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Six Benefits of Massage Therapy

Analysis by Dr. Joseph Mercola Fact Checked

benefits of massage therapy

Story at-a-glance -

  • Six areas where massage has been shown to produce beneficial results include pain, mental health, inflammation, immune function, muscle spasms and flexibility
  • Specialized receptors in your dermis, the second layer of skin, react to external stimuli such as pressure by sending messages through your nervous system to your brain to stimulate the release of endorphins
  • In the treatment of pain, including muscle and bone pain, headaches, deep internal pain, fibromyalgia and spinal cord pain, massage therapy relieves pain better than getting no treatment at all, and when compared to other pain treatments such as acupuncture and physical therapy, massage therapy still proved beneficial
  • Massage therapy can be helpful for relieving side effects associated with conventional cancer treatment, including pain, fatigue, nausea, anxiety and depression
  • If you try massage therapy and find you're not getting relief, you may want to try increasing the dose and frequency. There are other variables that impact massage effectiveness as well, such as the technique used and the skill level of the massage therapist

Massage is one of the oldest and simplest forms of medical care used to promote general well-being and ease pain and anxiety. Your skin is your largest sensory organ and specialized receptors in the dermis, the second layer of skin, react to external stimuli such as heat, cold and pressure by sending messages through your nervous system to your brain that stimulate the release of endorphins.

Endorphins promote relaxation and a sense of well-being, relieve pain and reduce levels of stress chemicals such as cortisol and noradrenaline, thereby slowing your heart rate, respiration and metabolism, and lowering your blood pressure.


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