Monday, June 9, 2014

Benefits of Massage Therapy

Happy Monday Y’all! Thanks for being patient with me last week and the lack of posts. It was a crazy, felt like my head was chopped off and I was running in every direction kind of week. I hope you got to enjoy the beautiful weather and maybe even took your fitness outdoors!!

Many of you have probably received a massage once in your life time. Maybe it is a special treat that comes once a year for your birthday, or maybe you try to get one every few months, or just maybe you are able to sneak away and enjoy one every couple weeks. Whatever the case may be, I cannot stress enough the importance of massage therapy for your physical and emotional needs!

Research has shown that individuals who receive massage therapy utilizing moderate pressure, experience a decrease in stress hormones and an increase in white blood cells in addition to stimulating lymph flow that boosts the immune system. Individuals also show higher levels of Oxytocin and Serotonin (a natural antidepressant) and lower levels of inflammation and autoimmune conditions.

Massage therapy has also shown to alleviate body pain in the low back, hips, neck, shoulders (every body part really) and also greatly increase range of motion. Imagine how you feel after sitting at a desk all day, all achy and stiff with tight traps and a sore neck. Now imagine lying down for ½ - 1 hour while your achy muscles are worked on and all the tension is relieved. Is it worth it?? You bet it is!

Did you know that massage has been shown to improve the condition of the body’s largest organ-the skin. It promotes tissue regeneration, helps reduce scar tissue and even helps reduce the appearance of stretch marks. Massage can help reduce post-surgery adhesion's and swelling as well as improve circulation by pumping oxygen and nutrients into the tissues and vital organs.

From a performance stance, massage therapy can greatly enhance an athlete’s performance by promoting recovery from strenuous workouts, increasing joint flexibility and mobility, and alleviate tight and overworked muscles. Massage can also help ease muscle cramping and spasms as well as improve blood flow to working tissues.

Massage therapy is one tool that you will want to add to your arsenal especially if you are training extremely hard and asking a lot from your body. Even if you are a weekend warrior or just getting started on your health and fitness journey, massage can truly benefit each and every one of you!

This weekend was filled with farmers markets, local fruit stands and LOTS of grilling! My new favorite recipe that can be served as a main dish or as a side is a rainbow salad!

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