Valentine’s Day has come and gone. Maybe you treated a loved one to a massage or had one yourself. Massage is synonymous with relaxation and romance, but did you know it has real medical benefits?

There are seven types of massage, and any of them can be tailored to your specific needs. Here are five reasons to get a massage at any time of the year.

1. Massage is a Vital Part of Chronic Pain Treatment

Individuals who struggle with chronic back or joint pain can benefit from adding massage to their treatment plan. Other treatments like chiropractic adjustment and spinal decompression therapy treat the bones and joints, but massage focuses on soft tissues. Since chronic pain is often caused by more than one body system, addressing it from multiple angles can lead to better outcomes.

When an injury occurs in the spine or another joint, muscles around the injured area tighten in a protective response. This can cause knots, also known as trigger points, to form. Trigger points may last long after the injury that triggered them has healed. They can also be formed by habits like bad posture and may cause chronic pain. Addressing trigger points with a deep tissue massage may resolve long-standing pain and muscle stiffness. 

Chronically tight muscles can pull vertebrae out of alignment and make spinal adjustments difficult. A massage relaxes muscles, assists with adjustments, and may allow vertebrae to stay in alignment longer. Massage can also help with muscle spasms that occur as a side effect of adjustments or from an injury. 

Other types of chronic pain, such as frequent headaches or migraines, can be addressed with massages that use pressure points to target the nervous system. Shiatsu massage and reflexology are two examples. Reflexology uses pressure points on the feet and hands that are believed to affect other areas of the body. Shiatsu massage is a centuries-old Japanese technique that uses pressure points to relax tense muscles and ease pain. 

2. Massage Lifts Your Mood

When you think about a Valentine’s Day massage, the mood that probably comes to mind is “sensual.” But massage can benefit mood and mental health year-round. A relaxing massage, such as a Swedish-style massage, melts tension and stress and triggers your brain to release feel-good chemicals. 

Emotion is strongly linked to the body. When you feel anxious, you might get a stomachache. Stress can make your neck hurt, and depression can kill your appetite and make you feel sore all over. Massage addresses both the physical and chemical aspects of emotion. By relaxing your muscles, you send a message to the brain that you are OK. The kneading motions used in massage stimulate circulation, which triggers the release of feel-good chemicals and makes them more available to the body. A one-hour massage has been proven to reduce cortisol levels (the stress hormone). Several studies link chronically an increased risk of mental health problems, as well as heart problems and diabetes. 

Treating yourself to a message isn’t just an indulgence. It has a real effect on your body that will lift your mood and benefit your general health.


3. Regular Massages Boost Immunity

It’s flu season, and this year it seems like it’s every virus season. Keeping your immunity up has never been more important. 

Your immune system is modulated by hormones, blood flow, lymph flow, and cellular actions. We all have our favorite remedies that are supposed to help it function better. Many popular herbal remedies for immunity, such as Echinacea, work by flushing out lymph glands. The lymph system moves germ-fighting cells around your body and flushes out toxins. Unlike the circulatory system, lymph is not pumped. It depends on muscle and joint movement to get around. Sometimes this system becomes sluggish, especially in the winter when many of us are less active. Lymphatic drainage massage was designed to treat this problem.

Lymphatic massage uses long strokes to move lymph fluid toward organs that filter it. This helps to clear out blocked lymph nodes and free the body from toxic buildup. The result is a more effective immune system. 

4. Massage Assists With Recovery From Sports Injuries

Sports injuries and other joint, and back injuries require special care to heal well. Sports injury massage works to relieve pain from repetitive use and acute injuries. It can also speed healing and improve the range of motion. Sports injury massage combines techniques from traditional massage with compression, pressure point therapy, and joint mobilization to effectively improve function and relieve pain. 

Providers use massage on older injuries to assist with breaking up excess scar tissue that’s causing prolonged pain and stiffness. It also increases circulation to the injured area, which can reduce inflammation and swelling. 

Sports injury massage is often used alongside chiropractic care and other therapies to improve outcomes. 

5. Frequent Massages Lead to Better Sleep

A good night’s sleep can be difficult to get. Stress, tense or sore muscles, or a racing mind can interfere with restful sleep. Massage assists with sleep by reducing pain and muscle tension and making your body more chemically disposed toward deep sleep. High cortisol levels caused by chronic stress interfere with the sleep cycle. Since massage lowers cortisol levels and stimulates hormones that promote relaxation, it assists with chronic sleep problems caused by stress. 

To glean these benefits, we recommend regular massages, at least one per month. Incorporating massage into your self-care routine can help you get your ZZZs and feel more energized and motivated. 

Massage Therapy in Murfreesboro

At Stanlick Chiropractic, we employ seven massage therapists to serve your needs. We recommend massage to clients as part of a treatment plan for injury or chronic pain and to support wellness. Schedule a consultation today to discover the many benefits of massage therapy.