If you have back pain and want to feel better, a massage is a good first step. Not only can it alleviate some or all of the pain, but you’ll feel happier and more relaxed. Massage helps the body to release the “feel good” endorphins that the body produces, so you’ll feel happier and more at peace with your surroundings.
Your skin contains approximately 5 million touch receptors. Of these, approximately 3,000 are in each fingertip. Science has proven that a positive touch can generate health benefits, such as reduced blood pressure and heart rate. When you’re getting a massage, you’re receiving approximately 30,000 positive touch responses from your massage therapist. No wonder you feel better!
Massage also stimulates the functioning of the lymphatic system, which is the system responsible for removing metabolic waste and toxins from our bodies. When back muscles become stiff and sore, they may also become inflamed. Inflammation is part of the body’s immune system and acts to kill off pathogens that it perceives as harmful to the body or in response to damage. The lymphatic system removes the waste generated by the immune system, which helps maintain overall health. When your immune system and/or your lymphatic system aren’t functioning properly, you’ll feel sluggish and tired, similar to when you’re coming down with the flu.
Eliminating your back pain may improve your posture. Sometimes, your lower back pain is actually from your gluteal muscles, or it can be from your posture, your pelvic tilt, or several other areas. If you tell your massage therapist about your lower back pain, don’t be surprised if he or she starts elsewhere, and don’t be concerned if it’s your gluteal muscles. He or she won’t care if you think your butt is too big, too small, too fat, or too bony. To your therapist, it’s just a group of three muscles that may be causing your back pain.
Your back pain may also come from your pelvic area or your shoulders, so don’t be surprised if your therapist starts working on your back pain from the front of your body. The result of your massage should be that your back pain is reduced or eliminated, and your posture has improved. Maintaining good posture is conducive to lessening the recurrence of back pain.
Getting a massage when you have back pain will improve your sleep. If you regularly put sleep in last place on your to-do list, you’ll be happy to know that an hour-long massage will provide benefits to your body that are similar to getting six to eight hours of sleep.
Since massage stimulates the body to release endorphins, getting a massage for back pain may help alleviate pain in other areas of your body. Endorphins are the body’s natural painkillers so you’ll feel better overall when you get a massage for back pain. If you have back pain and suffer from migraines, a massage might help you. Studies have shown that those with chronic migraines experienced fewer of them when they received regular massages.
Getting a massage for back pain may help you quit smoking or at least lessen the number of cigarettes that you smoke. It can also help alleviate smoking related anxiety. Typically, clients request Swedish massage for back pain, but one of the other approximately 75 forms of massage currently used may also be beneficial. Thai massage and shiatsu are very popular modalities; shiatsu is particularly effective for smoking because it uses the acupuncture points.
Depending on the underlying causes for your back pain, you might want to consult your medical professional before getting a massage. Even though massage is considered safe, those individuals who have osteoarthritis or fibromyalgia might experience discomfort.
Although massage has been shown to lower blood pressure, those with uncontrolled high blood pressure should also consult their medical professional before receiving a massage. Massage encourages the blood flow, which might be contraindicated for those with uncontrolled high blood pressure.
Massage has been used since the time of the ancient Egyptians, around 2700 B.C., which is documented by hieroglyphics found in the ancient Egyptian tombs. Bob Hope included massage as part of his daily health regimen and lived to be 100 years old.
Your massage therapist can work wonders on eliminating your back pain, so if you have an aching back, schedule an appointment with your therapist and start reaping the additional benefits of massage for back pain.