Massage was once considered a luxury—something you’d enjoy at a spa or health club. However, the benefit of a massage is now considered a more mainstream therapy and is often recommended by doctors and other medical professionals. The Mayo Clinic staff recognizes massage as part of an overall wellness program. You may choose to have a full body or isolated area massage. One of the most common and beneficial parts of the body for massage is the back, since the nerves run through the spine.
Relieve Lower Back Pain
A good back massage can help relieve lower back pain. After a strenuous workout or sitting at a desk all day, your back muscles are likely to be tense from overuse or repetitive use. When a massage therapist works those muscles, some of the tension is released.
Relieves Tension from Upper Back
Repetitive motion or immobility may cause neck and shoulder pain. An upper back massage may help relieve the tension in that area and reduce the pain from migraines.
Releases “Feel Good” Chemicals
A back massage stimulates the production of endorphins, dopamine and serotonin, chemicals that make the body feel good, according to Beth Mueller, RMT, in her article “Massage Therapy for Lower Back Pain” on the Spine Health website. This helps manage pain and may allow you to reduce the amount of painkillers you take. A back massage can help decrease pain in the lower back, which may help prevent anxiety and depression.
The back massage relaxes the larger muscles and relieves tension that may be causing you to have a difficult time falling asleep or staying in a deep sleep. This allows you to have full sleep cycles necessary for optimum performance and good health.
Helps the Healing Process
Even after a long history of back pain, a massage can help heal the tissues and muscles that have become tight, weak or atrophied. This will in turn improve your range of motion. According to Massagetherapy.com, it also helps reduce stretch marks and scar tissue. Athletes who have strained muscles in the lower, middle and upper back may notice increased joint flexibility after a back massage.
A back massage stimulates circulation and increases blood flow to the area. This will help bring blood with oxygen and nutrients to the muscles and major organs.
Maternity and Labor
A back massage may help decrease the pain some women feel in their lower backs during labor. This can make childbirth easier and lower the amount of time a woman has to stay in the hospital afterward.
One of the best benefits of a back massage is that it feels good. Sometimes you just need to take a little time to relax and enjoy the pleasurable sensation of the human touch.
Debby Mayne started writing professionally in 1992. Her work has appeared in regional parenting magazines and she has been managing editor of the magazine, "Coping with Cancer." She was also fashion product information writer for HSN. During college, Mayne worked as an instructor at a fitness center. She holds a Bachelor of Science in health, PE and recreation from the University of Southern Mississippi.