How Massage Can Benefit Our Lives

Massage is much more than simply spending time being pampered. Among its many benefits are the following:

  • massage increases the supply of fresh nutrients to the tissues
  • aids in the elimination of toxins
  • improves muscle tone
  • increases range of motion and
  • calms nervous tension

As accumulated physical tensions are released, there can be a corresponding release of emotional tensions as well. Additionally, massage stimulates the flow of vital life energy and provides essential nurturing in an environment of care and trust.

It is our belief that each one of us possesses the inherent capacity to heal ourselves. We see massage as a wonderful way of reaching out and helping one another as we tune into our own healing power. This healing contact penetrates far beyond the surface of the skin into the depths of our being so that we might once again experience wholeness.

What Conditions May be Helped by Therapeutic Massage?

An increasing number of research studies show massage reduces heart rate, lowers blood pressure, increases blood circulation and lymph flow, relaxes muscles, improves range of motion, and increases endorphins (enhancing medical treatment). Although therapeutic massage does not increase muscle strength, it can stimulate weak, inactive muscles and, thus, partially compensate for the lack of exercise and inactivity resulting from illness or injury. It also can hasten and lead to a more complete recovery from exercise or injury.

People with the following conditions have reported that therapeutic massage has lessened or relieved many of their symptoms:

  • Arthritis 1
  • Asthma 2
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome 3
  • Chronic and acute pain 4
  • Circulatory problems 5
  • Gastrointestinal disorders (including spastic colon, colic and constipation)
  • Headache 7
  • Immune function disorders 8
  • Insomnia 9
  • Myofascial pain 10
  • Premature infants 11
  • Reduced range of motion 12
  • Sports injuries 13 (including pulled or strained muscles and ligaments)
  • Stress 14
  • Emporomandibular joint (TMJ) dysfunction 15

Contraindications

  • Certain forms of cancer
  • Phlebitis
  • Some cardiac problems
  • Some skin conditions
  • Infectious disease

References

  1. Field, T., Hernandez-Reif, M., Seligman, S., Krasnegor, J., Sunshine, W., Rivas-Chacon, R., & Schanberg, S. Jrnl. Ped. Psychology, 1997.
  2. Field, T., Henteleff, T., Hernandez-Reif, M, Marting, E., Mavunda, K., Kuhn, C., & Schanberg, S. Jrnl. of Ped., 1997.
  3. Sheon R.P., Postgrad Med., 1997.
  4. Weintraub, M. American Journal of Pain Management, 1992.
  5. Meek, S.S., J. Nurs. Sch., 1993.
  6. Klauser, A.G., et.al. Z. Gastroenterol, 1992.
  7. Puustjarvi, K., Airaksinen, O., Pontinen, P.J. Acupunct. Electrother. Res., 1990.
  8. Ironson, G., et.al. Intl. Jr. Neurosc., 1996.
  9. Richards, KC., Am J Crit Care, 1998.
  10. Danneskoild-Samsoe, B., et.al. Scand J Rehab Med., 1982.
  11. Scafidi, F.A., Field, T., Schanberg, S.M. J. Dev. Behav. Pediatr., 1993.
  12. Crosman, J.L., et.al. Jr. Orthop. & Sports Phys. Th., 1984.
  13. Goats, G.C. Br. J. Sports Med., 1994.
  14. Field, T., Ironson, G., Scafidi, F., Nawrocki, T., Goncalves, A., Burman, I., Pickens, J., Fox, N., Schanberg, S., & Kuhn, C. Intl. Jrnl. of Neurosc. ,1996.
  15. Blood, S.D. Jrnl. of Am. Osteop. Assoc., 1986. Canadian Lifeline Massage Therapy Clinic

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