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Massage Therapy Relieves Stress
       
 Stress relief is one of the first benefits that come to mind when thinking of massage therapy. It's also a key component for anyone trying to achieve a healthier lifestyle. Clinical studies show that even a single 1 ½ -hour session can significantly lower heart rate, cortisol levels and insulin levels-all of which help reduce stress through massage therapy.
Taking care of your body should be at the top of your priorities. By adding therapeutic massage to your routine now, you'll feel, look and simply be healthier far into the future. In fact, stress relief alone can improve your vitality and state of mind. So what better way to prep for a long, happy life than a relaxing, therapeutic massage?
If you're looking to add stress-relieving massage to your wellness program, know that a Massage Envy membership can be a powerful ally when combating daily pressures and anxiety. In addition to stress relief, ongoing massage therapy can reduce pain, increase energy levels and improve overall physical and mental performance. Our experienced, professional therapists at Massage Envy and Massage Envy Spa locations nationwide customize every massage session to address your individual needs.
Benefits of Stress Relief
Lowers Heart Rate
Lowers Blood Pressure
Relaxes Muscles
Increases Endorphins

Massage Therapy Encourages Relaxation
    The body can produce an unhealthy buildup of hormones when we're stuck in traffic or meeting a work deadline. Pent-up levels of the "stress hormone" cortisol can lead to sleeplessness, headaches and even digestive problems.
Enter massage therapy. Massage has been shown to decrease cortisol in the body. This allows the body to enter a relaxing rest-and-recovery mode­: an effect that lingers long after the massage is over. In fact, massage triggers a host of brain chemistry responses that can result in lasting feelings of relaxation, lowered stress and improved mood.
Massage Envy and Massage Envy Spa offer a variety of relaxing massage therapy styles and techniques to help kick start the relaxation process. If you enjoy relaxing massage therapy, know that a Massage Envy membership can be a powerful ally in your wellness program. In addition to encouraging relaxation, ongoing massage therapy can reduce pain, increase energy levels and improve overall physical and mental performance. Massage Envy and Massage Envy Spa professional therapists customize every massage session to address your individual needs.
Benefits of Improved Relaxation
Improves mental outlook
Allows for better handling of pressure
Reinforces positive attitude
Promotes relaxed states of mental alertness
Enhances calm and creative thinking

Massage Therapy Improves Posture
From board meetings to bunko groups, there's a lot of tension these days-as in neck and back tension. "Our necks and backs hurt, and poor posture is the No. 1 culprit," says Janice Novak, M.S., author of the book, Posture, Get it Straight! (Perigee Trade, 1999).
When you hunch forward, your body isn't properly aligned. "Not only does poor posture look bad, but it forces some muscles to work incredibly hard all day long while others get weaker," Novak says. Poor posture can put you in other slumps, too. "When you slouch, you're pressing down on your internal organs, which affects digestion," Novak says, adding that circulation and breathing capacity can take a hit too.
Unlike other bad habits, poor posture can be relaxing to correct. Why? Because massage can help get your body back on track. Allowing the body to reinforce healthy and natural movements can be one of the most beneficial aspects of massage therapy.
Massage can relax and loosen the muscles made sore by bad posture, allowing your body to position itself in its natural-and pain-free-posture.
With ongoing massage the muscles are loosened and relaxed-joints have greater freedom and pressure points are relieved. This allows the body to position itself in a healthy and natural posture, therefore avoiding the movements and positions developed over time as a reaction to the pain. If ongoing massage is of interest to you, please visit out Massage Envy membership page.
Benefits of Improved Posture
Muscles are loosened and relaxed
Joints enjoy greater freedom
Pressure points are relieved

Massage Therapy Improves Blood Circulation
The long-term effects of massage therapy are more than skin deep. Better blood circulation is part of the chain reaction that occurs in the body as a result of receiving massage therapy on a regular basis.
According to Eileen Cahalane of Alive Magazine:
A person with poor circulation can suffer from a variety of discomforts including pooling of the fluid in the extremities (like the toes), cold hands and feet, fatigue and achiness created by an accumulation of lactic acid in the muscles. Good circulation brings damaged, tense muscles the oxygen rich blood they need to heal.
Massage facilitates circulation because the pressure created by the massage technique actually moves blood through the congested areas. The release of this same pressure causes new blood to flow in. The squeezing and pulling also flushes lactic acid from the muscles and improves the circulation of the lymph fluid which carries metabolic waste away from muscles and internal organs, resulting in lower blood pressure and improved body function.
Improved blood circulation is just one more benefit of massage therapy. Combined with a balanced diet and regular exercise, massage can be a powerful, natural ally for a healthier lifestyle.
Benefits of Improved Circulation
Enhances blood flow
Naturally lowers blood pressure
Improves body function

