Hello, and welcome to this month’s articles! Summer’s nearly here... If you’re increasing your physical activity as the weather turns nicer, be sure to plan your next massage. You’ll feel so much better, and your body will thank you!
This month’s featured articles discuss how massage can help you to reduce stress (and who doesn’t want less stress?) and to improve your overall body function, which can support your efforts to normalize your weight, etc.
The second article comes from India, so you can get a sense that everywhere you look, people are seeking to improve their lives with regular massage.
Staying healthy and feeling your best can make each day of your life more enjoyable. And if you can maintain your level of health, you may well reduce the likelihood of serious illness in the months and years to come. It’s an investment in your future well being, as well as a blessing to those special folks in your life who rely on you.
Enjoy your summer; see you soon for your next appointment!
Massage Therapy for Handling Stress
Sponsored by Johns Hopkins Medicine
Nearly 50 percent of women reported a rise in stress levels over the past five years. Chronic stress contributes to a range of health problems, including mental health disorders, heart disease and obesity.
Several studies show that relaxation helps improve gene expressions that control the flight-or-fight response in the body and activate the “rest-and-digest” part of the brain (parasympathetic nervous system). Even during the busiest day, we can find moments where we use gratitude, deep breath and enjoyable music to bring relaxation response.
Therapeutic Massage— While many of us think of massage as a rare, indulgent treat, studies indicate massage helps treat a variety of stress-related disorders, including anxiety and insomnia. In addition to general wellness, massage is used for a variety of health-related conditions, including chronic pain relief, reducing stress, increasing relaxation and boosting mood.
Massage is found to be helpful both physically and emotionally. The rubbing soothes sore muscles and releases tension in the body and mind. Massaging muscles and soft tissue stimulates the nerves, increases blood flow and relieves stress in the muscles.
Massage is incredibly useful, particularly when facing a health challenge.
Managing stress is one of the most important ways to decrease inflammation and positively affecting long-term health. Unfortunately there is not one magic bullet that reverses stress, but a comprehensive mind-body plan is the most effective approach.
Rosanne Sheinberg, MD, and Harpreet Gujral, DNP, FNP-BC, direct the Integrative Medicine Center at Sibley Memorial Hospital in Washington, D.C.
How Can Massage Therapy Support Weight Loss?
It’s not a secret that losing weight is the combination of a healthy diet and regular exercise. The process is tough, but once you start seeing the results, it all feels worth it. Because weight loss is hard work, how can something as relaxing as a massage help you lose weight? Sounds like a dream, no? But some recent studies and health experts claim otherwise.
Massage for weight loss— Massage is a wonderful way to energize your body, de-stress and unwind. A good massage can have a stimulating effect on your digestive organs and thus can ease constipation, nausea and allow your body to make the most from the nutrition it gets. It boosts your metabolism, blood circulation and helps relax the sore muscles after a workout. This creates a stronger version of your body, thus a perfect backdrop for your weight loss.
How does fat burning massage work? A study compared the effect of three different types of massages—mechanical massages, manual lymphatic drainage and connective tissue manipulation on different body parts. The results: fat loss happened in all the cases as indicated by abdominal fat thickness, thigh circumference and thigh fat thickness. But the difference was not big enough to indicate “weight loss.” Still, these massages could complement your weight loss.
How is massage beneficial? Massage is a good way to relax, unwind and rejuvenate, but massage alone is not enough for achieving weight loss results. But by keeping your digestive system, blood circulation and metabolism healthy and in good working order, massage creates a perfect backdrop for weight loss.
Massage can supplement exercise— A good massage after a workout can be the perfect sidekick. This is why fitness trainers indulge in massages so often. According to the American Massage Therapy Association, massages complement exercise. Massages help in lowering the muscle tension, increasing your range of motion, reducing swelling, decreasing muscle stiffness and even preventing injury. All this creates a stronger version of your body, allowing you to work out harder.
Massage improves blood circulation and metabolism— Good blood circulation helps in proper nutrient supply throughout your body. Connective tissue manipulation is a massage where soft tissues are manipulated to improve circulation. Better circulation leads to better metabolism, which helps you burn more calories.
Massage improves your digestion— Massage eases constipation, nausea and helps gastrointestinal issues. And when your digestive health is optimal, your body can make the most of the nutrients it gets and thus help you lose weight.
Kindness and a generous spirit go a long way.
And a sense of humor. It's like medicine—very healing.
— Max Irons
The content of this article is not designed to replace professional medical advice. If you’re ill, consult a physician.
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