Experts estimate that upwards of ninety percent of disease is stress-related. And perhaps nothing ages us faster, internally and externally, than high stress. Massage is an effective tool for managing this stress, which translates into:
- Decreased anxiety.
- Enhanced sleep quality.
- Greater energy.
- Improved concentration.
- Increased circulation.
- Reduced fatigue.
Massage can also help specifically address a number of health issues. Bodywork can:
- Alleviate low-back pain and improve range of motion.
- Assist with shorter, easier labor for expectant mothers and shorten maternity hospital stays.
- Ease medication dependence.
- 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.
- Promote tissue regeneration, reducing scar tissue and stretch marks.
- Pump oxygen and nutrients into tissues and vital organs, improving circulation.
- Reduce post-surgery adhesion and swelling.
- Reduce spasms and cramping.
- Relax and soften injured, tired, and overused muscles.
- Release endorphins—amino acids that work as the body's natural painkiller.
- Relieve migraine pain
What kind of massage client are you?
You have never had a massage in your life or do you make an appointment after someone has given you a massage gift certificate? Do you try to get in every now and then for a stress-relieving tune-up? Or do you see your therapist religiously--once a week, every three weeks, once a month? Only when you have time?
While getting a massage--regardless of how often--is incredibly beneficial to your mind and body, getting frequent massage treatments is even more powerful as a health-care ally.
People who get massage regularly demonstrate greater improvement and notice a reduction in pain and muscular tension, as well as an improvement in posture. We regularly make a commitment to fitness, make a commitment to changing our diet and yet the difference we'd experience if we regularly made a commitment to massage is mind-blowing.
One way in which frequent massage can improve our quality of life is by alleviating stress. Experts say more than 90 percent of disease is stress- related, and nothing ages us faster--inside or out--than the effects of stress. As stress-related diseases continue to claim more lives every year, the increasingly deadly role stress plays in modern-day life is painfully clear.
Our society is overly dependant on using drugs to over-mask the symptoms of stress and pain but massage is a great natural and noninvasive way to take charge in reducing or reversing the situation. The benefits of massage therapy in the simplest of terms: "Healing input influences healing output." Researchers note that frequent massage can reduce the accumulation of stress and improve overall health. "The benefits of massage are cumulative," they write.
Thus it makes sense that those aches and pains you see your massage therapist for might disappear faster, stay away longer, or even go away altogether with more frequent visits. Stress might never reach those physiologically detrimental levels where the immune system is suppressed or the nervous system is sent into an alarm state if you are able to receive stress-relieving bodywork with some consistency. Not only would your body benefit by regularly unleashing its aches and pains instead of adapting to them, but your mind would have time to wash away the stresses of a life lived in overdrive. Both are critical pieces for living well.
Experts say the body and mind can learn to live more calmly, more efficiently, and more healthfully, when frequent massage shows the way. That makes for a healthier whole, allowing us to continue to live life at its fullest, even as we deal with each new stress or challenge.
In so many ways, massage is preventive health-care. Yes, it can address injuries, scar tissue, and chronic pain, as well as provide relief for cancer patients and reduce hospitalization time for babies born prematurely, among so many other valuable benefits. But when the healthy, and trying-to-be-healthy, among us seek out massage on a regular basis, it helps us live a proactively healthier life.
Since bodywork influences every system in the body, there are enormous possibilities created by increasing the frequency in which you address those systems. It's best to discuss your session goals with your massage therapist and together devise a plan of frequency that meets your needs, while taking into account your therapist's best advice.
According to Benny Vaughn, sports massage expert and owner of Athletic Therapy Center in Fort Worth, Texas, one of the benefits of consistent and regular massage therapy is better flexibility. "This happens because regular and structured touch stimulus enhances the nervous system's sensory and spatial processing capacity," he says. "That is, the person becomes more aware of their body's movement in space and becomes more aware of tightness or pain long before it reaches a critical point of mechanical dysfunction."
Quite simply, frequent massage puts you more in tune with your body. "The consistency of massage therapy over time creates a cumulative stress reduction effect," Vaughn says. "The person becomes acutely aware of stress within their body long before it can create stress-driven damage."
He says the consistency of receiving regular massage therapy has the potential to create the cumulative effect of feeling well and feeling better. "Ultimately when one feels good, our whole being follows suit on all other levels--i.e., decision-making is better, processing life events is better, and being happy is easier when you are not in pain or feeling 'heavy' or 'tight.'"
Williams says she's certain people's lives would be changed if they could schedule massage and bodywork more frequently. "I encourage clients to commit to getting massage once a week for a month and then evaluate the results they get," she says. "I guarantee they will become massage enthusiasts for life."
Don't you think you deserve to live a life in which you can feel well and better cumutively as you move on!!!