Massage Therapy Lowers Blood Pressure
High blood pressure has more misconceptions than nearly any other medical condition. Here are some common misconceptions according to the American Heart Association:
Myth: High blood pressure has many symptoms
Fact: High blood pressure has NO symptoms. That's why it's often called the silent killer.
Myth: High blood pressure is a man's problem
Fact: High blood pressure can be anyone's problem. In fact, women need to be aware of certain things that may put them at greater risk than men
Myth: You don't need to have your high blood pressure checked until you reach middle age.
Fact: Children as young as six can have high blood pressure. It's a good idea to start having your blood pressure checked at an early age.
One effective way to stave off high blood pressure naturally is massage therapy. Long-term studies have shown that a consistent massage program can decrease diastolic and systolic blood pressure; decrease salivary and urinary cortisol stress-hormone levels; and lower sources for depression, anxiety and hostility.
If you or someone you know is looking for natural ways to help lower blood pressure, please visit our Massage Envy membership page to Learn More.
Benefits of Lower Blood Pressure
Lower depression, anxiety, and hostility
Keeps stress hormone levels under control
Low blood pressure can contribute to lowering the odds of having a heart attack, kidney failure, or a stroke

Massage Therapy Relaxes Muscles
We've all suffered from the soreness associated with an overly exuberant exercise session. But did you know that most Americans experience neck, back and muscle pain from another less-strenuous activity? Surprisingly, it's sitting. Chronic back pain, which is the second most common cause of disability and a top reason for missing work, can be the result of improper posture while sitting and standing.
Additionally, carrying extra weight, poor posture, and repetitive or overuse movements can put strain on the back and other sensitive areas. This strain often results in spasms, tense muscles and pain in your upper back, hips, glutes and hamstrings. So the question is: what relaxes muscles?
Massage (or muscular therapy) gets to the root of the pain by relaxing tense muscles and increasing flexibility. . Massage also encourages blood flow to the affected muscles, which can bring increase oxygen and nutrients,. All of this activity reduces swelling and stiffness and increases flexibility to help eliminate pain. Muscular therapy also releases endorphins and boosts your levels of serotonin and dopamine, all hormones your body produces to help you feel good, promote healing and pain management, and calm your nerves.
Benefits of Relaxed Muscles
Reduces pain that results from tense muscles
Aids in muscle relaxation
Relieves muscle tension and stiffness

Massage Therapy Improves Flexibility
Muscle injuries are more common now than they were 50 years ago. That's not because we're exercising harder. It's because we're more sedentary. What's worse, as we age our joints tend to tighten, making range of motion and flexibility even more restricted.
Massage therapy is a beneficial treatment for maintaining and improving flexibility and motion. By working on muscles, connective tissues, tendons, ligaments, and joints, regular massage can improve your flexibility and range of motion, keeping your joints more fluid and making them less injury prone.
As you can see, massage is a great way to relax stressed muscles, stimulate blood flow and improve flexibility. So is daily stretching.
One benefit of stretching is an improvement of blood circulation, which aids in illness recovery and disease prevention. Elongating muscles will also improve posture and your joints' range of motion. Stretching and massage are even more important for someone who is physically active. Loose muscles are less prone to strains and sprains during a workout, according to ACE.
Incorporating massage and stretching into a fitness routine also will help reduce soreness after a workout. Stretching beforehand will allow greater freedom of movement when exercising and longer workout periods because it helps prevent a buildup of lactic acid in your blood. Regular post-workout massages can then aid in the recovery and relaxation process.
Benefits of Improved Flexibility and Range of Motion
Stimulates the production of the body's natural lubricants to keep flexibility at a maximum
Can enhance athletic performance
Helps prevent active lifestyle injuries by staying flexible

Promote Deeper and Easier Breathing
One of the telltale signs of anxiety and stress can be constricted breathing. When the body starts to take shallow short breaths instead of breathing at a natural pace, it is near impossible for one to reach a relaxed state. Part of the problem is that the muscles around the rib cage and abdomen may have tightened, constricting air.
Massage plays an important role in training the body how to relax and help improve breathing. Respiratory issues, such as allergies, sinus problems, asthma and bronchitis, are one group of conditions that can benefit from massage therapy. In fact, the positive impact massage can have on respiratory function has been shown through research, says Anne Williams, education program director at Associated Bodywork & Massage Professionals.
Many muscles in the front and back of the upper body are accessory respiratory muscles, she explains. "When any of these muscles are chronically tight and shortened, they can restrict normal breathing and disrupt breathing patterns," she explains. "Massage techniques to lengthen and relax these muscles improve breathing capacity and function."
Massage therapy can not only improve breathing, but also posture. This can lead to an opening of the chest area, as well as the structural alignment and rib cage expansion needed for optimal lung function, she adds. Plus, when the parasympathetic nervous system responds to massage your breathing rate slows and becomes deep and regular.
A particularly beneficial way of relieving respiratory issues through massage therapy is tapotement, a rhythmic, percussive stroke used in Swedish massage. When performed on the back, along with vibration and shaking, tapotement can loosen mucus in the lungs and increase airway clearance for better lung function, Williams says.
Not only will massage therapy help relax internal muscles, it can also help individuals become aware of their daily stress levels. Once the body recognizes what true relaxation feels like, the mind can then easily recreate it before stress becomes chronic and damaging. This can also help you enjoy a more balanced life.
Benefits of Improving Breathing
Controls breathing in an effort to aid relaxation
Allows the mind to re-create relaxation before stress becomes chronic or damaging
Increases energy level

