How Using a Massage Chair Can Improve Your Health
Is a massage chair good for you? There is a lot of research into massage therapy and its benefits, and if you have your own massage chair, you can enjoy them every day. Discover the many physical and mental benefits of massage below.
Reduce stress and anxiety while increasing productivity and alertness
Research has shown that massage reduces physical and psychological stress by lowering heart rate, blood pressure, cortisol levels, and insulin levels. Serotonin and dopamine are also released, which help the body overcome chronic or habitual and acute or short-term stress.
A prestigious study from the Touch Institute at the University of Miami School of Medicine found that 15 minutes in a massage chair enhanced measurable EEG brain activity in adults. In addition, these adults performed faster and more accurately on math tests after receiving the massage, while the group without massage showed no improvement.
Massage also increases the production of endorphins, your body’s natural “feel-good” chemicals. This helps balance the body’s emotions and more.
As mentioned above, massage therapy increases serotonin levels, which the brain can convert into the sleep hormone melatonin. So enjoy your chair before bed for a blissful night’s sleep!
Improve cardiovascular health
Decades of research have shown that massage can be a powerful complementary therapy to reduce stress (as mentioned above) and blood pressure, two major contributors to heart disease. In fact, massage has been shown to significantly reduce blood pressure and heart rate in women with high blood pressure. Another study found that massage therapy can reduce pain, anxiety, and muscle tension in heart surgery patients.
Manage lower back pain
According to the American Chiropractic Association, lower back pain is the single leading cause of disability worldwide. About 1 in 10 people suffer from the condition, and for many who develop back pain, it becomes a chronic condition.
A recent study found that massage can provide lasting relief for chronic low back pain, according to research published in the journal Pain Medicine. The researchers studied 104 people with persistent back pain who were referred by their doctors to licensed massage therapists. They conducted 10 sessions over a 12-week period, and practitioners were free to design a massage program specific to the patient, rather than all using the same technique.
Most subjects completed a questionnaire, and more than 50% reported a clinically meaningful improvement in their back pain. Several were even below the disability threshold, according to lead author Niki Munk, assistant professor of health sciences at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis. Also, many of these improvements persist. After three months, with no further massage sessions, 75% of those who reported initial improvement said they still felt better.
Tension headaches are usually caused by poor posture, a sore back or neck, or frequent strain on the eyes. Massage improves blood flow and relaxes tight muscles to reduce pain and tension. A study published in the International Journal of Neuroscience found that massage can reduce distressing symptoms, pain and sleep disturbances. The subjects in the study also experienced more headache-free days and increased serotonin levels.
Massage opens your mind by helping you relax and giving you pause. You can think more clearly and gain a better understanding of the project at hand or the problem you are trying to solve. This is another massage benefit associated with the release of the hormones serotonin, dopamine, and endorphins, as well as a reduction in the stress hormone cortisol.
One of the common side effects of chronic stress, depression and anxiety is decreased libido and sexual dysfunction. While no studies have linked massage therapy to improvements in hyposexuality, massage has demonstrated the ability to significantly reduce stress by lowering cortisol levels. Cortisol also lowers testosterone, the hormone most responsible for libido. So jump in your chair, enjoy a relaxing massage, let the stress dissipate, then light some candles and set the mood!
Massage therapy has been shown to improve flexibility and range of motion by working the muscles, connective tissue, tendons, ligaments, and joints. It also stimulates blood flow. This makes your joints more fluid and less prone to injury.
Studies have shown that massage can boost the immune system (especially in winter) by increasing the activity levels of the body’s white blood cells, which fight viruses. Elevated white blood cells are another consequence of decreased cortisol, which destroys natural killer cells.