Regular massage can ease back pain and improve your range of motion. It can decrease medication dependence by draining and stimulating the lymphatic glands, which is the body’s natural defense system, enhancing your immunity.
Massage can help improve the muscles’ ability to get stronger by stimulating them and also improve the body’s largest organ, the skin. Increased joint flexibility, reduction of depression and anxiety, regeneration of tissue to improve scars and stretch marks are some other benefits.
When your body is massaged, you are getting oxygen and nutrients pumped to tissues and organs, thus improving circulation. It relaxes and softens injured, tired and overused muscles. It releases endorphins, which are the body’s natural painkillers. Massage can also enhance sleep quality, give you greater energy and reduce fatigue.
How often you should get a massage depends on your needs, your budget and your stress levels. Massage has significant benefits that are best experienced when you get massage regularly. Typically, once every week or two is ideal for keeping your muscle tissue pliable and in good shape, if you can afford it. If you are in chronic pain or have a special issue to address, you might need to come weekly (or even twice a week) until you feel better.
Once you’re feeling good, once a month is probably the minimum for maintaining the health of your tissue. If you start stretching the massages out too far, then your muscles can revert to their old patterns and you’ll have to start all over again to restore their suppleness and pliancy. Listen to your body, but don’t wait too long in an effort to save money.
If you’ve ever gotten a massage, whether at a spa or a sports medicine facility, your massage therapist would have instructed you to drink a lot of water when you got home. The reasons for this are two-fold.
Massages are dehydrating. Kneading and working muscle gets fluid pumping out of the soft tissue and into your circulatory system, where it heads toward your kidneys.
Also, there is the issue of metabolic waste, which is produced by muscles in the course of everyday function. When your muscles are tight or you’ve got a major knot, it constricts circulation in those areas, inhibiting the body’s ability to flush out this waste. And, since tight muscles are probably what prompted you to book a massage appointment in the first place, chances are you’ve got some compromised circulation happening. Massage relaxes the tension, releasing the circulatory pathways and allowing nitrogenous metabolic waste to dump into the system. Drinking provides your kidneys with the water they need to effectively eliminate the newly liberated waste.