Benefits of Massage Improve with Frequency
While getting a massage–regardless of how often–is incredibly beneficial to your body and mind, getting frequent massage treatments is even more powerful as a healthcare ally.
“People who get massage regularly demonstrate a reduction in pain and muscular tension and an improvement in posture,” says Anne Williams, author of Spa Bodywork: A Guide for Massage Therapists (Lippincott Williams and Wilkins, 2006).
“People regularly make a commitment to fitness. People regularly make a commitment to changing their diet. The difference they’d experience if they regularly made a commitment to massage is mind-blowing,” she says.
Massage is a great way to take charge and reverse the situation. Mary Beth Braun and Stephanie Simonson, authors of Introduction to Massage Therapy (Lippincott Williams and Wilkins, 2007), explain the benefits of massage therapy in the simplest of terms: “Healing input influences healing output.” They note that frequent massage can reduce the accumulation of stress and improve overall health. “The benefits of massage are cumulative,” they write.
This being the case, it only makes sense that those aches and pains you see your massage therapist for might disappear faster, stay away longer, or even go away altogether with more frequent visits. Stress might never reach those physiologically detrimental levels where the immune system is suppressed or the nervous system is sent into an alarm state if you are able to receive stress-relieving bodywork with some consistency. Not only would your body benefit by regularly unleashing its aches and pains instead of adapting to them, but your mind would have time to wash away the stresses of a life lived in overdrive. Both are critical pieces for living well.
Experts say the body and mind can learn to live more calmly, more efficiently, and more healthfully when frequent massage shows the way. That makes for a healthier whole, allowing us to continue to live life at its fullest, even as we deal with each new stress or challenge.
Since bodywork influences every system in the body, there are enormous possibilities created by increasing the frequency in which you address those systems. It’s best to discuss your session goals with your massage therapist and together devise a plan of frequency that meets your needs, while taking into account your therapist’s best advice.
Quite simply, frequent massage puts you more in tune with your body. “The consistency of massage therapy over time creates a cumulative stress reduction effect,” Vaughn says. “The person becomes acutely aware of stress within their body long before it can create stress-driven damage.”
He says the consistency of receiving regular massage therapy has the potential to create a cumulative wellness effect. “Ultimately when one feels good, our whole being follows suit on all other levels–i.e., decision-making is better, processing life events is better, and being happy is easier when you are not in pain or feeling ‘heavy’ or ‘tight.’”
Williams says she’s certain people’s lives would be changed if they could schedule massage and bodywork more frequently. “I encourage clients to commit to getting massage once a week for a month and then evaluate the results they get,” she says. “I guarantee they will become massage enthusiasts for life.”
- Alleviate low-back pain and increase range of motion.
- Create body self-awareness.
- Improve muscle tone and stimulate their nerve supply.
- Improve elasticity of skin and promote skin rejuvenation.
- Improve sleep and calm the mind.
- Increase endorphin and seratonin production.
- Reduce edema, as well as joint inflammation.
- Release negative holding patterns from previous injuries.
- Stimulate lymph circulation and enhance immunity.
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