The Many Benefits of Massage Therapy During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Needing human touch in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic has become a common necessity many of us are lacking and massage therapy is a therapeutic tool that we all can benefit from during this challenging time. As many of us have done our part to stay at home and distance from people outside of the household, we have neglected one basic and essential need, the human touch. Not only will a massage fulfill that craving but the benefits of getting a massage during this time certainly can help us get through these stressful days in a healthy way.
During the pandemic, most of our day-to-day routines have changed significantly. With so many people working remotely from home, homeschooling their children, juggling the sandwich generation of college kids stuck at home without jobs and/or their parents moving in with them, we are neglecting ourselves in the process. Now more than ever it is crucial that we take care of our bodies and incorporate self-care routines like therapeutic massage into our schedules. It is key to help boost our self-confidence and keep our bodies healthy.
Making your health a priority is essential as we head into these winter months. Regular massage sessions can help reduce your cortisol levels in your body, reduce sources of anxiety, tension and depression, reduce the risk of heart attack, stroke and/or kidney failure along with many other health issues.
Benefits of Massage
Massage is generally considered part of integrative medicine. It is increasingly offered along with standard treatment for a wide range of medical conditions and situations.
Massage benefits can include:
- Reducing stress and increasing relaxation
- Reducing pain and muscle soreness and tension
- Improving circulation, energy and alertness
- Lowering heart rate and blood pressure
- Improving immune function
While more research is needed to confirm the benefits of massage, studies have found massage may also be helpful for:
- Digestive disorders
- Insomnia related to stress
- Low back pain
- Myofascial pain syndrome
- Nerve pain
- Soft tissue strains or injuries
- Sports injuries
- Temporomandibular joint pain
- Upper back and neck pain
With more people working from home than ever before, massage therapists like myself are seeing an increased number of patients suffering from chronic back pain. Chronic back pain is the number one reason for missed work days and the second most common cause of disability. Chronic back pain is most often the result of poor posture. Poor posture can stem from many bad habits, from sitting at a desk for too many hours a day, to carrying extra weight, as well as repetitive movements one may be doing that are placing a strain on the back. This added strain will typically cause spasms, pain, and tense muscles in the hips, glutes, back, neck and legs.
Beyond the benefits for specific conditions or diseases, some people enjoy massage because it often produces feelings of caring, comfort and connection.
Despite its benefits, massage is not meant as a replacement for regular medical care. If you have any medical conditions, it is best to make your physician aware you are trying massage and be sure to follow any standard treatment plans you have.
Tracy Smith LMT
Massage Therapy – Bryn Mawr, PA