The Benefits of Massage Therapy for Women’s Health

You’ve probably heard that massage can boost blood flow, relax muscles, and even improve mental health. But some of its effects can have a direct positive impact on women and people with menstrual cycles.

When it comes to female health, here are nine of massage’s top benefits to know about:

Eases PMS Symptoms

Premenstrual syndrome (or PMS) refers to the disruptive symptoms that can happen in the week or two before menstruation.

In this phase of your monthly cycle, hormonal shifts can lead to a range of health-related troubles. These include anxiety, moodiness, cramps, and even headaches. And these symptoms aren’t uncommon. In fact, as many as three in four women will report experiencing PMS symptoms each month.

The good news is that massage therapy can help soothe your body and mind during PMS week. It does this by:

  • Increasing mood-boosting brain chemicals
  • Relieving stress and anxiety
  • Reducing cramps and other pains associated with hormonal changes

Reduces Physical Signs of Stress

Stress can affect any of us, but research has found a stress gap between men and women. On average, women report higher levels of stress than men, and are more likely to experience physical symptoms — like nausea or headaches — because of it.

Fortunately, self-care in the form of massage can help. Massage eases stress by releasing endorphins and soothing the sympathetic nervous system (aka your fight-or-flight system.)

Not only does this feel good, but it can reduce physical symptoms of stress. By putting your body in “relaxation mode,” it can potentially:

  • Slow your heart rate
  • Calm your breathing
  • Decrease stress hormones
  • Temporarily reduce blood pressure

Relieves Period Cramps

You might’ve heard that massage can relieve pain, but did you know it can also help with menstrual cramps?

One study found that massage reduced dysmenorrhea (the medical term for cramps) in women with endometriosis. And in a 2015 study, aromatherapy massage was even more helpful than regular self-massage for soothing period pain.

Research still hasn’t pinpointed exactly how massage eases pain, but it may happen as a result of relaxation and decreased muscle tension. Some experts even theorize that massage can interrupt the flow of pain-signaling from the nerves to the brain.

With all this in mind, a gentle self-massage may be worth trying the next time you experience period pain.

Improves Well-Being During Pregnancy

Pregnancy can be a beautiful experience, but creating a whole human being can be hard on your body. For this reason, some women choose to get regular prenatal massages to boost their health.

According to the American Massage Therapy Association, this type of massage can aid in:

  • Decreasing back and leg pain
  • Relieving pain post-surgery
  • Improving mood and easing depression
  • Combating insomnia

Prenatal massage is typically performed by specially-trained therapists who are certified to work with pregnant clients. This means they have the know-how and experience to perform the techniques safely. They may also be skilled in targeting common problems, such as lower back, leg, and hip pain.

Supports Postpartum Health

Postpartum massage is a wonderful way to relax after the psychological and physical changes that come with giving birth. And in a time when many mothers are focused on caring for their new little one, it can be a vital form of self-care.

Postpartum massage is typically performed in the first three months after birth, and it offers plenty of health benefits for new mothers. Many women report that it helps them de-stress while they adjust to significant new life changes. Plus, it may:

  • Support healthy circulation
  • Reduce swelling after birth
  • Alleviate muscle tension
  • Enhance emotional well-being

Improves Quality of Life with Certain Conditions

When it comes to female health, it’s essential to recognize the impact that chronic medical conditions can have. Some conditions that often affect women and people with cycles include:

  • Lupus
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome
  • Anxiety disorders

Many of these conditions come with chronic muscle pain or emotional challenges. And sometimes, this can make maintaining a good quality of life feel like an uphill battle.

Fortunately, massage therapy for women’s health can help. It eases certain types of chronic pain, decreases stress, improves emotional health, and promotes deeper rest. And together, these effects can make for better overall well-being.

Boosts Well-Being for Older Women

Regardless of gender, massage is a great way to boost your health as you age. It reduces aches and pains, helps you relax, and can even offer a sense of human connection. But did you know it can provide specific benefits for older women?

For example, it’s been shown to help with menopause, one of the main changes women experience with age. This hormonal shift comes with symptoms like sweats, aches and pains, and sleep problems. One 2012 study showed that massage — and specifically, aromatherapy massage — helped women find some relief from their menopause symptoms.

On top of that, massage may also help older women living with certain conditions. For example, it can relieve pain from arthritis and other musculoskeletal problems that come with older age.

Aids in Deep, Restful Sleep

Every human being struggles with sleep from time to time. But did you know that women are much more likely to suffer from insomnia than men?

We don’t fully know why this happens — but it may be due to the higher stress loads and hormonal changes that women face. With this in mind, women with sleep problems may greatly benefit from a soothing massage session. Because it reduces stress and releases calming endorphins in the body, it can make falling (and staying) asleep much easier.

Supports a Fit and Healthy Lifestyle

If you’re a woman who loves to run, hike, or hit the gym, chances are you’re no stranger to sore muscles. Fortunately, massage can be a powerful way to improve your recovery regimen. It works by:

  • Stimulating the muscle tissue
  • Boosting nutrient-rich blood flow
  • Reducing delayed-onset muscle soreness (DOMS)
  • Supporting flexibility and range of motion

All in all, these benefits can make massage an excellent addition to any fitness routine.

Check Also

3 Unexpected Reasons You’re Struggling to Lose Weight

Losing weight can be a struggle, especially as you age. Despite your efforts to diet and …

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *