Hello, and welcome to this month’s article! Summer is on the way... When we were young, “summer” and “vacation” meant the same thing: weeks off from school to sleep late, visit friends, and do pretty much what we wanted. It was the ideal “Me Time.”
As adults, far too few of us have the luxury of that much time to rest, reflect, and recuperate from our busy lives.
Whether you have time to travel this summer or will be staying close to home, make your next massage a priority in your summer schedule. It’s the ideal way to relax and recharge!
This month’s featured article explains how massage can support better health through increased energy, a benefit everyone can appreciate. The better you feel, the more enjoyable life can be.
Enjoy your summer; see you soon for your next massage!
Massage’s Multiple Ways to Increase Energy
By Leslie DeMatteo, LMT, MS
It has long been suggested that massage therapy is good for us and that it can reduce our fatigue and increase our energy. While massage does not directly increase energy, it does reduce fatigue and often decreases the symptoms that sap our energy, resulting in our feeling better. Massage therapy has been shown to increase circulation, reduce stress, pain and depression, improved sleep and our immunity — all of which make us feel better, more energized and less fatigued!
Increase Energy By Increasing Muscle Recovery
Sports massage is essentially a collection of techniques proven to aid in the recovery of exhausted muscles, either to enable further performance or to reduce or prevent delayed onset soreness. Muscle will recover on its own as a natural process, so all we really need to do to assist this process is increase circulation, flushing out lactic acid and bringing in fresh oxygen rich blood. Swedish gliding strokes and broad muscle compression (think pumping action) all serve to increase circulation, thereby speeding the recovery of muscle tissue and performance. Research has confirmed that athletes who received massage post-exercise recovered faster and with less soreness.
Faster muscle recovery equals less fatigue.
Increase Energy By Reducing Pain
Studies have shown that massage therapy can reduce pain and fatigue both from illness and muscle use. Studies in the clinical setting have shown that massage reduced pain levels and improved function by analyzing qualitative data. Overall pain was reduced significantly and improvements in emotional well-being, relaxation, and ability to sleep were all associated with the reduction in pain. We have all experienced pain that interrupts our ability to focus and even sleep, and can understand how this results in feeling exhausted by the end of the day.
By relieving pain, massage therapy relieves fatigue and indirectly improves our energy levels.
Increase Energy By Reducing Stress and Depression
Clinical trials have shown massage therapy to alleviate depressive symptoms in general and to alleviate depression in those with fibromyalgia. There is an overall statistically significant association between receiving massage therapy and improved levels of perceived stress and depression.
As general fatigue and malaise — as well as low energy — are all associated with both stress and depression, alleviating these symptoms through the use of massage therapy, in turn, increases energy in the recipient.
Increase Energy By Improving Sleep
While over one quarter of us suffer from the occasional bad night’s sleep, almost 10% of Americans experience chronic sleep loss, known as insomnia. As a critical function, sleep impacts our mood, our ability to function mentally and make decisions. Even the success of our social interactions are affected by our quality of sleep, all of which greatly impacts our overall feelings of well-being, our energy levels and the levels of fatigue we may experience.
Research has shown that massage therapy can improve sleep quality and duration in children, cancer patients and those suffering from fibromyalgia. And it can certainly aid healthy adults who are stressed out to get a decent night’s rest!
By reducing stress and pain levels and bringing the body into a state of relaxation, many people are able to finally reach a state of healing sleep, improving energy levels overall and reducing fatigue.
Massage therapy reduces the chronic symptoms of pain, depression and sleep deprivation that sap our energy. Massage helps us to feel better and function more efficiently.
Exercise builds bigger brains
Regular exercise may shrink waistlines, but a long-term study suggests it increases brain volume and lowers the risk of age-related cognitive decline. Researchers followed 1,583 middle-aged men and women with no personal history of dementia or heart disease over the course of two decades. At the start of the study, participants underwent an MRI and took a physical fitness test on a treadmill, during which their heart rate and blood pressure were also monitored. The procedures were repeated 20 years later, and after factoring out people who had developed heart disease and high blood pressure, the researchers found that the ones who kept in shape were more likely to have larger brains. On the other hand, poorly conditioned participants had lost gray matter. “Our brains shrink as we age, and this atrophy is related to cognitive decline and increased risk for dementia,” study author Nicole Spartano of Boston University tells CBSNews.com. “This study suggests that people with poor fitness have accelerated brain aging.”
—The WEEK March 3, 2016
When you can think of yesterday without regret
and tomorrow without fear, you are near contentment.
— Author Unknown
The content of this article is not designed
to replace professional medical advice. If you’re ill, consult a physician.
© 2016 Massage Marketing. Used with permission; all rights reserved.