By Swedish InstituteOctober 13, 2017 The Many Health Benefits of Massage Therapy There’s nothing more important than your health. But if you’re like most people, getting a massage is probably the last thing you would think of to stay healthy. Well, think again. Dating back to 2700 B.C., ancient cultures used massage to treat injuries and cure terminal illnesses. Today, massage therapy is setting the pace as one of the most effective, natural and safe ways to boost your health and fight off a host of ailments and infections. These are some of the benefits of massage therapy: Boosts your well-being Massage therapy isn’t just for pain relief. In a study conducted at Emory University, research revealed that participants who received one-to-two Swedish massages over the course of five weeks had lower levels of stress hormones, including cortisol. Additional findings showed participants also experienced significant changes in their immunity. Among these changes were increased white blood cell counts, which play a key role in fighting off illness and infection. Lowers high blood pressure Regular massage has been shown to lower blood pressure by reducing the stress hormone levels that contribute to the onset of depression, anxiety, and anger. Left untreated, high blood pressure can lead to serious health conditions that include heart attack, stroke, and kidney failure. Regular massages have even more health benefits, keeping blood pressure down and allowing your mind and body to relax. Increases circulation Good circulation ensures healthy blood flow and removes waste from your muscles and internal organs – keeping blood pressure down and improving your body’s overall function. Massage therapy stimulates the lymphatic system, which triggers your body’s circulatory system to pump oxygen and nutrients into tissues and organs. Removes toxins Feeling fatigued may be more than not getting enough sleep. The build-up of toxins in our bodies can contribute to a host of ailments. Receiving regular massage, due to its inherent health benefits, can clear toxins in several ways, such as flushing out lactic acid build-up in muscles, promoting sinus drainage, loosening mucus in lungs, and breaking up scar tissue. This process has positive results that include increased energy, improved stamina, and quicker healing of muscle tears and injuries. Regulates blood sugar Maintaining proper blood sugar levels is important, even if you’re not diabetic. Massage therapists use various techniques and modalities to ensure reduced blood sugar levels, which allow for greater mobility and elasticity in the body. Massage therapy has incredible benefits when it comes to reducing anxiety and depression in children with diabetes. Relieves Sinusitis Symptoms Sinusitis sufferers are getting relief from their symptoms through the healing hands of massage therapists. This is one of the most common chronic illnesses in America, and massage therapists are fine-tuning their craft to learn lymph drainage techniques which relieve sinus pain and pressure caused by sinusitis. Find the time Break the cycle of your hectic schedule and carve out some much deserved “me” time. Exploring the health benefits of massage therapy and putting yourself in the driver’s seat is the first step towards a better life. You just might find the answers to your ailments in the hands of your massage therapist. If you have a passion for learning about massage, and all the benefits it offers, check out the Massage Therapy program we offer here at the Swedish Institute!