Health & Fitness: The Benefits of Massage


Health & Fitness: Promoting muscle regrowth after injury, helping premature babies become strong enough to leave hospital, improving sleep quality and creating social bonds – here are four things you never knew massage could do. Most people see massage as a way to ease aching muscles, to unwind and to promote better sleep – but in fact, there are many other reasons to have a massage of which you’ve probably never heard before.

1 – Massage can stimulate muscle regrowth: Massage can boost the regrowth of muscle tissue after an injury by stimulating protein production in cells. This in itself is an interesting finding, but it gets even more intriguing. According to the US researchers behind this study, if you injure a limb and it cannot be massaged, you can still benefit from this muscle growth phenomenon: they found that when the opposite, uninjured limb was massaged, muscle in the other leg – that is, the injured, non-massaged limb – also grew faster.

2 – Massage can boost growth in premature babies: A 2015 study found that twice daily 15-minute massage therapy sessions, over a period of two weeks, significantly increased weight gain, height and head circumference in premature babies. The number of bowel movements also increased, and infants were discharged sooner from hospital. Indeed, the findings were so significant that the study authors recommended all NICU nurses be trained in massage therapy techniques, so all pre-term infants could be given this treatment.

3 – Massage can improve sleep: You’ve probably experienced for yourself how a relaxing massage can promote a great night’s sleep, but there’s research to show particular benefits for specific groups. Daily massages for full-term new-born babies, by their mothers, has been shown to improve the sleep patterns not only of the infants, but also of their mothers. Similarly, for autistic children, studies have shown how massages given by parents before bedtime can improve the children’s sleep – they go to sleep faster, stay asleep for longer and wake less during the night.

4 – Massage is medicine: The above are just a handful of the many hundreds of studies reporting the extensive benefits of massage. The list goes on and on…. lower blood pressure among those with hypertension and pre-hypertension; improved perceptions of self-efficacy among patients with multiple sclerosis; reduced labour pain among women giving birth; improved movement in Parkinson’s sufferers; a positive impact on lung function among asthmatic children… One could even go so far as to say it’s a form of complementary medicine – one that offers an unparalleled range of proven health benefits for the whole of society.

The three Aspria clubs in Brussels offer first-class spa facilities for their members but also for non-members. All treatments and massages will be tailor-made to your emotional and physical needs following a personalized consultation with our experts.

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