Here at the Advanced Wellness Centre in Richmond, VA, massage therapy is a huge component of how we serve the community. But why get a massage? Is it just about relaxation and some down time? Is it about “rubbing the spots that hurts?”
It is that and a lot more! This series of articles will get down deep, no pun intended, into the benefits of massage therapy.
One of the main benefits of massage is its effect on the brain and stress management system. The nervous system is the chief regulator of the other systems of the body, so massage can potentially affect all other systems. Certainly, there are local soft tissue benefits to be discussed more later (e.g. your therapist working on an injured shoulder or “tweaked” lower back), but what research also agrees upon are the beneficial impacts on the whole human being’s nervous and hormonal system. Indeed, we did not invent this idea – the role of touch, or “social grooming” is well established in the animal kingdom as a means of lowering stress hormones and improving endorphin (feel-good hormone) release. Regular massage can even improve feelings of loneliness, which is particularly important in our current stressful, isolated moment.
When our nervous system and hormonal system have shifted away from a stressful disposition, not only does life seem easier, but risks of chronic disease, mental decline, and inflammation tend to go down! And, along with that, some pain conditions tend to be more common in those who are at a higher level of psychological stress. This is because pain comes from the brain, ultimately, and social and psychological inputs certainly play a role. This means taking care of your brain might help in taking care of your back!
At Advanced Wellness Centre in Richmond, we want to move you from out of pain and into wellness, and massage may just play a role in every step along that journey, along with helping you improve your movement with new "MoveWell" program."
Reach out to one of our licensed therapists and/or doctors today! And stay tuned for part 2!