Massage Therapy Could Help You Live Longer
Aging well requires you to constantly be in check with your mind and body. How often do you take time to really relax? If you sit staring at a computer screen all day at work, and then go home and “relax” in front of the TV for a couple hours, you’re still staring at a screen, and that isn’t really relaxing.
Constant stress on your body and mind, as well as limited physical activity, can lead to emotional disorders like depression and anxiety, which can develop into various other conditions that stand in the way of aging well.
So, how do you combat your emotional and physical stressors to promote a healthier lifestyle? Try a therapeutic massage, which can definitely help you feel younger, increase your quality of life, and support aging well. For instance, many older adults complain of chronic back or joint pain; massage therapy can easily help relieve aches and reduce your need for painkillers. And the better you feel, the more likely you are to stay active, which is critical for aging well.
Regardless of the style, regular treatments from a registered massage therapist can benefit virtually everyone, but especially older adults who want to optimize their chances of aging well. Here are four ways massage therapy can help slow the aging process.
Improves Circulatory System
Massage therapy helps with aging well, because it helps the circulatory system, which contains your cardiovascular and lymphatic systems. The cardiovascular system is known to decline with age because of high cholesterol diets and plaque buildup, reduction of elasticity of vasculature, and stress. Massages can naturally promote aging well by decreasing cardiovascular stress, improving vessel health, and improving your overall tissue nutrition.
The lymphatic system is also important for aging well, because it removes excess fluid, pathogens, dead blood cells, toxins, and cells with cancer implications. A poor lymphatic system may result in pain, fatigue, cold hands and feet, and other body aches that interfere with efforts to keep aging well. Your blood flow is improved when pressure is applied along your various tissues and extremities.
Boosts Immune System
When your immune system is strong, you’re less likely to get sick and more likely to continue aging well. Lymphocyte (white blood cell) production is required for immune response and illness prevention. For example, HIV positive men responded to regular massage with increased cellular immune profile and blood serotonin levels, and an overall improvement for fighting disease in the body, according to a study.
Massages can strengthen immunity and promote aging well by improving lymphatic circulation, boosting the immune system’s cytotoxic capacity, and lowering the circulation levels of cortisol and insulin. Massages can help increase lymphocytes, which releases cytotoxic granules to fight tumor cells and other viruses that would otherwise get in the way of aging well.
Older adults with osteoarthritis are known to benefit from massage therapy treatments. According to a survey out of Washington, 57% of the 122 respondents with osteoarthritis would use massage therapy over chiropractic care, dietary supplements, or over-the-counter medications. You can ensure that you’re aging well with massage therapy, because it can help flush out toxic inflammatory substances that add to swelling and pain. The massage treatment would increase your mobility, improve blood flow, and allow for more oxygen circulation to help with healing—all of these factors are important for osteoarthritis patients who are concerned about aging well.
Stress can be detrimental to your health and aging well, because it can increase your cortisol and insulin levels. It can also make your body tense and increase your heart rate and blood pressure, and your internal organs must therefore work harder to function. Cardiovascular disease, heart attack, and stroke are all possible results from stress.
Massage therapy is a great stress management technique. It used to be considered a relaxing luxury, and now many people who are interested in aging well get massages for health purposes, including helping to reduce stress and for mental health relief. Studies support that massage therapy programs can lower blood pressure and cortisol stress hormone levels, which improves your cardiovascular health and lowers depression and anxiety symptoms. You can also improve sleep and reduce headaches with a regular massage.