The medical community has actively embraced bodywork and massage as part of the overall part of health maintenance. Massage is becoming an integral part of hospice care and neonatal intensive care units. Many hospitals are also incorporating on-site massage practitioners and even spas to treat post-surgery or pain patients as part of the recovery process. The benefits of massage include:
Decreased anxiety and depression
Enhanced sleep quality
Relieve postoperative pain and swelling
Reduce muscle tension and pain
Relieve tension headaches and migraines
The benefits of massage and bodywork are cumulative. So regularly scheduling a massage isan important part of how healthy you are and how healthy you will remain. While a massage may feel wonderful and pampering, it still has many therapeutic benefits.
History of Massage Therapy
Massage therapy history dates back thousands of year to ancient cultures with the first written records found in China and Egypt. Egyptian tomb paintings show that massage therapy was part of the medical tradition. The Egyptian studies and traditions greatly influenced the Greeks and Romans. The first known written massage therapy traditions come from India between 1500 to 500 BC, but the practice may have actually originated around 3000 BC. Today, massage therapy has earned a place as a legitimate and respectable form of alternative and complementary medicine to maintain wellness.
Massage Therapy Benefits
Some people consider massage as a way to indulge or pamper yourself. To the contrary,
massage can be a powerful tool to help you take charge of your health and well-being, whether
you have a specific health condition or are looking for stress relief.
Experts estimate that upwards of ninety percent of disease is stress related. Perhaps nothing
ages us faster, internally and externally, than high stress. Massage is an effective tool for
managing this stress. Massage encourages the release of oxytocin, a stress-reducing hormone
in the body most often associated with birth and bonding, and activates the parasympathetic
nervous system and its relaxation response. There is also decreased beta brainwave activity,
increased dopamine and serotonin levels in the body, and reduction of cortisol levels from
massage, all of which are linked to decreased stress.
Massage Combats Aging
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, preventing disease and
injury is critical to reducing the expected growth of health-care and long-term care costs, as
more than 70 million baby boomers cross the 60-year old threshold. The preventative and
restorative nature of massage and bodywork can help limit the effects of aging.