Soft flute music over the sound of a babbling stream, essential oils diffusing in the corner next to a funky-shaped floor lamp, and a nap unlike any other you’ve ever had; Massage. Right? Well, yes! But my-oh-my can it be used for so many other incredible benefits! Below you will find 3 benefits to massage that you never knew you needed and how they can be so beneficial for any human with a body (or horse- since we’re learning new things, equine massage is a thing)!
1. Lymphatic massage: your lymphatic system does not have it’s own pump. In order for your body to rid itself of all things lymph-related you have to incorporate something that gets your blood flow moving. Exercise in an excellent way to get your lymphatic system going. Massage is also an amazing option to help reduce swelling from the lymphatic system! “Hyperemia” is the phrase we use when blood flow circulation creates a flush tint to the skin. It’s during this process of blood circulation that the lymphatic system is stimulated and circulated. Lymphatic drainage massage is a modality in and of itself with focus on specific movements towards and away from the lymph nodes, however any kind of massage is great for the lymphatic system as any kind of massage promotes circulation.
2. Stress relief: this one seems a bit more straightforward, the exciting part is that stress is stored physically in the body and massage can not only help you relax by taking a moment for yourself to decompress, but working out the knots and the good stuff is actually physically releasing the stress that your body is holding. Emotional release in all forms-such as laughter or a foot wiggle or even getting emotional are all extremely common responses to your body releasing the stress it’s been holding and only add to the physical release of the tension in the muscles the stress has been causing.
3. Headaches and migraines: there are 26 muscles in the neck. 26! The muscles in the neck are incredible! They do so much more than just turn the head. The neck muscles help swallow, tilt/turn the head, lift the rib cage in inhalation, and so much more. There are several muscles that attach to areas in the head and face that create tension there when tight. A large majority of my clients that experience chronic migraines and headaches have very tense neck muscles. Add to it any kind of trap tension and it’s a recipe for a headache! Working out the tightness in the neck and upper back has incredible lasting effects on headaches both chronic and sporadic.
Take care of yourselves! Stress from this crazy year mixed with typical holiday stress is no small joke! Whether you’re experiencing stress, headaches, or swelling due to a deficiency in circulation, massage is an excellent tool in your tool box for living a happy and healthy life! The benefits are so beyond anything we’ve discussed today; high blood pressure, diabetes, chronic pain, injury rehabilitation, mobility, you name it! There’s a massage for it!
As always, we hope this helps! If you have any questions or if you would like to read about certain topics, feel free to send us an email at TeamSP@SportsPerformancePT.com.
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