Lifeline Connections

Exploring the Many Health Benefits of Massage Therapy

hot-stone-massage-1-1240552-225x300Massage – once viewed as a relaxation activity provided for the well to do on cruise ships and in resorts – is now a widely used technique to relieve stress and reenergize your body.

Massage, as described by the Mayo Clinic, “is a general term for pressing, rubbing and manipulating your skin, muscles, tendons and ligaments.” Okay, maybe that actually DOESN’T sound appealing with the thought of someone manipulating your ligaments, but most people who have had one will swear by its ability to make you feel calm, relaxed, and energized.

While it may be nice to participate in a massage session just for fun, if you are struggling with addiction, or any other mental health issue, check out a massage therapy program for the following reasons:

It reduces stress
Stress plays a major part in substance abuse triggers. Therefore, recovery relies heavily on the need for alternative coping mechanisms to that stress. Because massage therapy can reenergize your body, and relax your mind, you may be better equipped to handle the many daily problems that barrel down on you. Additionally, reducing your body’s negative reaction to stress, you will be able to think more critically, improving your ability to make the best decisions.

It helps you sleep
You’ve heard it before and you’ll hear it again and again- sleep is a vital part of your mental well-being. Sleep is your brains way of processing your information during the day. If you are training your body and mind to cope with your triggers, it’s important to sleep so you can retain that information and make your new, healthier habits more permanent. Getting adequate sleep helps you think more positively and tackle necessary tasks more efficiently. Not only can it help you fall asleep and sleep longer, but the quality of that sleep will improve. Rather than rely on exhaustion or sleeping medication, consider the deep relaxation massage therapy provides.

It releases endorphins
Endorphins are often known as the “happy hormone” but what else does it do? Well, it is also known as the body’s natural painkiller. Your body’s process of releasing endorphins blocks the pain causing neurotransmitters in your brain, and causes the release of your body’s natural dopamine, which helps you feel pleasure. Regularly getting massaged can produce similar results to exercise. With these two effects on your brain, you will feel less pain and reason to smile more.

It improves your blood flow
Okay, maybe increased blood flow doesn’t SOUND like a particularly desirable outcome, but according to increasing your blood flow will help your brain function more effectively, keeping you focused. It helps you feel energized so you can handle stressful situations more productively. If you are feeling down about your looks, it will also improve your skin quality and slow the aging process. Increased blood flow can speed up the healing process with injuries as well.

So, if you’ve been looking for a good excuse to go try massage therapy, look no further! These are definitely reason enough. If you are suffering from addiction, our residential programs often include massage therapy, yoga, and pet therapy. You will also be paired with a recovery coach because we believe in giving you the best and most effective treatment possible. We want to do our best to help you in your drug rehab journey, so give us a call at 360-397-8246 ext. 7580 or email

[Photo by Ronald Schuster via]

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