You may be tempted to cut back on massage or not do it at all; however, massage is more than a luxury. Massage is a vital part of self-care that has a positive ripple effect on us as we work, play, and care for others.
A recent national consumer survey showed most massage-minded Americans are committed to maintaining the health benefits they experience with massage. It only makes sense. The better you feel, the better job you can do of caring for yourself and your loved ones.
Some of the many benefits massage has to offer are:
- Enhances attentiveness
- Alleviates depressive symptoms
- Reduces pain
- Reduces stress hormones
- Improves immune function
- Decreased anxiety
- Enhanced sleep quality
- Greater energy
- Improved concentration
- Increased circulation
- Reduced fatigue
Work. The health benefits of massage can help forestall illnesses and lost work time, especially when you may be asked to produce more with fewer resources. Decision-making skills will be better and your performance is likely to be improved with a clearer focus and more energy. A hint for the boss: Research shows employees exhibit less stress and improved performance when given twice-weekly, 15-minute massages in the office! Experience also shows that a 1-hour massage has the same relaxing and stress-relieving benefits of a 2-day vacation. When you don't have time or your boss would like to send you on a vacation to relax, let your body take a healthy and relaxing vacation with a 1-hour massage.
Health Conditions. Proactively caring for health through massage may help reduce costly doctor visits and use of prescription and over-the-counter medications. Those with already existing health conditions can continue to reap benefits in the following ways:
(Source: American Massage Therapy Association)
- Alzheimer's: Alzheimer's patients exhibit reduced pacing, irritability, and restlessness after neck and shoulder massage.
- Arthritis: Massage is beneficial in reducing symptoms associated with arthritis.
- Asthma: Massage is beneficial in reducing symptoms associated with asthma.
- Back Pain: Deep-tissue massage is effective in treating back pain.
- Burns: Massage is beneficial in reducing symptoms associated with burns. Burn patients experience a decrease in itching.
- Carpal Tunnel: Massage reduces symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome.
- Fibromyalgia: Deep-tissue massage is effective on fibromyalgia. Firbo patients receiving massage also have less pain, depression, anxiety, stiffness, fatigue, and sleep problems.
- High Blood Pressure: Massage is beneficial in reducing symptoms of high blood pressure and premenstrual syndrome.
- Labor Pain: Massage during labor appears to reduce stress and anxiety, relaxes muscles and helps block pain. Some medical professionals believe massage also reduces tearing, shortens labor, reduces the need for medication and shortens hospital stays.
- Oncology: Oncology patients show less pain, fatigue, nausea, anxiety and depression following massage therapy.
- Osteoarthritis: Deep-tissue massage is effective in treating osteoarthritis.
- PMS: Massage is beneficial in reducing symptoms associated with premenstrual syndrome.
- Postsurgical Pain: Massage therapy is effective in reducing postsurgical pain.
- Premature Babies: Premature babies receiving massage therapy gain more weight and have shorter hospital stays than infants not receiving massage.
- Soreness: Massage can reduce sports-related soreness and improve circulation--good to know when you may be excercising more to reduce stress.
- Strokes: Stroke patients show less anxiety and lower blood pressure with massage therapy.
To read a great article from the Mayo Clinic on the Benefits of massage click here!