There are many more benefits to the body, mind and spirit that massage therapy provides, beyond relaxation and rejuevanation. The obvious whole body benefits include reducing stress and pain, decreasing depression, increasing circulation, attentiveness,neuromuscular function and vigor, enhancing the immune function, improving sleep, mood, body image and lifestyle habits and increasing physical well-being. What you may not know is the many other benefits on other systems of the body:
Muscular System and Connective Tissue: Relieves muscle tension, soreness and fatigue (Note: a fatigued muscle recuperates 20% after 5 minutes of rest and 100% after 5 minutes of massage), increases range of motion, improves performance, balance and posture, lengthens and re-educates muscles memory (neuromuscular re-education), tones weak muscles and reduces the appearance of cellulite and improves scar formation.
Nervous and Endocrine System: Reduces stress, anxiety and stress hormone levels (Cortisol, Norepinephrine, Epinephrine, etc..), increases good hormone levels (Dopamine, Serotonin), changes brain wave activity to promote relaxation, decreases pain and depression.
Cardiovascular System: Improves circulation and dilates blood vessels, decreases blood pressure, promotes removal of waste products from the tissues, replenishes nutritive materials to tissues, reduces heart and pulse rate, increases oxygen saturated blood, and increases red and white blood cell count.
Lymphatic and Immune Systems: Promotes lymph circulation, reduces inflammation and edema (swelling), increases lyphocyte count, and increases the number and function of natural killer cells (strengthens immune system).