Massage is one of the oldest healing arts: Chinese records dating back 3,000 years document its use and Hippocrates wrote papers recommending the use of rubbing and friction for joint and circulatory problems. Today, the benefits are varied and far-reaching. As an accepted part of many physical rehabilitation programs, massage therapy has also proven beneficial for many chronic conditions, including low back pain, arthritis, bursitis, fatigue, high blood pressure, diabetes, immunity suppression, infertility, smoking cessation, depression, and more. Massage also helps relieve the stress and tension of everyday living that can lead to disease and illness.
THE BENEFITS OF MASSAGE
In an age of technical and impersonal medicine, massage offers a drug-free and non-invasive approach based on the body’s natural ability to heal itself. So what exactly are the benefits to receiving regular massage treatments?
- Increases circulation, allowing the body to pump more oxygen and nutrients into tissues and vital organs.
- Stimulates the flow of lymph, the body’s natural defense system, against toxic invaders. For example, in breast cancer patients, massage has been shown to increase the cells that fight cancer.
- Increased circulation of blood and lymph systems improves the condition of the body’s largest organ – the skin.
- Relaxes and softens injured and overused muscles
- Reduces spasms and cramping
- Increases joint flexibility.
- Reduces recovery time, helps prepare for strenuous workouts and eliminates subsequent pains of the athlete at any level.
- Releases endorphins – the body’s natural painkiller – and is being used in chronic illness, injury and recovery from surgery to control and relieve pain.
- Reduces post-surgery adhesions and swelling and can be used to reduce and realign scar tissue after healing has occurred.
- Improves range-of-motion and decreases discomfort for patients with low back pain.
- Relieves pain for migraine sufferers and decreases the need for medication.
- Provides exercise and stretching for atrophied muscles and reduces shortening of the muscles for those with restricted range of motion.
- Assists with shorter labor for expectant mothers, as well as less need for medication, less depression and anxiety, and shorter hospital stays.
Recent scientific research also proves that massage therapy increases immune function, decreases stress levels and reduces recovery time in many medical conditions including:
- Depression and Anxiety
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
- Asthma and Bronchitis
- Circulatory Problems
- Sports Injuries
- Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction (TMJ)
- Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
- Musculo-Skeletal Disorders