Massage is More Than a Treat. It is Medicine.
We all love a relaxing massage and can agree that receiving one is an escape that we would welcome in our daily routine. The mental and physical stress of our lives weigh us down, and the relaxation of a massage is the perfect antidote. Many agree that getting a massage is a luxury, but that is not all it is. Massage is also medicine.
The history of massage therapy dates back to 3000 BCE (or earlier) in India, where it was considered a sacred system of natural healing. It is a practice that has been passed down through generations to heal injuries, relieve pain, and prevent and cure illnesses with the belief that illness and disease are caused when people are out of sync with the environment. Massage is believed to restore the bodys natural and physical balance so that it can heal naturally.
Studies have found that massage is helpful for, but not limited to:
- Digestive disorders
- Insomnia related to stress
- Myofascial pain syndrome
- Soft tissue strains or injuries
- Sports injuries
- Temporomandibular joint pain
According to a recent consumer survey sponsored by the American Massage Therapy Association, 77 percent of respondents said their primary reason for receiving a massage in the past year was medical or stress-related. Massage is shown to improve the balance of your autonomic nervous system that controls most of the bodys processes without you even knowing it. This is the way that your body reacts to stress.
An article published by the Wall Street Journal talks about the health benefits of massage therapy and states:
Massage therapy boosts immune function in women with breast cancer
- Increases grip strength in patients with carpal tunnel syndrome
- The American College of Physicians and the American Pain Society now include massage as one of their recommendations for treating low back pain
- Massageleads to areduction in the level of cortisol, a stress hormone
- Massage leads to a decrease in cytokine proteins related to inflammation and allergic reactions
- Massage boosts white blood cells that fight infection
- The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, part of the National Institutes of Health, is currently spending $2.7 million on massage research, up from $1.5 million
- Full-body Swedish massage greatly improved symptoms of osteoarthritis of the knee. Patients who had massages twice weekly for four weeks and once a week for an additional four weeks had less pain and stiffness and a better range of motion than those who did not get massages.
While massage has earned the reputation of being a luxury, the benefits go way beyond the feelings of relaxation. With so many recognizing the numerous benefits of massage, isnt it about time to get yourself on a regular massage schedule and start seeing the benefits for yourself?