For Years, Massage Therapy was seen as just a pampering treatment for women.
Finally, that stigma is fading away!
Because massage used to be reserved for spas or beauty salons, most men believed it was a luxury that was only meant for women. With massage therapy finally being recognized as an effective healthcare treatment, men are discovering the numerous benefits to receiving regular sessions. In fact, massage therapy is ideal for improving men's overall health.
1. Decrease Pain
Men are often engaged in strenuous physical activity, whether it's playing sports, going to the gym, or doing yard work. All of these activities are rough on the body, especially muscle tissue. Massaging the muscle can reduce cramping, relieve stubborn "knots", and relax tight areas of muscle and connective tissue. Manipulating these areas not only feels good while getting the massage, it can relieve pain for weeks, sometimes even for months!
2. Reduce Injuries and Increase Strength
These two go hand in hand. Massage reduces injuries by increasing the "pliability" of muscle tissue, which is different from "flexibility". Flexibility is how far your muscle can stretch, pliability indicates how quickly you can reach your full stretch. Do you find that you need to warm up for a long time before you get to your full range of motion? You may have poor muscle pliability, which increases your risk of severe injuries such as tears, sprains, and strains.
Massage will manipulate, relax, and stretch the muscle tissue as well as increase blood flow and reduce cramping. Together, these techniques reduce the chance of injury, increase strength, and improve endurance and athletic performance.
3. Relieve Stress
Unfortunately, we still live in a world where men are encouraged to hide their true feelings. Yet men have just as many emotional burdens as women, and research shows that bottling them up or ignoring them is unhealthy.
How does massage help? Relaxing the body and muscle tissue slows the heart rate and activates your body's parasympathetic nervous system (think "rest and digest"). This helps reduce the stress responses that can have damaging effects on the body.
4. Lower Blood Pressure
Heart disease is the number one killer of men, and many don't even realize there is a problem until it's too late! Anything that can have a positive effect on heart health is essential. Massage therapy not only reduces stress and improves circulation, but helps decrease pain and muscle cramping so you can lead a more active lifestyle.
5. Encourage a Healthy Lifestyle
One good habit usually leads to another. One of my favorite aspects of massage therapy is the incredible wellness journey it helps start. It is not uncommon for a client to begin coming in while suffering from chronic pain, and after a few weeks of regular treatment have them say, "I feel so good, I think I can start exercising again!"
And the effects usually don't stop there. Once someone is able to take control of their wellness for themselves, the healthier choices begin coming more naturally. Some quit smoking, or consult a nutritionist. Others realize they need psychotherapy or other health therapies. Sometimes, just feeling better physically or emotionally can change a person's entire outlook on themselves and their lives. It's a journey Licensed Massage Therapists are always humbled and honored to be a part of.