Self-care is more than a buzz word!
The term ‘self-care’ has become quite the buzz word lately where women are encouraged to take more bubble baths, read books, and get massages. But what they don’t report is that massage therapy goes way beyond glamorized, feel-good ‘self-care’ but into the treatment of disease.
Self-care to ease your anxiety
A group of 47 participants who were diagnosed with generalized anxiety were split into two groups – the first group received light touch, while the second received Swedish massage twice per week for six weeks. After three weeks, the group that received Swedish massage started to report improvement in their anxiety, and after the full six weeks of treatment they reported significant reduction in feelings of worry, tension, fear, insomnia, and restlessness.
Self-care to lift your mood
If you feel like your mood is lifted after you get a massage – it’s not your imagination. In addition to pharmaceuticals, and/or holistic treatments, working towards dispelling the depression fog can be helped by massage therapy. A collection of studies showed that patients reported significant improvement in their mood, and reduction of their depressive symptoms.
Self-care to sleep soundly
If you’re experiencing insomnia, or the inability to get quality sleep, you may want to look to massage therapy to increase neurotransmitters that help promote sleep. Studies have shown that massage may increase the production of serotonin, or the ‘anti-depressant’ neurotransmitter. This is important because a metabolite of serotonin is necessary in the creation of melatonin – a hormone necessary to fall and stay asleep. Using a combination of massage and natural supplementation to increase serotonin and melatonin levels can be a highly effective treatment for patients suffering from insomnia.
Self-care to fight off sickness
Your immune system, your bodies defenders from invading virus’ and bacteria, can be boosted by many natural supplements such as vitamin C, vitamin D, and Echinacea but did you know that massage can do the same? A study showed that after one massage treatment, patient’s immune systems were boosted as well as chemical messengers that control inflammation were decreased. The same study found that massage decreased a chemical messenger involved in autoimmune disease. This shows us that massage may be a good compliment to other holistic therapies targeted at treating autoimmunity.
Self-care to decrease blood pressure
The recent change in the blood pressure guidelines has taught us that keeping a healthy blood pressure is important in reducing heart attack and stroke risk. Along with natural therapies such as Hibiscus tea, Hawthorne & magnesium, massage therapy can help to create overall relaxation and promote a healthy decrease in blood pressure.
Incorporating massage therapy into a well-rounded holistic treatment can not only promote an overall sense of relaxation and self-care, but can positively effect your bodies metabolic processes and be a valuable treatment of disease. Schedule one today!
Guest blog by Dr. Cassie Wilder of the Minneapolis Integrative Medicine Center. Minneapolis Integrative Medicine Center offers affordable, effective, lifestyle-based medicine that allows YOU, the patient, to be in continuous collaboration with your health-care provider. Visit her at www.mplsimc.com