Massage therapy is one of the ancient healing techniques. It has been part of traditional Chinese, Indian, Ancient Greek and Egyptian cultures.
It’s a process of manipulating and kneading muscles and soft tissues in the body to improve health. Massage is a non-invasive therapy where a masseuse applies pressure on fascia, muscles, ligaments and tendons.
While ancient cultures were convinced of massage’s therapeutic and healing properties, it still remained a luxury to many. However, in the past decades, massage therapy has gained popularity in Western culture.
Fortunately, research has further confirmed the role of massage in reducing many health symptoms and boosting every aspect of health – physical, mental, emotional and social.
This guide discusses the healing properties of massage therapy and lists some of the health conditions a regular massage can help with.
Healing Properties of Massage Therapy
Ancient cultures believed in the healing properties of massage therapy. They treat massage as a sacred healing process to reduce illnesses, injuries, stress and pain. According to these cultures, any illness in the body is caused by energy deficiency or imbalance. Thus, Asian massage techniques involve easing the knots to facilitate energy flow throughout the body.
The kneading, rubbing and putting pressure on the body releases different chemicals to improve health. For instance, massage therapy releases oxytocin, dopamine and serotonin in the body while reducing the level of stress-causing hormones.
This way, massage reduces stress, pain, tension and soreness. Additionally, it improves energy and blood circulation and lowers blood pressure and heart rate. All of these benefits translate into better health.
Recommended Read: From Antiquity to Modern Times: A Comprehensive History of Massage Therapy
Types of Conditions To Manage with Massage
Although massage is treated as a supplementary therapy along with other treatment plans, its immediate calming effect has several benefits. It’s used to help with various health-related problems, including:
1. Back Pain
As one of the commonly reported types of pain, back pain can lead to ligaments, joints and muscle strain. Some back pain symptoms include tingling, numbness, stiffness and spasms in the back.
Back pain is preventable through regular exercise, good posture, and a healthy weight. Massage therapy helps reduce back pain by reducing cortisol levels in the body (stress-causing hormone). A regular massage can also improve posture and relieve muscle tension.
2. Other Chronic Pain
Besides back pain, massage can also help with physical pain, including shoulder or neck pain, headaches and migraines.
Sometimes, it gets tough to find a treatment. Home remedies like heating pads and stretching can bring short-term relief, but the pain won’t disappear.
People sometimes suffer from frequent headaches such as tension headaches or migraines. These conditions are stubborn to treat. On top of that, they hamper your day-to-day tasks.
Whatever chronic pain you’re dealing with, a massage session can magically reduce the pain. The reason massage relieves pain originates from gate theory. According to this theory, the human brain doesn’t fully recognize pain until touch receptors activate that area.
For instance, when you bump your knee or elbow, your first instinct is to rub it. You subconsciously activate the area by rubbing it. So massage therapy caters to areas of concern by rubbing, kneading and applying pressure to reduce chronic pain.
It’s a long-term health condition that limits mobility. Osteoarthritis can affect joints such as fingers, big toe, knees and hips. The symptoms of this condition include clicking noises, reduced joint flexibility and joint stiffness and pain.
Any repeated joint movements, excess weight and past injury, can worsen the risk of osteoarthritis. Doctors recommend healthy eating, regular exercise and pain management such as massage to treat the symptoms.
Osteoarthritis responds well to massage therapy. It relieves muscular pain to relax joints and release stiffness, so that range of motion is improved. People with osteoarthritis report decreased stress, increased relaxation and improved sense of wellbeing after getting a massage.
4. Anxiety and Depression
Many luxury hotels and resorts offer massage treatments because of their oozing relaxation. Evidence shows that massage therapy can improve mental health conditions.
Hormones play a significant role in stress levels, and massages release happy hormones while simultaneously reducing stress-causing hormones. According to research, a massage session can reduce cortisol levels by 30%, whereas serotonin and dopamine will increase by the same percentage.
It’s the calming effects of the massage that does the trick. Massage therapists are trained to apply pressure on pain receptors, stimulating the vagus nerve – a part of cranial nerves that play a major role in the nervous system. A relaxed nervous system lowers blood pressure and heart rate and reduces stress-causing hormones.
Besides the calming effect of massage, the soothing atmosphere also plays an equally important role in relieving anxiety and depression, leaving you feeling less stressed. You can book an in-room massage with Asian Massage 2 Hotel to reduce symptoms of anxiety and stress.
5. Gastrointestinal Problems
Massage therapy can alleviate the symptoms of gastrointestinal illnesses such as Crohn’s disease and constipation. A massage therapist applies pressure and uses deep strokes to redirect food and acid back to the stomach to stimulate nutrient and waste breakdown.
Massage releases muscle tension in the intestine and abdomen to relieve constipation, stimulate kidney and liver activity and facilitate waste elimination.
6. Cancer and Cancer Treatment Side Effects
Massage has multifaceted benefits for everyone, including cancer patients. Cancer patients undergo radiation and chemotherapy, affecting their mental and physical health. Massage offers much-needed relief by alleviating the side effects of cancer treatment.
The massage session can also reduce anxiety and pain associated with the treatment. It elevates mood and promotes relaxation. The increased blood flow regulates stress and pain, ultimately improving mental state.
