What exactly are the benefits of receiving massage or bodywork treatments? Useful for all of the conditions listed below and more, massage can:
- Alleviate low-back pain
- Assist with shorter, easier labor for expectant mothers and shorten maternity hospital stays
- Enhance immunity by stimulating lymph flow—the body’s natural defense system
- Exercise and stretch weak, tight, or atrophied muscles
- Help athletes of any level prepare for and recover from strenuous workouts
- Improve the condition of the body’s largest organ—the skin
- Increase joint flexibility
- Lessen depression and anxiety
- Ease medication dependence
- Improve range of motion
- Reduce spasms and cramping
- Relieve migraine pain
- Promote tissue regeneration, reducing scar tissue and stretch marks
- Pump oxygen and nutrients into tissues and vital organs, improving circulation
- Reduce post-surgery adhesions and swelling
- Relax and soften injured, tired, and overused muscles
- Release endorphins—amino acids that work as the body’s natural painkiller
A Powerful Ally
There’s no denying the power of bodywork. Regardless of the adjectives we assign to it (pampering, rejuvenating, therapeutic) or the reasons we seek it out (a luxurious treat, stress relief, pain management), massage therapy can be a powerful ally in your healthcare regimen.
Experts estimate that upwards of ninety percent of disease is stress related. And perhaps nothing ages us faster, internally and externally, than high stress. While eliminating anxiety and pressure altogether in this fast-paced world may be idealistic, massage can, without a doubt, help manage stress. This translates into:
* Decreased anxiety
* Enhanced sleep quality
* Greater energy
* Increased circulation
* Reduced fatigue
Clients often report a sense of perspective and clarity after receiving a massage. The emotional balance bodywork provides can often be just as vital and valuable as the more tangible physical benefits.
In response to massage, specific physiological and chemical changes cascade throughout the body, with profound effects. Research shows that with massage:
* Arthritis sufferers note fewer aches and less stiffness and pain.
* Asthmatic children show better pulmonary function and increased peak air flow.
* Burn injury patients report reduced pain, itching, and anxiety.
* High blood pressure patients demonstrate lower diastolic blood pressure, anxiety, and stress hormones.
* Premenstrual syndrome sufferers have decreased water retention and cramping.
* Preterm infants have improved weight gain.
Research continues to show the enormous benefits of touch—which range from treating chronic diseases, neurological disorders, and injuries, to alleviating the tensions of modern lifestyles. Consequently, the medical community is actively embracing bodywork, and 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.
Increase the Benefits with Frequent Visits
Getting a massage can do you a world of good. And getting massage frequently can do even more. This is the beauty of bodywork. Taking part in this form of regularly scheduled self-care can play a huge part in how healthy you’ll be and how youthful you’ll remain with each passing year. Budgeting time and money for bodywork at consistent intervals is truly an investment in your health. And remember just because massage feels like a pampering treat doesn’t mean it is any less therapeutic. Consider massage appointments a necessary piece of your health and wellness plan, and work with your practitioner to establish a treatment schedule that best meets your needs.
My Top Six Health Tips
There are many things you can do for your health. These six will help you to stay healthy and balanced through all of the seasons of life. This can sometimes be a challenge with all of stress life throws at us. Remember to be kind to yourself and those around you as we are all affected by the stress of life and are doing the best we can. So, do what you can to heed these tips for a most enjoyable life.
#1 – Learn to say No!
Most humans have minimal boundaries. It is human nature to help others. It is said that as a nation Americans are the most giving people. That is great for emergencies and when someone’s in a time of need. But in our personal lives we need to know when to say no. That could be as simple as letting someone know that you need to get off the phone; because you need to make dinner. If we stay on line, we make dinner late. We make the rest of the evening late. This turns into a late night we do not get as much sleep as we normally get. This in turn effects our next morning and day. If we keep this up it can affect our health, family, job and ultimately our lives. Remember when someone asks you something the best communication is yes and no. Yes, it is okay to say No! We are so afraid of offending someone. No does not mean No forever. It is just no right now. You are taking care of yourself by setting those boundaries and not over committing yourself. We all need to get over the fear of offending others by saying no. We all need to come together and let each other know that it is ok to say no. A new self-preservation ethic that everyone understands by saying no to friends when no is no; I can see a world where no one is offended or afraid because they know that the person saying no still loves them; by loving themselves.
#2 – Get plenty of sleep
Getting a good 8 hours a sleep a night is often the most recommended time for most adults, some individuals can get by with less. 7 or 6 hours some people do all right. Some studies show that less than six sets increase our chance of getting many diseases. Pushing ourselves to get something done that can wait till the next day or staying up late to watch late night television when we could have recorded it. This often results in 3, 4, 5 hours a sleep night and leaves us without the energy we need to keep going in all are daily activities. Remember to be your best healthy self-get plenty of sleep and take breaks during the day!
#3 – Limit or just say no to sugar!
Make a choice to limit or completely say no to all the extra sugar that finds its way into our diet. Sugar takes extra vitamins to process, strains our pancreas and can lead to pre-diabetes or diabetes. Even small amounts of sugar will depress our immune system for hours after ingestion. Keep your immunity strong with abstinence or moderation. If you cannot completely let, go of sugar research the alternative sweeteners out there. One very good sweetener that does not spike your blood sugar is Stevia. We are all unique individuals and some alternatives will not work with your body. Sometimes just eating some wholesome fruit like apples, pears, peaches, plums, etc. will help reduce the craving for sweets. Do what you can; your body will thank you in the long run.
#4 – Get Regular weekly exercise
With the seasons of life and the stresses that come our way forgetting to exercise could be a fatal mistake. First off exercise can help reduce the effects of the stress we are going through. Regular exercise can strengthen our bone density, help keep our elimination regular, keep our hearts strong, tone and strengthen our muscles and tendons and as I said before reducing the effects of stress on our bodies. With changes in the weather we are tempted to stop our normal exercise routine. Yes, it may be very cold outside, and we just want to stay warm. We can find other exercises that can be done indoors that can replace the outside schedule. Finally exercise helps keep our immune system, bodies and minds in top shape. So, to keep ourselves well and healthy during the seasons of our lives do not neglect exercise.
#5 – Drink plenty of water
Some health advisors suggest drinking at least eight-8oz. glasses a day. We as Americans do not drink enough water to keep us healthy. We indulge in coffee, tea and soda pop. A lot of these drinks have caffeine and it is known diuretic and can pull more fluid from our systems. As our bodies become low in fluid, we become dehydrated. Dehydration can affect our muscles, tendons, discs, blood, digestion and all bodily processes. So do not forget to drink more water. Find the purest water you can find and see what amount is right for you.
#6 – Receive regular massage and bodywork
One of the best things you can do for your health is to get regular scheduled massage or bodywork. Time for yourself relaxing, releasing, renewing is what therapeutic massage is all about. Massage is one of your best options for healthy self-care. So, as we go about our lives remember to schedule regular massage for your life and health.