Facedown on the soft massage table with soothing music ambiently drifting through the warm air around you, stress and soreness drift away, replaced by the feeling of relaxation, tranquility, and comfort. Ranada Townsend has been a practicing professional massage therapist for more than 25 years and regularly sees patients enjoying the physiological and psychological benefits of massage at Old Town Hot Springs.
“We get a variety of clients who come in who are very athletic and sports-driven,” Townsend said. “Whether they are mountain biking, skiing, playing golf, or swimming. They are active, they have a healthy lifestyle, and when they come in for a massage it’s because they want to be the very best in their sport, prevent injuries, and improve their performance.”
Physical Benefits of Massage
If you’ve subscribed to the assumption that massage is an indulgent act of self-care, think again. The tangible benefits of massage therapy for athletes and activity-driven individuals are plentiful. The physical benefits of massage therapy include, but are not limited to:
- Relieve pain or discomfort caused by injury or athletic activity
- Balance muscular asymmetries to prevent future injuries
- Stimulate healthy circulation and blood flow, removing harmful toxins
- Increase range of motion by removing muscle tightness
Keep Doing the Activities You Love
For Townsend and the other massage therapists at Old Town Hot Springs, the joy comes from seeing clients able to enjoy activities that were previously limited by pain or discomfort. One client, Townsend shares, was a passionate cyclist who had to hang up the sport indefinitely due to low back pain.
“With massage and with the stretches I was able to provide, they were able to fly to Italy and ride their bike,” Townsend said. “That was huge.”
Mental Health and Wellness Benefits of Massage
Beyond the physiological benefits of massage, there are more ethereal benefits as well, including stress reduction, reduced anxiety, and improved sleep.
“Especially with what we’re going through right now,” Townsend said. “I’m hearing from a lot of clients that I haven’t seen since before the pandemic. They are so excited to get a massage because it’s been so long. Now more than ever, massage is so important for people’s mental health.”
For patients that suffer from insomnia, massage therapy can improve the quality of sleep by engaging the patient’s parasympathetic nervous system and lymphatic drainage system.
“When I was learning lymphatic drainage I fell asleep… like I was drooling,” Townsend said. “So I realized this could be really beneficial for someone with insomnia issues.”
All of this relaxation can actually increase energy on a day-to-day basis as well. Allowing yourself to be still, calms the nervous system promoting rejuvenation, and improved energy and alertness. Individuals looking to enjoy the benefits of massage should seek out one of the many highly qualified and professionally trained massage therapists at Old Town Hot Springs.
“Here at Old Town we’re very fortunate to have very qualified massage therapists,” Townsend said. “There are a lot of experienced massage therapists here. You can’t go wrong.”