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4 ways massages improve your health

Massages are the perfect remedy for an aching back, but did you know they also have a number of health benefits?

Take a look at four ways massages improve your health:

1. Lowers blood pressure. Research shows that massage therapy triggers your body’s “relaxation response,” slowing your heart rate by up to 10 beats per minute and lowering your blood pressure.

2. Reduces inflammation and helps with pain.  A study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine found that massages reduced inflammation on a cellular level and could be as effective as some medications for treating pain.  

Massages also help ease muscle and joint pain by increasing blood flow and circulation. Research indicates that muscle strength returns faster when a massage is performed immediately after exercise.  One study found that muscles massaged immediately after exercise recover up to 60% of their lost strength, compared to only 14% for non-massaged muscles.

3. Decreases stress levels. A 30-minute massage may decrease the production of the stress hormone cortisol and increase the body’s production of the feel-good chemicals serotonin and dopamine. These neurotransmitters can improve your mood, aid in a healthy digestive system and improve the quality of your sleep.

4. Boosts your immune system. One study published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine found that a 45-minute Swedish massage could increase the number of germ-fighting white blood cells in the body.

For more healthful, healthful tips, click here.

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