benefits of massage

Benefits of Massage: Wellness and Health

Five Surprising Benefits of Massage

health benefits of massage

We know a massage feels good, but it can also have a host of therapeutic advantages. The newest cure-all may be an ancient one: simple touch. The Chinese have been using massage for all kinds of medical conditions for centuries. Western research confirms that massage isn’t just for muscle pain. One of the most surprising findings is that massage may help premature babies gain weight.

When Tiffany Field, a professor of pediatrics, became a new mother, she massaged her premature infant daughter. She was so impressed with the results she later founded the Touch Research Institute (TRI) at the University of Miami School of Medicine.

Massage, it turns out, may boost immunity and help people with a range of conditions, from premenstrual syndrome to high blood pressure. It also seems to help soothe pain from arthritis, burns, and even surgery. Here are five surprising facts about the benefits of massage from the research findings at TRI and elsewhere that you can put to use:

1. Pick Your Spot and Reducing Pain:

You don’t have to massage the part of the body that hurts most to get the benefits of massage. If you’re shy about letting a friend touch your aching lower back, for instance, she could help by massaging your shoulders instead. This is because massage creates chemical changes that reduce pain and stress throughout the body. One way it does this is by reducing a brain chemical called substance P that is related to pain.

2. De-Stress:

Stay Healthy. Massage may boost immunity by reducing stress, a known fact as one of its benefits. Several studies have measured the stress hormone cortisol in subjects’ saliva before and after massage sessions and found dramatic decreases. Cortisol, which is produced when you are stressed, kills cells important for immunity, so when massage reduces your stress levels and, hence, the cortisol in your body, it may help you avoid getting a cold or another illness while under stress.

Single Session of Massage Causes Profound Biological Changes
A Cedars Sinai Medical Center study on the effects of a single 45-minute Swedish massage session found that Swedish massage caused profound biological changes: significant decreases in AVP—a decrease in the primary stress hormone cortisol—and an increase in circulating lymphocytes, the white blood cells that defend the body against disease.

3. Blood Pressure Benefits:

Research suggests massage reduces hypertension and has other benefits. This may be because it stimulates pressure receptors that prompt action from the vagus nerve, which emerges from the brain. The vagus nerve regulates blood pressure and other functions. Massage’s ability to lower blood pressure shows another key benefit.

4. Technique Tactics for Overall Health:

There’s little evidence to support one kind of massage over another for health benefits, says Field, so don’t worry about whether your therapist is schooled in Shiatsu, Swedish, or some other technique. The key is pressure firm enough to make a temporary indentation in the skin. If you try massage with a partner, use massage oil, which you can find in a health-food store or pharmacist, but test a little on your skin first to make sure you are not allergic.

5. Self-Help and Improving Wellbeing:

You can massage yourself to gain benefits. Although you don’t have to massage the part of the body that hurts to relieve pain, targeting that area does tend to help more. One example is massaging the arms.

If you’re in danger of developing inflamed nerves in your hands or arms from repetitive movements (like typing on a keyboard or even gripping a steering wheel for hours at a time), try massaging your arms for 15 minutes a day. Stroke from the wrist to the elbow and back down on both sides of the forehand. Self-massage is an easy way to gain the benefits of massage.

benefits of massage for wellness
Research continues to reveal many wide-ranging health benefits of massage.


In summary, research continues to reveal many wide-ranging health benefits of massage, from reducing pain and stress to lowering blood pressure and boosting immunity. Massage may even help premature babies gain weight.

Considering these numerous benefits, it is highly recommended that you incorporate massage into your self-care routine. If you can, try booking regular professional massages.

If not, learn some techniques to massage a partner or even yourself. Simple self-massage of targeted areas for 15 minutes a day can provide benefits. Overall, massage is an ancient yet powerful therapeutic tool for improving wellbeing.

Don’t underestimate the positive impacts of regular massage on both the mind and body, which give you the benefits of massage. Make massage a habit by scheduling it, just as you would exercise. With so many documented advantages, massage therapy deserves to be a standard part of healthcare.

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