WENDY CUNNINGHAM: Massage can support your wellness journey

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Massage therapy is an excellent healing method that has been around for centuries. It is a safe and direct approach to stimulating the muscular, circulatory, and nervous systems of the body through soft tissue manipulation. A treatment is intended to prevent and relieve pain and dysfunction, rehabilitate, and to enhance the overall well-being.

There are many different kinds of massage. They all involve systematically working the muscles and other soft tissues of the body to optimize the functioning of the various bodily systems. The massage techniques used by your therapist help you maintain your body’s relaxed state. Evidence shows that the more you receive therapeutic massage, the better you feel day to day.

Even if you are not suffering from a muscular injury or pain, massage is beneficial for promoting good health and wellness. It does this primarily by reducing stress, promoting easier and deeper breathing, and improving posture.

Stress is universal, but problems may arise if you never find relief from it. Chronic stress can lead to physical symptoms such as elevated blood pressure, chest pain, headache, upset stomach, and problems sleeping. Massage is known to lower blood pressure and heart rate, increase endorphin production, and help relax your muscles. Massage also releases dopamine and serotonin, which provides a feeling of calm relaxation.

Chronic stress can also cause increased cortisol levels which can lead to digestive problems, headaches, and sleeplessness. Luckily, massage is known to decrease cortisol levels. It helps your body enter into a relaxing rest-and-recovery mode. Massage is known to trigger some brain chemistry responses, resulting in feelings of relaxation, improved mood and lowered stress.

Constricted breathing is a sign of stress and anxiety. Once you begin taking shallow breaths, the muscles around your abdomen and rib cage may tighten, thus constricting your air. Massage can play a significant role in training your body to improve breathing and help you relax. Respiratory issues like asthma, allergies, and sinus problems can also improve with massage techniques that help lengthen and relax the accessory respiratory muscles, enhancing your breathing capacity and function.

Many types of tension can lead to poor posture. Hunching forward not only looks bad, but it also forces some of your muscles to work harder than they should while other muscles get weaker. If your muscles are sore because of improper posture, therapeutic massage can help you loosen and relax them. In turn, this will allow your body to position itself in its pain-free and natural posture.

Adding regular therapeutic massage to your health and wellness routine is a smart choice for your body and mind.

For more information, contact Dr. Wendy at Haydenhealth@gmail.com.

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