The Benefits of Percussive Massage on Physical and Mental Health
In general, we are all aware of the physical benefits of a massage but, outside of the physical benefits, there are plenty of mental/psychological benefits that come from massage therapy such as reduction in stress, anxiety, sadness, worry, sleeplessness and depression. Percussive massage therapy is an extension of traditional massage and provides the same physical and mental benefits in the form of a handheld, recovery tool. Massage therapy stimulates the production of serotonin and dopamine which are neurotransmitters that promote well-being, satisfaction and feelings of happiness while lowering cortisol levels which affects stress and anxiety. There are clear and easily understandable connections between percussive massage therapy and this paper aims to delve further into those connections.
Delving into the specifics of the mental health benefits of massage, we start with research from The Massage Therapy Center stating that: “Massage helps reduce the body’s time spent in “sympathetic overdrive. The body’s sympathetic nervous system is responsible for the “fight or flight” response. It is activated when our body perceives stress. It reduces blood flow to the brain, extremities, and digestive organs in preparation for a perceived survival situation. When a person is constantly stressed, their nervous system can be tilted into the state of sympathetic overdrive. If this only happens occasionally, the system usually has the resilience to recover. However, if the body is in a state of sympathetic overdrive, elevated levels of cortisol, the stress hormone, can lead to further damage to these tissues.”
The above information goes to further the assertion that massage therapy goes deeper than releasing muscle pain and tension but that it can affect our nervous system and our fight or flight response. By reducing the amount of time spent in sympathetic overdrive, you can increase blood flow, reduce nerve tissue damage and reduce stress all through massage therapy. A constant state of stress, whether actual or perceived, certainly takes a toll on our mental capacity and productivity. Consistent massage therapy can help build our resilience in fight or flight situations and help our body recover better from those situations. The consistency needed to see long lasting impact from massage therapy may be unrealistic for most due to time and financial constraints, which is why recovery tools such as the Massagepro, our massage gun, play such a critical role. The MassagePro allows you to recover and release tension in the comfort of your home up until you can go see your massage therapist.
Curtis Lisa, a licensed massage therapist asserts that: “ Working specific reflex points in the body can stimulate the production of serotonin and dopamine, neurotransmitters that promote well-being, satisfaction, and feelings of happiness, while decreasing cortisol levels, a hormone produced by the adrenal glands, which is related to stress and anxiety. Serotonin consequently stimulates production of melatonin, which helps regulate the body’s circadian rhythms and lull people to sleep.” This excerpt goes to explain that massage therapy promotes melatonin production and a healthy circadian rhythm leading to better sleep which is essential to our health and wellbeing, mentally and physically.
In conclusion, there is a direct link between percussive massage therapy and mental health. The trauma, stress, tensions, aches, pains that come with life all get stored in our minds and our bodies. Percussive therapy and all forms of massage therapy present an opportunity to release these ailments from our body tissues, nervous system and our memories. There are holistic benefits to consistent massage therapy that can make a direct impact on our mood, sleep, productivity, happiness, fight or flight response, stress levels and many other aspects of our wellbeing. Percussive massage therapy tools such as the MassagePro provide an accessible an affordable option to all walks of life.