However, these benefits are temporary, and massage therapy can be used along with other cancer treatments. Massage therapists also modify their approach when dealing with cancer patients. For instance, they apply less pressure on affected areas.
7. Sports Injuries
Massage therapy is particularly common among athletes and sports enthusiasts. People who work out regularly or engage in intensive physical activity often face cramps and spasms. Sports injuries are common, but if left unaddressed, they can affect your performance.
Massage increases the flow of lymph fluid and blood in the body, thereby expediting recovery. It releases any tension around the fascia and muscles to improve elasticity and flexibility. As a result, it boosts sports performance.
Many athletes receive sports massage before and after a sports event or intensive physical activity. Read more on how often you should schedule a massage here.
8. Soft Tissue Injury
Soft tissue injury includes any strain on tendons, ligaments and muscles. These areas injure due to overload, strain or sprain, causing swelling, stiffness and pain. These injuries occur due to severe falls, trauma from spraining the ankle, stepping sharply and gradual overuse of muscles, ligaments and tendons.
Massage increases blood circulation, which then reduces swelling around soft tissues. You can benefit from a massage session to relieve tension if you’ve suffered a sprain or trauma. Massage prevents pain in soft tissues and promotes faster recovery in case of injury.
9. Addiction Recovery
Massage therapy is also an effective tool for addiction recovery. It’s an alternative method to treat addiction. People struggling with addiction or wanting to quit substance and alcohol use must undergo a detox process. Massage helps flush out toxic substances during detox.
Because massage releases happy hormones, it helps during the withdrawal stage of addiction. During this stage, the dopamine level declines in the body, which can cause discomfort during recovery. However, massage provides relief by releasing serotonin and dopamine in the body.
Another way massage helps with addiction is by managing agitation, anxiety and pain. People in early recovery experience mood swings, anxiety, agitation and pain. The release of endorphins boosts mood.
One of the surprising benefits of massage therapy for people with addiction is that it improves their mind-body connection. The therapy session helps build self-awareness in that the person connects their emotions with the body and learns to regulate their feelings which is empowering.
10. Sleeping Disorder
Sleeping disorders such as insomnia occur due to a lack of melatonin – the sleeping-inducing and regulating hormone. A relaxing massage, in effect, increases serotonin secretion, which then increases melatonin production.
People struggling with sleeping disorders have high-stress levels, which cause a lack of sleep or irregular sleeping pattern. A full body massage can help with the effects of insomnia, helping the body reset its circadian rhythm.
11. Myofascial pain Syndrome
It’s chronic pain where pressure on trigger points in the muscles results in severe pain. The pain also occurs in unrelated parts called referred pain.
Professionals recommend trigger point injections, medication and physical therapy. There’s no conclusive evidence about whether one method helps more. However, physical therapy, such as massage, is an important part of myofascial pain treatment. Other physical therapy treatments include posture training and stretching.
If you’re scheduling your first massage session, here’s what you should know.
In this condition, the body experiences widespread pain across the body. Fibromyalgia causes sleeping disorders, mental and emotional distress and constant fatigue. People struggling with fibromyalgia are more sensitive to pain.
Massage is one of the best solutions for these patients. The therapeutic impact of massage relieves pain. Since it decreases stress hormones and boosts serotonin levels, patients experience an improved sense of wellbeing. A Swedish massage is suitable for fibromyalgia. It relieves stress, relaxes the muscles and helps with sleep.
13. Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ)
TMJ disorder affects jaw joints and their surrounding ligaments and muscles. It can occur due to improper bite, trauma, common wear and tear and arthritis. Some of the symptoms of TMJ include earaches, facial pain, headaches and jaw tenderness.
A TMJ massage provides circular and constant motion against concerned muscles and joints. A masseuse will knead masseter trigger points to relieve the pain.
14. Nerve Pain
Neuropathic or neuralgia pain occurs during a health condition that affects the nerves carrying sensation to the brain. Nerve pain feels different from other chronic and acute pain in the body.
Massage can help with nerve pain by stimulating pain receptors in the brain. A massage therapist will typically apply pressure on these points to reduce pain and facilitate the release of endorphins.
Massage therapy also helps with nerve damage. A massage session can alleviate the symptoms if you experience a tingling sensation or numbness in some part of your body.
Things to Consider
While massage therapy has wide-ranging benefits for different mental, emotional and physical health needs, it’s also important to seek professional approval before getting a massage. Massage therapy may not be recommended in some instances as follows:
- Life-threatening ailment
- Broken bones or fractures
- Infections, skin rashes or cuts
Schedule an Outcall Massage in Neon Capital of the World
If you’re looking to decompress, massage therapy is the right way to do it. The medical and healing benefits mentioned above prove how effective massage therapy is in improving overall health.
At Asian Massage 2 Hotels, we’re committed to creating a luxurious spa-like experience in your hotel room. Our Asian-origin masseuses are well-trained in ancient Asian massage techniques to relieve pain and stress and boost your mood.
We offer in room and outcall massage in Las Vegas. Whether you’re visiting LA on a business trip, with friends or simply looking to destress, our 24 hours massage services will make your time in LA worth it. Some of our new massage services include Nuru massage, 2 and 4 hands massage and deep tissue massage that you can explore here.
We promise prompt service and our masseuse will reach your place in as early as 20 minutes. Meet our amazing team and give us a call today to book a massage service.