Although massage feels like a pampering treat, it is a serious therapeutic tool. Considered part of complementary and alternative medicine, it is beneficial for an increasingly wide range of medical conditions and situations. Studies have shown that massage can be an effective treatment to:
- Alleviate low back pain
- Relieve headache pain, including migraine
- Lesson pain Fibromyalgia
- Insomnia related to stress
- Ease discomfort during pregnancy
- Reduce medication dependency
- Relax muscles that are tight, weak, atrophied or recovering from strain
- Improve posture
- Lower blood pressure
- Increase joint flexibility and range of motion
- Lessen depression and anxiety
- Improves rehabilitation after injury
- Reduces spasms and cramping
- Reduce post-surgery adhesions and swelling
- Promote tissue regeneration, reducing scar tissue and stretch marks
- Improve the condition of the skin
- Encourage relaxation
Massage therapy works in three different ways
- Physical: Pressure on the skin can loosen stiff muscles and connective tissue. Heat can also loosen stiff muscles. Massage techniques such as hot stones (offered by Muscles in Knead) use heat and gentle friction to heat and loosen the muscles.
- Physiological: Massage therapy can help the body release certain chemicals that help us to relax, improve blood and lymph circulation. In addition, relaxation with massage may improve the immune system which fights off germs and sickness. When the body experiences stress, the immune system is less able to fight disease.
- Psychological: Many people who get massages feel better because it involves caring, touch, comfort, a sense of empowerment and can create deep connections with their therapist.
Increase the benefits with frequent visits
Getting a massage can be good for your well-being. Getting massages frequently is even better. It helps if it becomes a regular scheduled routine for self-care. Think of is this way, if you brush your teeth today — they will be clean — but eventually you’ll need to brush them again. It’s like that with your body. Regular care will improve your health and enhance your sense of well-being. Work with your therapist to establish a treatment schedule that best meets your needs.
Find out more about clinical research studies.
National Institutes of Health National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM)