Health and fitness professionals often recommend a massage to relieve sore and achy muscles and to increase flexibility in joints. But many people don’t realize that the benefits to massage are more than muscle-deep. A deep, full-body massage has positive effects on all your body systems.

Improving Blood Flow

Several massage techniques help to dilate the blood vessels and increase oxygen levels in the blood. The dilation extends throughout the circulatory system, from arteries to veins to the smallest capillaries. As your blood circulates more freely throughout your body, it brings an influx of oxygen to muscles and tissues.

The increased blood flow is particularly beneficial to the legs and feet, especially for people who sit or stand for long periods. Gravity tends to slow the process of veins in returning blood to the heart, where it is re-oxygenated and then circulated back through the arteries. Massage can bring a flow of oxygen-rich blood that can help refresh muscles and reduce swelling in the legs and feet.

Reducing Stress

Everyday stress doesn’t just have an effect on your mood or frustration level; it affects you physically. Even normal levels of stress can have adverse effects on your energy levels, sleep patterns, and bodily systems such as your digestion processes. Gastroenterologists work with a variety of conditions, many of which can be exacerbated by stress.

A massage is a natural and therapeutic way of addressing these issues. A massage lowers your blood pressure, releases muscle tension, and produces hormones like serotonin and dopamine, which give you an overall sense of wellbeing. It’s no coincidence that you feel more relaxed after a massage.

Helping Immune System

In addition to improving circulation, massage also has a direct effect on your immune system. At the same time it improves circulation, massage drains the lymph nodes of excess fluids. It can also increase the level of lymphocytes in your blood. Lymphocytes are part of the body’s natural defense system in fighting off pathogens like bacteria and viruses.

At the same time, massage decreases levels T-cells and cortisol, the hormone released when people are under stress. Low cortisol levels are associated with a strong immune system. 

Overall, massage does more for your body than you probably realize. Beneath the massage therapist’s hands, your body is responding on every level and every physiological system. Moreover, the stress-relieving benefits can reduce adverse

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