Real Health Benefits of Regular Massage Therapy

Why Get Regular Massage Therapy?

Many of us love the idea of treating ourselves to a nice massage therapy session once in a while as a little luxury or for relaxation. How many of us know how far reaching the health benefits of regular massage therapy can be?

For each and every one of us, there is a great massage therapist out there. Along with their unique skills, every therapist brings a different set of hands to the table (literally). Even with the same education and training, each therapist offers a whole different experience. Yet, no matter who your therapist is, here are some of the health benefits you or someone you know can gain.

Health Benefits of Regular Massage

  • Improving mental health, decreasing depression, aiding with anxiety.
  • Improving sleep. With lower cortisol and increased serotonin we have more restful nights. We have an easier time both falling asleep, and staying asleep. “Back massage in the postnatal period significantly improved the quality of sleep” according to a Taiwanese study by Department of Nursing, College of Medicine, Catholic Fu-Jen University. According to the Department of Medical-Surgical Therapy, Medicine Faculty, Extremadura University in Badajoz, Spain, regular massage can help patients with dementia: “Massage therapy and ear acupuncture can improve behavior and sleep disturbances, and increase the participation in eating and rehabilitation organized in residential homes, in dementia patients.”
  • Reducing blood pressure. According to a study conducted at the Department of Adult Health Nursing, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences in Isfahan, Iran, “massage therapy was a safe, effective, applicable and cost-effective intervention in controlling blood pressure of the pre-hypertension women.”
  • Increasing circulation, thereby helping deliver oxygen and other nutrients throughout your whole body.
  • Can aid with weight loss. Stress can increase our desire to eat and also slow down our metabolism. Reducing cortisol results in an increased metabolism.
  • Improving digestion. When we are relaxed our bodies are better able to digest food and obtain needed nutrients from our foods.
  • Preventing injuries and illness. Tense muscles can cut off circulation and contribute to developing chronic aliments.
  • Massage can reduce heart rate, and strengthen our immune system by producing additional lymphocytes. The Department of Epidemiology, Faculty of Public Health, Khon Kaen University, in Thailand completed a study with the conclusion that: “Aromatherapy with light Thai massage can be beneficial for the immune systems of cancer patients who are undergoing chemotherapy by increasing the number of lymphocytes and can help to reduce the severity of common symptoms.”
  • Lowered stress from massage can help us to maintain a more alkaline pH in our bodies, making us less likely to suffer from common diseases.
  • Regular massage can decrease inflammation in our bodies, one of the main causes of many diseases.
  • Massage can be an effective treatment for carpal tunnel syndrome according a study performed by Centre for Healthy Activities Sport and Exercise, University of the Sunshine Coast in Australia: “Based on this study, the combination of massage and trigger-point therapy is a viable treatment option for carpal tunnel syndrome and offers a new treatment approach.
  • Another PubMed source explains how, massage therapy can be a great source of relief for pregnant women: “Massage therapy and chiropractic care, including spinal manipulation, are highly safe and effective evidence-based options for pregnant women suffering from mechanical low back and pelvic pain.”
  • A study on patients with Multiple Sclerosis at the Musculoskeletal Rehabilitation Research Center, Ahvaz Jundishapur University of Medical Sciences, in Iran. “Conclusions: Massage therapy could be more effective than exercise therapy. Moreover, the combination of massage and exercise therapy may be a little more effective than exercise therapy alone.”

AMTA Massage Benefits for Mental Health

A few more findings collected and posted on American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA), show the following:

  • Research published in The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine indicates that massage therapy can reduce symptoms of depression for individuals with HIV disease.
  • Research published in Military Medicine reports that military veterans indicated significant reductions in ratings of anxiety, worry, depression and physical pain after massage. Analysis also suggests declining levels of tension and irritability following massage.
  • Research published in Applied Nursing Research shows that back massage given during chemotherapy can significantly reduce anxiety and acute fatigue.

AMTA Massage Therapy Consumer Survey Feedback

  • 88% of individuals view massage as beneficial to overall health and wellness
  • 88% of individuals believe that massage can be effective in reducing pain
  • 75% of consumers surveyed claim that their primary reason for receiving a massage was medical (43%) or stress (32%) related
  • 53% of people say their doctor has recommended they get a massage

There are a multitude of studies showing improved physical, mental and emotional health in people who get massage regularly. According to sources such as the Mayo Clinic, WebMD, International Journal of Neuroscience, there is evidence that massage therapy can be one of the best ways to treat a long series of physical and mental ailments.

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