• Did You Know? 5 Unique Benefits of Massage Therapy

    by Andrew Castellanos, L.Ac.
    on May 3rd, 2018

Massage therapy is one of the most versatile, most effective, and most comforting forms of treatment available. Everyone enjoys a good massage, and many of the benefits are pretty commonly understood. Massages are relaxing, for instance. They relieve structural issues in the body, and can treat muscle imbalance.

But beyond these familiar benefits, massage therapy has a number of other positive impacts on a person’s wellness, too. Here are five unique and often unexpected benefits of massage therapy that help you to achieve better health, both mentally and physically, as a way of supporting lifelong wellness.

Relieves Postural Stress

Lots of people spend most of their days sitting or standing, but rarely a good balance between the two, and a variety of postures. Whatever work you do, odds are it involves some sort of repetitive motion, or getting locked into the same postures day after day. Maybe that’s sitting at a computer desk, being run off your feet, standing at a counter, or whatever else it is you do each day, but for most people, postural stress is a very real problem.

That’s where massage therapy can help. More than just treating injury or realigning muscles after athletic training, a massage therapist is able to realign the whole musculoskeletal system in order to restore balance especially after experiencing postural stress.  This has preventative medicinal benefits as well, since a body that has regained postural balance or mobility is more likely to maintain that balance even under stress. Postural problems are cumulative, and massage therapy is great way to head them off at the source.

Helps Mitigate Anxiety and Depression

Anxiety and depression are extremely prevalent in Western society. However you attribute the cause, it's fair say that these conditions are responsible for the vast majority of mental ill health in most people, and many people are hesitant  to pursue psychopharmacological options.

That's where massage therapy can come in handy.  By creating a calming atmosphere, and through the healing benefits of skin-to-skin contact, as well as the practical analgesic effects of massage itself, massage therapy is able to alleviate some of the symptoms of instances of anxiety and depression. This sort of treatment can have all sorts of practical benefits toward improving a person's overall Wellness.

Improves Sleep

Massage therapy can improve sleep in several different ways. First, it relaxes the patient end provides a relief from stress and the feeling of calm, which can help a person to fall asleep more quickly, sleep more soundly, and experience fewer sleep disturbances. In addition, massage therapy relieves postural stress, structural abnormalities, and  localized pain so that a person will have an easier time finding and maintaining a comfortable sleeping position.

Eases Muscle Pain and Improves Circulation

A trained massage therapist is able to isolate specific muscles or muscle groups to treat localized pain. Beyond that, as the different layers of musculature are stimulated and the body end of the extremities are thoroughly worked, the body begins to open itself up more freely. As the body loosens, overall circulation is improved.

This improvement to circulation can decrease localized inflammation, as well as reduce fatigue and improve energy levels. It also helps to speed healing after injury or increase immune response when treating or recovering from disease or ailment. Basically, by opening up the body, the flow of everything from oxygen and nutrients to hormonal markers is improved, making the body more cohesive, efficient, and functional.

Boosts White Blood Cell Count and Immune Response

As well as reducing levels of cortisol and vasopressin, massages have other tangible chemical benefits. Recent studies have confirmed that massage increases blood levels of lymphocytes or white blood cells, which play a key role in the body's immune response. Moreover, by reducing stress hormones and lowering blood pressure the body is better able to target its immune response to ward off disease or infection more efficiently.

Advanced Health’s Acupuncturist and Massage Therapist, Andrew Castellanos

Massage therapy helps the body to work more harmoniously, more smoothly, and more effectively, in all areas of life. It’s a wonderful treatment for a variety of ailments, and its benefits are long-lasting and immediately beneficial. Massage therapy can be a supplemental part of the healing for almost any condition, and can mend or repair a wide variety of diseases and disorders all on its own.

Whatever your condition, a professional and licensed massage therapist can help.

Andrew Castellanos is the on-call acupuncturist for the San Francisco Ballet, Alonzo King’s Lines Ballet and the Impala Racing Team.  He has worked with Olympians, MLB players, marathon runners, tri-athletes, college football players and rugby players. His main focus is getting injured clients back to living life and preventing future injury.  Andrew combines a mix between massage, cupping, acupuncture, and laser therapy dependent on the particular client's needs, following Andrew's intuition of what will best promote the client’s wellness. Andrew's love of the work he does, and his dedication to healing his clients, makes him one of Advanced Health’s best pracitioners. As well as optimal well-being for each client, the overall goals of Andrew's therapy are balance, increased flexibility, relaxation, and mental wellness.

Learn more about Andrew's practice and book an appointment at http://acuforathletics.com.

Author Andrew Castellanos, L.Ac. Andrew Castellanos, L.Ac. is a licensed acupuncturist with a Masters Degree in Traditional Chinese Medicine from AIMC in Berkeley.

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