Benefits of Massage
Bodywork Goes Beyond Relaxation. Evidence is showing that the more massage you can allow yourself, the better you'll feel.
It’s estimated that 80 percent to 90 percent of disease is stress-related. Massage and bodywork is there to combat that frightening number by helping us remember what it means to relax. The physical changes massage brings to your body can have a positive effect in many areas of your life. Besides increasing relaxation and decreasing anxiety, massage lowers blood pressure, increases circulation, improves injury recovery, encourages deep sleep, and increases concentration. It reduces fatigue and gives you more energy to handle stressful situations.
What It Does
In an age of technical and, at times, impersonal medicine, massage offers a drug-free, non-invasive, and humanistic approach based on the body's natural ability to heal itself. Following is a brief list of the many known, research-based benefits of massage and bodywork:
- 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. Furthermore, 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 and helps prepare the body for strenuous workouts, reducing subsequent muscle pain of athletes at any level;
- Releases endorphins -- the body's natural painkiller -- and is proving very beneficial in patients with chronic illness, injury, and post-op pain;
- Reduces post-surgery adhesions and edema 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 reduces the need for medication, eases postpartum depression and anxiety, and contributes to a shorter hospital stay.
The benefits of massage are diverse. No matter how great it feels, massage isn't just a luxury; it's a health necessity.