Whether you’re already a seasoned veteran of practicing massage or are only recently beginning to consider making it a part of your daily life, you’re probably relatively aware of many of its benefits. For example, personal or guided massage can be used to strengthen muscles, reduce inflammation in swollen areas, speed recovery time from a host of sports injuries and even gradually increase flexibility over time. Nonetheless, the benefits of massage are hardly limited to these more overtly obvious examples. In fact, regularly engaging in some kind of personal massage can improve aspects of your life that you’d never expect. Whether you’re suffering from a chronic illness, trying to reduce your odds of contracting a new condition or are simply interested in learning more about the world of massage, you may benefit from reading these surprising benefits of the practice.
Massage may reduce cancer fatigue
While anyone who regularly practices personal massage or receives massage therapy from a professional will tell you that it has the potential to make one feel more energized, it may do even more than that. According to a recent study performed at Emory University, massage may reduce fatigue suffered by individuals living with or recovering from a bout with breast cancer. While that study is still being undertaken and definitive results cannot yet be drawn from it, early reports indicate that massage may indeed help curb the fatigue and sluggishness experienced by individuals who were recently treated with either chemotherapy or radiation. This study was prompted by the realization that more than 50 percent of total cancer patients have reported using some sort of alternative treatment method to aid them in curbing the unpleasant symptoms that can come with treatment of the disease.
Massage can aid in reducing stress, anxiety and depression
While this may come as a surprise to some individuals, it’s actually very intuitive that massage would hold this benefit. According to Best Health, individuals who regularly undergo a massage, either personal or one administered by a professional, commonly report reduced stress levels after their session. There are multiple schools of thought on this, but the prevailing one seems to have to do with two things. First and foremost, massage relieves and reduces the physical conditions and small pains that ail us on a day-to-day basis, such as pain caused by sitting at a desk for too long or having improper posture. In the secondary, experiencing human touch in a properly administered, nonthreatening fashion has been shown time and time again to be relaxing for most individuals. If you experience stress, anxiety or depression on a regular basis, you may want to consider implementing massage into your daily life to counter the symptoms of these conditions. Of course, you may also want to consult with your physician or psychiatrist regarding your personal treatment regimen.
Massage can boost your immune system strength
Perhaps the most impressive and important benefit of massage is that it has the capacity to boost your immune system in several ways. Another study at Emory has reported that after only one session of Swedish massage, healthy individuals often experienced positive changes in their levels of chemicals associated with the immune system. While each individual’s experience with massage will be different, its capacity to boost and maintain the immune system serves as a major attraction. Consider speaking with your doctor about how you can work massage into your daily life.