Massage for athletes can help to improve performance and recovery after exercise by releasing stressed muscles and increasing range of motion and flexibility. But these are not the only benefits that massage have on our bodies. Let’s look at some of the lesser known, or hidden benefits of massage.
- The benefits of structural massage
A structural massage can greatly improve posture. It can also help to work out any kinks in our connective tissues, aiding the performance of our visceral muscles. Visceral muscles are the muscle tissue most of our organs are made of. Effectively, massage can help to improve their function and even aid certain processes like digestion.
- Better sleep
Massage can help us sleep better. Improved sleep quality, i.e. the duration and the deepness of sleep, has been reported by persons for days following a massage. This is because massage not only helps us to relax, it stimulates the parasympathetic system and shifts the body into “rest and digest” mode.
- Better stress management and increased productivity
Regular massage reduces stress and helps to turn of our “fight or flight” response that can cause stress and stress reactions like anxiety and panic. This can begin to condition us manually to manage stress better because we are able to react to it calmer and more consciously. Massage also keeps energy flowing through our bodies smoothly by removing any blockages. Clarity of mind, reduced mental fatigue and increased productivity at work can be seen as the result. These benefits will also spill into our personal and social lives, leaving us living a better and happier life.
- More creativity
Massage creates a state of deep relaxation and release and allows us to set our mind free to go into a creative flow. It’s not uncommon to be overwhelmed with new ideas for projects or go into a creative buzz after an hour of deep massage.
- Lesser known health benefits
Massage can lower blood pressure and heart rate, through the stimulation of the parasympathetic system, while promoting the removal of toxins through lymph drainage, giving the cardiovascular system a little break. Massage can also stimulate better digestion and bowel movements and smooth out skin appearance by increasing the blood flow to the skin’s surface.
Next time you go for your massage to help you run better or to destress, remember that you are actually getting far more benefits from your massage than you realise.