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The Health Benefits of Massage

The Health Benefits of Massage
Massage is one of the oldest healing practices. Many ancient communities such as the Ancient Greeks, Egyptians, Chinese and Indians used the therapeutic properties of massage to treat a variety of ailments.
Massage therapy is a form of manual therapy and is the practice of kneading or manipulating a person’s muscles and other soft-tissue in order to improve their wellbeing or health. It involves holding, moving, and applying pressure to the muscles, tendons, ligaments and fascia.

Massage therapy is among the most commonly used forms of complementary and alternative medicine in Australia. 
A 2011 study found that massage helped people with low back pain to feel and function better, compared to people who didn't get a massage. Dr Dan Cherkin, Ph.D., lead author of the study said, ‘We found the benefits of massage are about as strong as those reported for other effective treatments: medications, acupuncture, exercise and yoga.’ Massage also seems to lessen pain among people with osteoarthritis.

Massage for treatment of some disorders

Research indicates that massage and myotherapy are effective in managing:
  • subacute/chronic low back pain
  • delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS)
  • anxiety
  • stress
  • soft tissue injuries
  • high blood pressure
  • insomnia.

They can also be effectively used to support people with:

  • a chronic disease
  • a life threatening illness such as cancer.

Benefits of massage

Massage prompts the release of the endorphins which is the brain chemical that produce feelings of well being.  Massage therefore has the immediate benefit of feeling a sense of deep relaxation and calm.  The levels of stress hormones, such as adrenalin, cortisol and norepinephrine, are also reduced. Studies indicate that high levels of stress hormones impair the immune system.
Some of the physical benefits of massage and myotherapy include:
  • reduced muscle tension
  • improved circulation
  • stimulation of the lymphatic system
  • reduction of stress hormones
  • relaxation
  • increased joint mobility and flexibility
  • improved skin tone
  • improved recovery of soft tissue injuries
  • heightened mental alertness
  • reduced anxiety and depression.

Topic: Wellbeing

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