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Massage — The Timeless
The typical initiation to massage
is motivated by a stressful or painful condition. But massage’s
magical ministrations go deeper and offer you far more than you
may have ever suspected. Regular massage can greatly benefit your
overall health and well-being. Read on to learn some of the wonderful
health aspects available to you through massage.
The more you learn about massage,
the more you’ll benefit from each of our sessions. This
overview touches on some of the basic massage benefits available
to you. Massage:
- Alleviates stress
- Aids digestion
- Improves circulation
- Relieves tight or sore muscles
- Aids detoxification
- Improves range of motion
- And much more...
The most obvious benefit shared
by virtually everyone is that a full body massage makes you feel
great! The stress-relieving, soothing results are enough for many
to include massage as a regular part of their lives. But what
of the less obvious benefits?
The first sense to develop
is your sense of touch. It’s not surprising when you consider
that each square inch of your skin contains roughly 50 nerve endings.
With as many as five million total touch receptors in your skin
relaying messages on to your brain, your body’s initial
response to massage is to relax and de-stimulate. Even a simple
touch has been shown to lower blood pressure and reduce the heart
rate. Touch can also signal the brain to produce endorphins, your
body’s natural pain suppressors.
Going deeper, massage can restore
suppleness and strength to your muscles, improving their overall
function. It’s the ideal treatment for releasing tension
or muscles in spasm and helps to release toxins such as lactic
acid (produced by muscle tissue during exercise), as well.
Proper circulation is vital
to continued health. Your blood and lymph carry nourishment to
the trillions of cells throughout your body and then carry away
the waste to be eliminated from the cells. Massage encourages
a better exchange of nutrients at the cellular level and more
thorough detoxification. Remember, the future "you"
is determined by how well your army of cells regenerate themselves,
so this is indeed a critical part of remaining healthy.
The nervous system is your
communication network, sending messages constantly that determine
proper functioning throughout your body. Stress can affect the
ability of the nervous system to do its job. The many nerve endings
found in the skin and muscles are soothed by massage, and this
contributes to keeping your internal lines of communication open
Massage also aids in maintaining
flexibility in your joints, such as the knee, hip, spine, shoulder,
and neck. These joints are thoroughfares for nerves, veins and
arteries, so their freedom of movement allow energy and blood
to flow unimpeded.
So, you can see massage does
quite a bit more than just relax you and work out the kinks in
a sore back. Since massage has been practiced for thousands of
years and is one of the earliest known health treatments known
to man, why don’t you hear more about it in today’s
In fact, massage today is rapidly
growing in popularity and reputation. Besides being misunderstood,
massage has had to overcome the reluctance many people have regarding
physical contact. Of course, once they experience a therapeutic
massage for themselves, most people are hooked.
A 1997 Life magazine
article explored some of the research underway regarding the benefits
of massage. Undertaken by the Touch Research Institute in Miami,
ongoing studies are showing amazing results, as the following
"...More than 50 TRI studies
have shown massage to have positive effects on conditions from
colic to hyperactivity to diabetes to migraines — in fact,
on every malady TRI has studied thus far. Massage, it seems, helps
asthmatics breathe easier, boosts immune function in HIV-positive
patients, improves autistic children’s ability to concentrate,
lowers anxiety in depressed adolescents...
"...Massage can increase
the lymph flow rate. It enhances immune function and lowers levels
of (two) stress hormones...
"...Field (the director
of TRI) worries that Americans aren’t getting enough touch...At
the TRI preschool, teachers encourage ‘positive touch.’
They dole out unlimited hugs, backrubs and shoulder pats...Most
of the 40 children, from six months to five years in age, get
a daily 15-minute rubdown, which leaves them according to TRI
research, more alert, more responsive, able to sleep more deeply..."
As you can see, massage offers
more benefits than you may have imagined. Isn’t it good
to know that something that feels so great can contribute to your
long-term health as well? Let’s work together to help you
get the most from your massages — see you at your next appointment!