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The Health Benefits of Massage

 

Health Benefits of Massage

Did you know that massage therapy, when combined with traditional medical treatments, is used to reduce stress and pain and promote healing in people with certain health conditions?

Massage has many important health benefits. In fact, massage can help you maintain physical, mental and emotional well being, especially when it is part of your regular wellness routine.

  • Massage calms the nervous system and promotes a sense of relaxation and well being.
  • Massage reduces tension and anxiety.
  • Massage improves blood circulation, which delivers oxygen and nutrients to the cells.
  • Massage stimulates the lymphatic system, which carries away the body’s waste products.
  • Massage prevents and relieve muscles cramps and spasms.
  • Massage therapy can help with pain management in conditions such as arthritis, sciatica, muscle spasms.

Massage can relieve tension in your muscles, and most people use it for relaxation, relief of stress and anxiety, or to reduce muscle soreness. Massage can also cause your body to release natural painkillers, and it may boost your immune system.

Massage can be used in combination with traditional medical treatments to treat the following:

  • Anxiety. Massage reduced anxiety in depressed children and anorexic women. It also reduced anxiety and withdrawal symptoms in adults trying to quit smoking.
  • Pain. Pain was decreased in people with fibromyalgia, migraines and recent surgery. Back pain also might be relieved by massage. However, back pain study results have been contradictory, and more research is required.
  • Labor pain. Massage during labor appears to lessen stress and anxiety, relax muscles and reduce pain.
  • Infant growth. Massage encouraged weight gain in premature babies and reduced the number of days they stayed in the hospital.
  • Children with diabetes. Children who were massaged every day by their parents were more likely to stick to their medication and diet regimens, which helped reduce their blood glucose levels.
  • Sports-related soreness. Some athletes receive massages after exercise, especially to the muscles they use most in their sport or activity. A massage might help increase blood flow to your muscles and may reduce muscle soreness after you exercise.
  • Alcohol withdrawal. Massage during withdrawal from alcohol has shown benefits when combined with traditional medical treatment by increasing feelings of support, safety and engagement in the therapy.
  • Immune system. People with HIV who participated in massage studies showed an increased number of natural killer cells, which are thought to defend the body from viral and cancer cells.
  • Cancer treatment. People with cancer who received regularly scheduled massage therapy during treatment reported less anxiety, pain and fatigue.
  • Self-esteem. Because massage involves direct contact with another person through touch, it can make you feel cared for. That special attention can improve self-image in people with physical disabilities and terminal illnesses. And using touch to convey caring can help children with severe physical disabilities.

Massage is not a good idea if you have a fever, infections, inflammation, osteoporosis and other medical conditions. If you have any questions about whether a massage would be right for you, ask to speak to a massage therapist before you make your appointment.

Sources:
http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/massage/SA00082
http://spas.about.com/od/massa2/a/massagebenefits.htm
 

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