Massage is one of the oldest healing arts: Chinese records dating back 3,000 years document its use; the ancient Hindus, Persians and Egyptians applied forms of massage for many ailments; and Hippocrates wrote papers recommending the use of rubbing and friction for joint and circulatory problems.
Today, the benefits of massage 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. And, as many millions will attest, massage also helps relieve the stress and tension of everyday living that can lead to disease and illness.
There's no denying the power of massage and bodywork. Regardless of the adjectives we assign to it (pampering, rejuvenating, therapeutic) or the reasons we seek it out (a luxurious treat, stress relief, pain management), massage therapy can be a powerful ally in your healthcare regimen. In response to massage, specific physiological and chemical changes cascade throughout the body, with profound effects. Research shows that with massage:
- Arthritis sufferers note fewer aches and less stiffness and pain
- Asthmatic children show better pulmonary function and increased peak air flow
- Burn injury patients report reduced pain, itching, and anxiety
- High blood pressure patients demonstrate lower diastolic blood pressure, anxiety, and stress hormones
- Premenstrual syndrome sufferers have decreased water retention and cramping
- Preterm infants have improved weight gain
Research continues to show the enormous benefits of touch—which range from treating chronic diseases, neurological disorders, and injuries, to alleviating the tensions of modern lifestyles.
Consequently, the medical community is actively embracing bodywork, and massage is becoming an integral part of hospice care and neonatal intensive care units. Many hospitals are also incorporating on-site massage practitioners and even spas to treat postsurgery or pain patients as part of the recovery process.
Experts estimate that upwards of ninety percent of disease is stress-related. And perhaps nothing ages us faster, internally and externally, than high stress. Massage is an effective tool for managing this stress, which translates into:
- Decreased anxiety
- Enhanced sleep quality
- Greater energy
- Improved concentration
- Increased circulation
- Reduced fatigue
Massage can also help specifically address a number of health issues. Bodywork can:
- Alleviate low-back pain and improve range of motion
- Assist with shorter, easier labor for expectant mothers and shorten maternity hospital stays
- Ease medication dependence
- Enhance immunity by stimulating lymph flow—the body's natural defense system
- Exercise and stretch weak, tight, or atrophied muscles
- Help athletes of any level prepare for, and recover from, strenuous workouts
- Improve the condition of the body's largest organ—the skin.
- Increase joint flexibility
- Lessen depression and anxiety
- Promote tissue regeneration, reducing scar tissue and stretch marks
- Pump oxygen and nutrients into tissues and vital organs, improving circulation
- Reduce postsurgery adhesions and swelling
- Reduce spasms and cramping
- Relax and soften injured, tired, and overused muscles
- Release endorphins—amino acids that work as the body's natural painkiller
- Relieve migraine pain
Increase the benefits with frequent visits, getting a massage can do you a world of good. And getting massage frequently can do even more. This is the beauty of massage therapy and bodywork & massage. Taking part in this form of regularly scheduled self-care can play a huge part in how healthy you'll be and how youthful you'll remain with each passing year. Budgeting time and money for bodywork at consistent intervals is truly an investment in your health.
And remember, just because massage feels like a pampering treat doesn't mean it is any less therapeutic and beneficial for overall well-being. Consider massage appointments a necessary piece of your health and wellness plan, and work with your practitioner to establish a treatment schedule that best meets your needs.
Schedule your appointment today! We look forward to serving you!
Soul Tree™...rooted & grounded in the life, soil, & art of holistic beauty, health, & wellness™