Wednesday, June 15, 2011

The Little known Benefits of Massage

Everyone knows that massage feels good.  Most people are also aware that massage relaxes tight and tense muscles. However, regular therapeutic massage can boost your physical condition in a number of lesser known ways.

One of the most interesting potential benefits of massage is enhanced immunity.  According to a study that appeared in the October 2010 issue of the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, researchers from Cedars-Sinai Medical Center reported that a single massage produced measurable changes in the immune and endocrine system of healthy adults.  A single 45 minute Swedish massage resulted in an increase in lymphocytes, the cells that help the body’s immune system fight off infection.  Swedish massage also resulted in a significant decrease in arginine vasopressin, a hormone that contributes to aggressive behavior and a small decrease in cortisol, the stress hormone.

Studies have shown that massage helps with high blood pressure.  Massage helps stimulate the vagus nerve which functions to regulate a person's blood pressure.  Massage also reduces anxiety which can contribute to elevated blood pressure.

A few other lesser known benefits include enhanced circulation leading to better skin tone and healthier soft tissue, improved concentration, reduced fatigue and better quality of sleep.  Getting a massage can do you a world of good.  While it may feel like a luxurious treat, regular massage can be an excellent complement to a healthy lifestyle.

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