Mind-Body Benefits of Massage Therapy

As a massage therapist, you know full well the benefits of your practice. You likely speak to your clients about how massage can ease muscle tension, reduce pain, and relieve soreness. You may even recommend massage therapy to clients experiencing physical health conditions. 

However, the benefits of massage therapy go beyond the purely physical. In fact, most of the benefits of massage therapy are related to psychological, emotional, and cognitive functioning. Discussing these benefits with your clients can help them to readily implement massage therapy into their wellness routine and to achieve optimal health.  

Here are some surprising mind-body benefits of massage therapy that you can discuss with your clients.

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It Decreases Stress

Nearly three-quarters of all adults in the U.K. experience adverse health effects from stress, which significantly increases their risk of developing a chronic health condition, such as heart disease and chronic pain,  amongst many others. 

What’s more, stress can increase a person’s chance of developing a psychiatric condition, such as anxiety or depression. Indeed, about 40% of all GP visits in the U.K. are related to poor mental health. 

Stress is a serious public health issue, which—unfortunately—isn’t being adequately addressed. As a massage therapist, you can be the frontline of defence in helping your clients battle the side effects of stress.

During a massage, various beneficial effects occur in the brain and body: The heart rate slows down, feel-good chemicals such as endorphins are released, and the muscles experience significant relaxation. These effects have been shown to significantly reduce stress and as such, to decrease the risk of developing stress-related disease. 

Clients who experience persistent stress might want to consider including massage therapy as an adjunct to their wellness plan recommended by their health care professional, to stave off the negative health effects of stress

 

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It Improves Cognitive Function

With increasing life expectancy, our population continues to get older, which has led to an increase in age-related disease. Indeed, today, about 55 million people in the world have dementia. An even greater amount experiences impaired cognitive function. 

Tragically, there is currently no treatment for dementia. However, some individuals with the disorder have been shown to respond well to complementary treatments such as massage therapy in alleviating their symptoms. 

Through various mechanisms, such as a decrease in the levels of stress hormones, massage therapy might be effective in relieving some of the symptoms of dementia in dementia patients. 

Therapeutic massage in particularly hand massage is associated with an improvement in stress and agitation in dementia patients. In addition, therapeutic touch is associated with an improvement in the symptoms of depression and anxiety, which can make therapeutic massage a possible intervention for patients with dementia. 

For all of the above reasons, massage therapy could be considered, as a regular part of the wellness routines of individuals suffering from dementia.

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