Massage has been around since the dawn of civilization. Dating back to 2330BC in Egyptian hieroglyphics, there are depictions of men having work done on their hands and feet which is presumed to be a massage (we think it might be a mani/pedi) and in Ancient Chinese writings, they reference knowledge of the use of medical massage in the time of the Yellow Emperor which dates to circa 2700BC. So what did they know that we don’t?? Read on.
1. Reduce stress
Massage calms the body; helps relax the mind which in turn helps lower stress by reducing the body’s cortisol levels. With nearly 90% of all illness being related in some way to stress, either physical or emotional, relaxing the mind and body through massage can ward off illness and have a positive impact on overall health and attitude.
2. Stimulate and detoxify the body
The lymph system is the body’s natural defense against toxins and impurities. The increased circulation achieved with the manual movement of blood throughout the muscles and tissues assists in carrying stored toxins out of those muscles and tissues. You may notice some of these toxins as knots in your muscles which result from an abundance of protein when there’s a release of lactic acid.
3. Recover from injury and over exertion more quickly
Massage breaks up scar tissue, giving tissue and bones improved movement. The International Journal of Neuroscience points out that research has shown massage therapy improves functional abilities, range of motion and muscle strength in patients suffering from spinal cord injuries. In the United States, massage therapy’s most recent popularity is attributed to the widespread use in athletic training which began in the 1970s.
4. It feels wonderful!
If you’ve never had a professional massage before, trust me when I say this, “You don’t know what you’re missing!” Along with all of the benefits of reduced stress, improved range of motion, improved posture and pain reduction, massage also stimulates the body to release endorphins, the hormones responsible for creating elation in the body. The beauty of massage is you get this endorphin release without having to run a 10K to get a “runner’s high” or by eating chocolate.
Personally, I can’t think of a single drawback to getting regular massages. Civilized man has known this for thousands of years but massage wasn’t introduced to the United States until the late 19th century. You really should get a professional massage to see what you’ve been missing.