The Many Health Benefits of Massage Therapy

August 31, 2016

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Lauren
Lead Copywriter

We’re big fans of massages over here at KindHealth.

I mean, who isn’t?

Massages are relaxing, help work out sore muscles and make the world feel like a peaceful, normal place for an hour or two.

But do they have other health benefits?

You betchya!

Here are reasons why massages are good for the body, mind and soul.

Pain Management 
According to the American Massage Therapy Association, massages can help manage pain and anxiety related to pain. A 2014 study found that 59 participants with lower back pain who received massages had “significantly reduced” pain and their “level of disability showed significant improvement.” In addition, another 2014 study found that burn victims with painful scars found massages to help “decrease scar thickness, melanin (dark pigment), erythema (skid reddening), and TEWL (transepidermal water loss).”

Benefits for Cancer Patients
The AMTA commissioned a study published in 2016 that found that massages “show promise for reducing pain intensity/severity, fatigue, and anxiety in cancer populations.” A 2003 study with 58 women diagnosed with stage I or II breast cancer found that massages also increased dopamine, the “happy” brain chemical, and white blood cells, which helps boost the immune system. The American Cancer Society has a guide on massage therapy during cancer treatment.

Headaches
Tension headaches, which can be caused by anxiety, depression, little sleep, stress or jaw clenching, can be relieved by massage. According to AMTA, research on massages have shown that, in relation to tension headaches, they can help with headache frequency, duration and intensity, and they can help reduce perceived pain, anger status, anxiety and medication usage.

Digestion
The Mayo Clinic states that massages can also help with digestion. A quick Google search reveals a number of DIY abdominal massages to help relax muscles in the abdomen to help stimulate digestion. Here is a helpful abdominal massage guide from The Guardian.

Other ailments massages can help with:
Anxiety & depression, stressfibromylagia, insomnia, blood pressure, range of motion, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, cardiovascular health and more.

Here are the different types of massages you can get and what they’re good for: 
Chair massage: Relaxation and muscle tension
Swedish massage: Relaxation and muscle tension
Deep tissue: Muscle strain
Shiatsu: Creating energy flow and removing blockages
Thai massage: General relaxation, muscle tension and energy flow
Sports massage: Increase flexibility and helping prevent injuries
Hot stone massage: Relaxation, pain relief and improved circulation
Neuromuscular therapy massage: Helps with circulation, posture, nerve compression and muscle tension