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:
Massage for Depression:
According to Prevention Magazine, August 2010 Issue: Chronic mental and emotional stress, both of which can lead to depression are eased by massage, so it’s hardly a surprise that a number of studies conclude that massage therapy helps lift the blues. Researches suspect that massage spurs the release of mood boosting endorphins, perhaps in response to both physical manipulation and intimate hands-on touch.
Some studies show that massage therapy is as effective as prescription antidepressants such as Prozac and Paxil in relieving anxiety, a major contributor to depression.
Hidden Benefit: Massage therapy relieves stiffness and pain and speeds healing of sports injuries. (Research was done at the National Center for Complementary & Alternative Medicine at the National Institute of Health)
Massage for Back Pain:
According to the Body Sense Magazine, Summer 2010 Issue:
Other Benefits of Massage:
According to Massage & Bodywork Magazine, Jan 2011 Issue:
A study from Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles reports significant biological changes in the results of a single massage. Volunteers were fitted with intravenous catheters to measure blood chemistry both before and after the massage. Swedish massage recipients showed significantly decreased levels of cortisol, a stress hormone and an elevated number of lymphocites, the white blood cells crucial to the immune system. Recipients also experienced elevations in oxytocin, a hormone linked with contentment. The research was funded by the National Center of Complementary and Alternative Medicine and published in the October 2010 issue of the The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine.
Prevention Magazine December 2011
Massage - The Magic of Touch
A pill that eases pain, boosts immunity, and improves mood might take many years and millions of dollars to develop, test, and market. But you don't have to wait in order to get that bevy of benefits, according to new research. Studies done at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles and at the Group Health Research Institute in Seattle showed that massage already provides them. After analyzing blood samples taken from subjects pre- and postmassage, Mark H. Rapaport, MD, leader of the Cedars-Sinai study, found that a 45-minute Swedish massage brought on a major spike in lymphocytes, white blood cells that fight bacteria and viruses. It also decreased substances that cause inflammation and trigger allergies and asthma, and it lessened production of a hormone that is associated with stress levels. "Massage helps you stay healthier," says Dr. Rapaport.
The Seattle study found that massage does a very good job of relieving back pain as well. It compared the benefits of two types of massage with whatever the participants were already doing, including taking medication. At the end of the study, up to 39% of those who got a massage said their back pain was better or gone, compared with just 4% of people who followed their usual care. "For lower-back pain, massage and other treatments such as acupuncture are every bit as effective as - and sometimes more effective than - conventional medical treatments and often have less serious side effects," says senior investigator Daniel C. Cherkin, PhD.
What It Means For Your:
If you suffer from back pain, It's time to start taking massage seriously. Getting a weekly massage may not only relieve your discomfort but also keep you healthier overall, because nagging pain can make you depressed and weaken your immune system. Some insurance plans pay for massages for cancer patients or people with musculoskeletal problems...