Taking Time to Regenerate
Last week was really long. I worked 48 hours at my day job in front of a computer screen. Those extra eight hours during the week, coupled with the time adjustment from day light savings (boo) really took a toll. By the end of the week my body was aching and I was just exhausted!
I decided to take time out on Saturday for a massage and booked one last minute. While reluctant to lose a “productive” hour on my weekend, I listened to the little voice in my head that always nags at me to relax, and drove over to the wellness center in my yoga pants and sweatshirt, no makeup, still a little frazzled from the stresses of the week.
I always get a sharp pain in my neck when I am extra stressed (huh – wonder if this is where that saying comes from?) so I asked the massage therapist to focus here and on my shoulders. And that she did — she worked all of the kinks in my neck, shoulders and upper back.
By the end of the hour I felt like a new person — so relaxed. I spent the rest of the afternoon and evening in a natural, euphoric high. The time I took out to relax and rejuvenate ended up making me even more productive, my mind less stressed and more focused. What had I been worrying about again?
This feeling was a strong memory in my body and mind this week and has beckoned me to look more into the health benefits of massage therapy.
Massage Therapy and the Immune System
There have been plenty of studies done that prove that consistent massage therapy improves your immune system, keeping it at peak performance. Some reasoning behind this is that it stimulates lymph flow — your body’s natural defense system.
Massage therapy has also been shown to increase lymphocytes — white blood cells that bear much of the responsibility within your immune system.
Massage therapy releases endorphins, which work as your body’s natural painkiller. It also boosts serotonin and dopamine — two feel good hormones. Who couldn’t use more of those? 🙂 This also helps quality of sleep, resulting in less fatigue and greater energy. Yes!
Massage therapy has been shown to reduce cortisol (the stress hormone) in your body and is said to lessen depression and anxiety.
After receiving consistent massage therapy sessions, some ladies report having less to no PMS symptoms — with decreased water retention and cramping. This sounds good 🙂
Massage therapy increases circulation in your body, pumping oxygen and nutrients into tissues and vital organs. Measured brain activity after a massage therapy session reveals improved attention and focus.
On the Positive Side?
I definitely felt the benefits described above. I feel so much better this week! So much so that I am considering springing for another massage this weekend, LOL.
After looking more into the benefits of massage and the immune system (which I want to strengthen to fight off endometriosis and Hashimoto’s), I am looking into my budget to see how I can make massage therapy a regular part of my life.
When I consider what I paid for the ultrasound I had on my thyroid last month…. I realize that I could have had three massages! LOL. Massage therapy is a health investment and I believe one worth making.
I think there is great healing power within human touch. Why not add it into the plan to heal the pain?
Do you get massage therapy regularly? Has massage helped?
I’d love to hear from you in the comment section 🙂