Less Known Benefits of A Good Massage
If you’re all tense and knotted up, massage can certainly help you feel better. But your body can benefit from a good rubdown in more ways than that.
Better Bowel Movement
Constipation, according to research featured in the International Journal of Nursing Studies, can be relieved by a good massage. In the study, 60 individuals with constipation were divided in two sets, where one was given laxatives and the other received laxatives and abdominal massage. Eight weeks later, the massage group reported better bowel movement and less abdominal pain that the pure-laxative group.
Stronger Immune Defenses
Massage therapy has also been found to improve a person’s immunity. A Cedars-Sinai Medical Center study showed that massage increased the number of circulating white blood cells or lymphocytes, which are the body’s defense agents against infections.
Low Back Pain Control
Chronic low back pain is notorious for being hard to treat, and new guidelines tell us that reaching for the pill isn’t always the best thing to do. A drug-free way that actually works to manage the condition is massage. Around half of people with chronic low back pain who had 10 rounds of massage reported significant improvements in their pain, according to a study published in the Pain Medicine journal. Moreover, the effects were sustained, with three-fourths of the subjects continuing to experience the improvement for up to 24 weeks following the 12th session.
The University of Miami School of Medicine also conducted its own study of 30 adults who had chronic low back pain, where those who got half-hour massages twice a week for five weeks, had less problems sleeping and even enjoyed a dramatic improvement in their quality of sleep. The research believe that less aches bring higher-quality shuteye, considering that massage also lessened the pain.
After a nice massage, your “feeling better” won’t only be in your head – even your blood pressure can also take a dip. Based on a study, Swedish massage therapy for just 10-15 minutes three times a day can give you up to a 12-mm Hg drop in your systolic blood pressure, says a The same study indicates that such effect can go on for up to three days after every round.
Post-Exercise Soreness Prevention
Lastly, if you usually feel very sore after a tough workout, massage can end this problem. A study featured in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research found that after ten minutes of massaging the affected muscle, soreness can be reduced significantly. If massage isn’t possible after your workout, keep moving in what they call “active rest” – for example, ten minutes of shoulder shrugs – to get the same soreness-reducing effect.