Benefits of Massage
Research in massage therapy has been ongoing for more than 120 years. An increasing number of research
studies show massage reduces heart rate, lowers blood pressure, increases blood circulation and lymph flow, relaxes muscles, improves range of motion, and increases endorphins (enhancing medical treatment). Although therapeutic massage does not increase muscle strength, it can stimulate weak, inactive muscles and, thus, partially compensate for the lack of exercise and inactivity resulting from illness or injury. It also can hasten and lead to a more complete recovery from exercise or injury.
According American Massage Therapy Association, massage helps both physically and mentally.
"Often times people are stressed in our culture. Stress-related disorders make up between 80-and-90 percent of the ailments that bring people to family-practice physicians. What they require is someone to listen, someone to touch them, someone to care. That does not exist in modern medicine.
One of the complaints heard frequently is that physicians don't touch their patients any more. Touch just isn't there. Years ago massage was a big part of nursing. There was so much care, so much touch, so much goodness conveyed through massage. Now nurses for the most part are as busy as physicians. They're writing charts, dealing with insurance notes, they're doing procedures and often there is no room for massage any more.
I believe massage therapy is absolutely key in the healing process not only in the hospital environment but because it relieves stress, it is obviously foundational in the healing process any time and anywhere."
Joan Borysenko - Massage Journal Interview, Fall 1999
Physical Benefits of Therapeutic Massage
Helps relieve stress and aids relaxation
Helps relieve muscle tension and stiffness
Alleviates discomfort during pregnancy
Fosters faster healing of strained muscles and sprained ligaments; reduces pain and swelling; reduces formation of excessive scar tissue
Reduces muscle spasms
Provides greater joint flexibility and range of motion
Enhances athletic performance; Treats injuries caused during sport or work
Promotes deeper and easier breathing
Improves circulation of blood and movement of lymph fluids
Reduces blood pressure
Helps relieve tension-related headaches and effects of eye-strain
Enhances the health and nourishment of skin
Strengthens the immune system
Treats musculoskeletal problems
Rehabilitation post operative
Rehabilitation after injury
Mental Benefits of Massage Therapy
Fosters peace of mind
Promotes a relaxed state of mental alertness
Helps relieve mental stress
Improves ability to monitor stress signals and respond appropriately
Enhances capacity for calm thinking and creativity
Satisfies needs for caring nurturing touch
Fosters a feeling of well-being
Reduces levels of anxiety
Creates body awareness
Increases awareness of mind-body connection
Research has verified that:
Office workers massaged regularly were more alert, performed better and were less stressed than those who weren't massaged.
Massage therapy decreased the effects of anxiety, tension, depression, pain, and itching in burn patients.
Abdominal surgery patients recovered more quickly after massage.
Premature infants who were massaged gained more weight and fared better than those who weren't.
Autistic children showed less erratic behavior after massage therapy.