A new study by the National Center for Complimentary and Alternative Medicine reports that a professional massage has real health benefits… Like you needed another reason to treat yourself to the occasional massage! As it turns out, a good rub down every once in a while can keep you young and vital. The most compelling facts that came out of the study showed that varying levels and intensities of massage/touch therapy increases the body’s levels of oxytocin – the hormone that fights stress and boosts immune function.
Being better equipped to deal with sickness or stress means you’re more likely to respond at your best – strong and ready to bounce back quickly. “We’re finding that biological changes do occur as a result of even a single session of massage, and that these changes may benefit even healthy individuals,” said Mark Hyman Rapaport, MD of Cedars-Senai Medical Center in a report for rodale.com. Considering that stress is one of the biggest contributors to the production of cortisol, the stress hormone that motivates people to overeat, you may find that massage helps slim your midsection. And while a young, carved physique might be a desirable result, it’s equally important to remember that wait-to-hip ration is an early indicator of risk for heart disease and other weight-influenced ailments. Slimmer middles have a slimmer chance of disease.
As well, massage helps increase circulation which aids the body in oxygenating cells and flushing out the toxins that cause premature aging. If you’re finding that you’re reaching a plateau on your fitness and anti-aging efforts, try a few weeks of massage therapy for a kick-start. A 15-20 minute massage can be equally effective as one that’s an hour or longer. The key is to truly relax and disconnect. So if you are able to block out distractions with dim lighting and/or soothing music, you might find it only takes a few minutes to add several years to your lifestyle age.