Whether you or a loved one is suffering, there are powerful benefits of massage for relieving chronic pain.
Imagine starring at the ceiling for hours because the pain is so severe, you can’t relax enough to fall asleep. Now imagine trying to get up day after day, without much sleep and trying to function like a normal person. The world doesn’t slow down for your pain.
Add in the depression and anxiety that seems to accompany chronic pain and you have a triple whammy!
More and more women are seeking alternative therapies for their chronic pain. Today I want to share with you 4 Powerful Benefits of Massage for Relieving Chronic Pain.
There are several different types of massage to consider, but for right now, let’s stick to the benefits. Stay tuned, my next article will jump into the different types of massage.
4 Powerful Benefits of Massage for Relieving Chronic Pain
Improve sleep– When you’re suffering from chronic pain due to fibromyalgia or arthritis, getting a restful night’s sleep is at the top of the list. Sleep deprivation wreaks havoc on your body, escalating whatever symptoms you may already be facing.
Our bodies need rest to rejuvenate mentally and physically. After several nights without sleep, you may begin to notice, it’s harder to focus, your reflexes may be slower, and it’s getting harder and harder to deal with the day to day stressors. Then you wake up one morning and it looks like you’ve aged overnight! Yikes!!
If you’ve already been experiencing bouts of anxiety or depression, lack of sleep dramatically heightens your symptoms.
The National Institutes of Health has advised that massage therapy can reduce fatigue and improve sleep. Fatigue, a symptom so many women suffer with fibromyalgia pain.
Anne Williams, author of Spa Bodywork and Teaching Massage, says, “Massage helps people spend more time in deep sleep, the restorative stage in which the body barely moves, which reduces the neurotransmitter associated with pain.”
Lessens anxiety and improves mood– Massage goes way beyond stress relief. A regular massage with moderate pressure for as little as 15 minutes may lessen the symptoms of anxiety and depression.
Massage helps to relax the muscles in the body; flushing out toxins from the muscles and increasing those feel good hormones we all need more of. Drinking plenty of water before and after a deep tissue massage increases the benefits from this.
Increases range of motion– If you experience chronic pain, you know how stiff and sore your muscles can become. Massage is an effective treatment for increasing and maintaining flexibility and motion. Regular massage improves circulation to stiff sore muscles. The kneading of the muscles helps to release toxins and adhesions that could cause increased soreness, therefore reducing range of motion.
Lowers cortisol and boosts serotonin– Most of us are in some form of fight-or-flight mode just dealing with day to day activities. There’s way too much stress in the world today. Being in this state for long periods puts a strain on the adrenal glands. This is where the bodies stress hormone cortisol is produced. If your body is taxed daily, you’ll begin to notice an increase in your pain, more aches, fatigue, headaches, digestion issues and a whole host of others.
Regular massage has been shown to help reduce the bodies stress hormone cortisol and boost the bodies “happy” hormones, serotonin and dopamine.
Whole Body Approach
When dealing with chronic pain, it’s important to take a whole body approach. Doctors tend to only tackle the symptoms instead of digging deep to the root cause. I encourage you to take a holistic approach to your health and keep an open mind as to what alternative therapies could be benefiting you right now.
As we’ve just learned, massage is meant as a whole body approach. Many have described a feeling of calm and an overall sense of wellbeing afterwards.
Do you have the wrong mindset about massage, thinking it’s just something nice and relaxing to do for yourself every now and then? Sort of like taking a hot bath or lighting a candle when you’re a little stressed.
Massage can be far more beneficial than you ever imagined. I encourage you to look at your health holistically. Sure there are times when medication is needed, but if you can incorporate more natural therapies into the arsenal, you’ opening your mind to so many more options.
If you experience chronic pain from arthritis or fibromyalgia, please, talk with your doctor and see if massage could be part of your treatment.