there should beless chance of anxiety waking you in the night.
3. To Boost Positivity and ReduceClinical Depression
Aside fromthe physical benefits of massage, there are some incredible psychologicaleffects,too.
As mentionedbefore, massage pressure releases plentyof feel-good chemicals into the blood, such as endorphins, dopamine andserotonin. Other than helping with pain and sleep, these hormones affect mood,too. Patients often report more positive thoughts and feelings post-massage.
Massage alsoreduces cortisol, the body’s stresshormone. This can be great for helping to relieve symptoms of depression.
4. To Help Keep Everyday IllnessesAway
Most peoplecatch several coughs or colds per year. At these times, you’re tired, miserableand unproductive.
There are afew things you can do to help out your immune system and to prevent catching acold: eat healthily, practice good hygiene and, perhaps surprisingly, get aregular massage.
Massagetherapy increases blood flow and booststhe activity levels of white blood cells. These cells are your defenseagainst cold and flu viruses, so any help you can give them may reduce yourchances of catching something nasty.
Resolve to Get a Regular Massage
Along with ahealthy diet and exercise, regular massage can very much be part of a healthylifestyle. It can give both your physical health and mental wellbeing a boost,reduce pain and aid sleep. It’s a relaxing, enjoyable way to improve yourhealth, too.
Promisingyourself a regular massage may be the perfect new year resolution for yourhealth and wellbeing.
Marc Innes is the Owner andPrincipal of the School of Natural Therapies, a training school for Massage& Holistic Therapies located in London. Marc began his career in the NHS,working in a number of managerial and training roles within the AmbulanceService in London. He spent much of that time educating and coaching medicalstaff. Over time, he developed an interest in all things complementary toAllopathic Medicine, in particular, Reiki Healing and EFT, which culminated inrunning a successful teaching and ‘energy healing’ practice. Marc is passionateabout the massage and complementary therapy industry.