Massage: An Integral Part of Holistic Health
It’s rare to meet someone who doesn’t love a good, long massage. What’s not to love about being able to drift off as someone else rubs the tired, sore muscles in your body?
Massage certainly offers instant gratification, but there’s more to this gentle touch than most people realize. Feeling stressed out? A massage can relieve the physical manifestations of stress, thus improving circulation, aiding relaxation and helping your body physically manage those things that are troubling you in your life.
Getting massages on a regular basis also helps weak muscles heal faster, reduces pain and swelling, reduces muscle spasms and cramping, provides a greater range of motion, enhances athletic performance, promotes deeper and easier breathing, improves posture, strengthens the immune system, enhances nourishment of the skin and reduces blood pressure. It also releases endorphins, which work as the body’s natural pain killer.
In addition to the physical benefits, there are many mental advantages as well. These include helping relieve mental stress, fostering peace of mind, enhancing the capacity for calm thinking and creativity, improving the ability to monitor stress signals, fostering a feeling of well being, increasing energy, enhancing sleep quality, reducing anxiety and increasing the mind-body connection.
That’s quite the laundry list of benefits, but it’s simple enough to say that regular massages are an integral component to holistic health. Like upper cervical chiropractic care, massage provides the body with the simple tools it needs so that it can do its job unaided by medical prescriptions or treatments that address symptoms.
Still not convinced that you should consider scheduling regular massages as part of your whole-body wellness plan? Consider these research findings:
- Students who were massaged before an exam showed a significant decrease in anxiety and respiratory rates.
- Cancer patients have less pain and anxiety after receiving therapeutic massages.
- Women who experienced the recent death of a child were less depressed after receiving a therapeutic massage.
Additional studies have found that massage helps recovery in patients who have undergone surgery, decreases blood pressure in those who have hypertension and decreases the effects of anxiety, tension, depression, pain and itching in burn patients. People who suffer from arthritis note fewer aches and less stiffness. Massage has also shown to benefit pregnant women, premature infants and autistic children.
In the new year, make a commitment to your body and add regularly scheduled massages to your routine. We recently added massage services at The Specific Chiropractic Center, and we invite you to ask your doctor about the special packages currently available. It may be hard to believe that something that feels so good can also be good for your body, but it’s okay … we give you permission to pamper yourself.
Benefits of Massage. Holistic Online. Retrieved January 6, 2011 from http://www.holisticonline.com/massage/mas_benefits.htm.
The Benefits of Massage. Massage Therapy. Retrieved January 6, 2011 from http://www.massagetherapy.com/learnmore/benefits.php.