Combating Aging with Massage and Bodywork
Whether you’re a boomer who is running a marathon or running after your grandchildren, you know that growing older doesn’t necessarily mean growing old. If you have a desire to stave off the effects of aging, then the preventative and restorative nature of massage and energetic bodywork might be just what the body ordered.
Everyone experiences stress, the condition caused by a reaction to physical, chemical, emotional or environmental factors. However, each person experiences and feels it in different amounts and react to it in different ways. When we suffer constant, or chronic, stress it can cause the body to remain in high gear for extended periods of time, which causes breathing and heart rate to speed up and blood pressure to rise.
While it’s unknown if stress itself can increase the risk for cardiovascular disease, also called heart disease, it may affect other risk factors and behaviors, such as high blood pressure, smoking, physical inactivity and overeating.Experts say the majority of disease we encounter today is associated with stress. Not only that, stress is a huge factor in premature aging of the body. Researchers say chronic stress weakens the immune system as well.
Massage encourages the release of oxytocin, a stress-reducing hormone in the body that activates the parasympathetic nervous system and its relaxation response. Massage also decreases beta brainwave activity, increases dopamine and serotonin levels in the body, and reduce cortisol levels, all of which are linked to decreased stress.
Squashing the Pain
A part of the natural aging process, unfortunately, involves dealing with aches and pains. Just at the age of 40, the eye sights begins to go and at the 50 hearing loss becomes a factor our bodies also begin to break down. You might find that a day of gardening requires greater recovery time afterward, or a golf outing brings on the back pain you never experienced before. Even though pain is a constant source of grief for an aging body, the practice of receiving massage on a consistent basis can make a big difference in how we feel.
There are many benefits to Boomers who make a commitment to regular massage and energetic body work. Listed below are just of few.
Benefits for Boomers
Massage Therapy has many benefits
- Improves range of motion and reduces pain
- Increases circulation, allowing the body to pump more oxygen and nutrients into tissues and vital organs
- Reduces swelling and scar tissue
- Reduces recovery time from injury/ surgery
- Releases endorphins, the body’s natural painkiller, thereby reducing the need for medications
Aging, obviously, is a process none of us can avoid. As Benjamin Franklin said, “When you’re finished changing, you’re finished.” Turn the inevitability of aging into a positive process of change and let massage and bodywork help you along the journey.