Does getting a massage feel like an indulgence that’s all about being pampered? It’s much more than that! Massage keeps you healthy in more ways than one, according to Alayne Curtiss, owner of the Make Me Fabulous salons and spas in New York.

“Having a regular relaxing massage may seem indulgent but it … should be seen as way of maintaining your wellness,” she says in her blog post “Why You Need a Massage for Better Health.”

It’s well-known that stress is at the root of many ailments. So massage is a natural way to keep illness at bay. Read on for Alayne Curtiss’s top five ways that having regular massages can reduce stress and promote better health.

Massage relaxes your muscles

Whether you sit at a desk or you’re on your feet all day, both positions take a toll on your muscles. Getting a massage keeps you healthy because it’s a great way to work out those kinks while reducing the amount of the stress hormone cortisol in your body.

Massage boosts your immune system

A massage therapy treatment increases activity by white blood cells. These are the body’s main combat unit for fending off viruses. Massage increases activity in lymphocytes, which play a large role in defending the body from disease. A lymphocyte is a subtype of your immune system’s disease-fighting white blood cells.

Massage reduces stress and anxiety

Many studies show that most diseases and their complications are brought on by anxiety and stress. Stress raises cortisol levels, and massage lowers them. At the same time, massage helps raise levels of the body’s “feel-good hormones” serotonin and dopamine, which helps alleviate the stress we suffer from while promoting perspective and clarity.

Massage relieves minor aches and pains

Massage therapy can help with those aches and pains in your muscles caused by overly strenuous exercise. The kneading motion of massage reduces inflammation and increases the circulation of oxygen-rich blood for use by the muscles.

Massage promotes overall well-being

By relaxing your mind and body, getting rid of toxins and improving blood circulation, massage keeps you healthy by having a powerful effect on your overall well-being. You could leave a massage session completely revitalized and ready to tackle the day. And that makes your whole world look and feel a little better!

Click here to read about the special benefits of massage for seniors, or here to read about the power of touch for pain relief.

Health Works Institute
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