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.