Massage Benefits for Pregnancy
Many people consider massage to be a luxury, but with its many benefits, perhaps it should be considered part of your basic physical fitness routine.
For starters, we know touch is a necessary part of life. It is also a major part of the bonding experience between two people. Contrary to popular belief it is the touch and not the milk that encourages bonding between mother and baby. Skin has many tiny nerve endings which are stimulated by touch. This stimulation triggers the release of endorphins, your body’s natural pain killers and feel good hormones. Bonding has been shown to be correlated to increased endorphin levels.
Massage works in other ways to help maintain emotional equilibrium. Massage has been shown to help eliminate the effects of depression, anxiety, exhaustion, irritability and being overwhelmed. Massage helps to counter the effects of stress and anxiety by relaxing tense muscles which cause pain. Massage also increases alertness, mental agility and concentration.
But massage has more tangible physical benefits as well. For example, massage helps to stimulate the circulatory system in two ways. First it helps to push waste products through the lymph system which may help to minimize swelling. Secondly, massage stimulates the movement of blood to the skin which improves your nail, hair and skin health. Additionally, the relaxation achieved with massage helps to deepen breathing which in turn improves the oxygenation of the blood. This can help to temporarily reduce your pulse rate and blood pressure.
Massage helps to stimulate the skin’s oil and sweat glands. This helps to clean, moisturize and cool the skin. At the same time, massage helps to exfoliate the skin, removing dead skin cells and giving the skin a fresher appearance.
Everyone knows massage can help to alleviate aches and pains. However, the improved muscle flexibility from massage can also help improve your posture, which can help prevent many common aches and pains in the shoulders and back from starting in the first place. And of course, massage just feels good.
With all these healthy benefits, it makes sense to make massage a part of your normal home health routine.