In an age of technical and, at times, impersonal medicine, it is important to understand the benefits of massage therapy. Massage therapy offers a drug-free, non-invasive and humanistic approach, based on the body’s natural ability to heal itself. So what exactly are the benefits to receiving regular massage and/or bodywork treatments?
- Increased circulation, allowing the body to pump more oxygen and nutrients into tissues and vital organs.
- Stimulates the flow of lymph, the body’s natural defense system, against toxic invaders. For example, in breast cancer patients, massage has been shown to increase the cells that fight cancer.
- Increased circulation of blood and lymph systems improves the condition of the body’s largest organ – the skin
- Relaxes and softens injured and overused muscles
- Reduces spasms and cramping
- Increases joint flexibility
- Reduces recovery time, helps prepare for strenuous workouts and eliminates subsequent pains of the athlete at any level
- Releases endorphins – the body’s natural painkiller – and is being used in chronic illness, injury, and recovery from surgery to control and relieve pain
- Reduces post-surgery adhesion’s and edema and can be used to reduce and realign scar tissue after healing has occurred
- Improves range of motion and decreases discomfort for patients with low back pain
- Relieves pain for migraine sufferers and decreases the need to medication
- Assists with shorter labor for expectant mothers, as well as less need to medication less depression and anxiety, and shorter hospital stays
Originally published in Body Sense magazine, Fall 2001.Copyright 2001. Associated Bodywork and Massage Professionals. All rights reserved.
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