Massage Therapy Relieves Tension Headaches
In the United States alone, more than 60% of the 45 million Americans who suffer from chronic headaches suffer from migraines. The disorder can be debilitating and typically results from high stress levels and/or lack of sleep. So it's no wonder why so many people want to know how to relieve tension headaches.
Massage has two roles when it comes to treating migraines and tension related headaches:
In a proactive role, massage treatments are performed on a regular basis to help the body maintain an optimal level of relaxation and stress-relief. This approach reduces the chances of migraine attacks and tension headaches significantly by relaxing muscle spasms and trigger points.
In a comfort role, massage is done to ease the pressure brought on during a migraine or tension related headache. By focusing on the neck, shoulders, and head, massage can decrease the pain and discomfort brought on by migraine or tension headaches.
A recent study showed that massage therapy recipients exhibited fewer migraines and better sleep quality during the weeks they received massage, and the three weeks following, than did participants that did not receive massage therapy. Another study found that in adults with migraine headaches, massage therapy decreased the occurrence of headaches, sleep disturbances and distress symptoms. It also increased serotonin levels, believed to play an important role in the regulation of mood, sleep and appetite.
Benefits of Relieving Tension-Related Headaches
Decreases occurrences of tension headaches, sleep disturbances and distress symptoms
Allows one to maintain a level of relaxation and stress-relief, reducing the chances of stress induced migraines
Massage for headaches can also reduce muscle spasms and trigger points

Massage Therapy Strengthens the Immune System
Regular therapeutic massage sessions provide significant benefits beyond the immediate relaxation we enjoy. People who experience high levels of stress tend to get sick more than others. Combine stress with lack of sleep and poor nutrition, and our immune system's ability to naturally protect itself against bacteria and infection is greatly reduced. So the question is: What are the benefits of massage on immune system?
Clinical studies have indicated that regular massage not only helps alleviate stress, but can naturally increase the immune system's cytotoxic capacity (the activity level of the body's natural "killer cells") and decrease the number of T-cells, which improves the body's immune functioning overall. In one study by Gail Ironson, M.D., HIV positive men were given 45 minute massages five days a week, for a month. They showed an increase in serotonin and an increase in cells that are viewed as the first line of defense in the immune system.
Benefits of Strengthening the Immune System
Increases the body's natural killer cells
Aids in the fight against bacteria and infection
Naturally enhances the body's ability to get nourishment to important areas
Helpful Wellness Tip: Massage therapy may be a great addition to your exercise program. Just like regular exercise can keep your muscles strong, regular massage can help keep your immune system performing at its peak.

Massage Therapy Improves Post-Operative Surgical Rehabilitation
An important aspect of any surgical procedure is the post rehabilitation recovery process. It's during this process that natural movement is re-learned, and freedom of movement is re-enforced. Massage plays an important role as a supplement to standard rehabilitation procedures after surgery.
Spine surgeon Johnny C. Benjamin explains how massage can help promote healing.
"Massage is great in helping to bring blood and nutrients to the affected area to repair the soft tissue. Massage also can help break up scar tissue and keep the muscles supple so less scar tissue develops in the first place."
By increasing circulation while relaxing the muscles, massage can help the body pump more oxygen and nutrients into tissues and vital organs. This allows the surgical rehabilitating area(s) to become more flexible and heal at an accelerated rate.
Even when there's no injury, massage can helps athletes of all levels improve their flexibility and muscle suppleness. Our professional massage therapists can also stretch the muscles in trouble areas, promoting increased flexibility when the body is warm and more elastic.
When you book your massage, request a therapist experienced in sports massage, and ask that special attention be paid to any injured areas.
Benefits of Improved Post-Operative Surgical Rehabilitation
Assists the body in pumping more oxygen and nutrients into tissues and vital organs
Accelerates the surgical recovery process
Aids in improving joint movement and flexibility

Massage Therapy Improves Rehabilitation After Injury
Rehabilitating any injury can be a tiring and frustrating process. While the main goal of physical rehabilitation is to increase strength and flexibility, it often ends before the area has been returned to its full pre-injury state.
Massage plays an important role as a supplement to standard injury rehabilitation procedures. By encouraging circulatory movement and relaxing muscles, massage helps the body pump more oxygen and nutrients into tissues and vital organs. This allows the rehabilitating injured area(s) to become more flexible and heal at an accelerated rate.
Massage therapy is also used to aid in pain management as the injury is nursed back to full strength. By committing to a continual massage program, you can accelerate the recovery process after injuries are sustained. If you or someone you know has sustained an injury, a Massage Envy membership might be beneficial.
Benefits of Improved Rehabilitation
Supplements standard injury rehabilitation procedures
Helps the body pump more oxygen and nutrients into tissue and vital organs
Accelerates the rehabilitation process
Helpful Wellness Tip:
Your massage therapist wants to help you feel better and the only way he or she can do that is if you disclose information about any ailments you have. Massage Envy therapists conduct an intake interview with your before your service to determine any possible precautions to massage therapy and recommendations for types of massage and techniques.

 

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Last modified: 10/06/14
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