Date of last update: 22-May-2010
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From the Massage Therapy web site:
"Massage is the application of soft-tissue manipulation techniques to the body, generally intended to reduce stress and fatigue while improving circulation. The many variations of massage account for several different techniques."
From the Dr. Weil web site:
"Massage can be beneficial for many health conditions. The healing touch of massage can reduce heart rate, blood pressure and stress hormone levels. It can also enhance immune function, boost levels of endorphins and serotonin - the body's natural painkillers and mood regulators - and increase blood circulation, all while easing sore and achy muscles.
If you have problems with tension headaches, back issues, sports injuries, arthritis, or fibromyalgia, experiment with massage as a relaxing way to help reduce or even eliminate associated pain. Those with eating disorders, anxiety or depression can take advantage of the effects massage has on the mind."
American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA)
A growing body of research confirms the efficacy of massage for a variety of illnesses and ailments. Massage has been shown to reduce blood pressure and heart rate; increase cytotoxic capacity (activity level of the bodyís natural "killer cells"); enhance weight gain in pre-term infants; increase lymph flow and reduce edema; relieve and reduce certain types of back pain; and, reduce anxiety and relieve stress.
- Massage really works for chronic low-back pain
People who get massage for sore muscles and pain have long said that it gives them relief and helps them get back to regular activity. Recent research on the benefits of massage for some types of back pain has shown that massage is effective in both relieving chronic low-back pain and for controlling some back pain.
- Massage really works to relieve stress and aid relaxation
After a massage, people say they "feel good" in a general sense. They also report a greater sense of well being. When someone "feels good", they usually "hurt" less, too. Massage has been shown to reduce blood pressure and heart rate, and to increase blood and lymph circulation. Massage also has been shown to increase endorphins, the bodyís natural pain killers.
- Massage really works for cancer patients
Cancer and cancer treatments can cause great physical pain and anxiety. Women who have mastectomies report negative feelings about being touched and must fight a common problem of lymphedema (a build up of lymph in the arm after their surgery). Massage has been shown to reduce and relieve lymphedema, to relieve pain and anxiety among hospitalized cancer patients, and to help mastectomy patients recover from their reluctance to be touched.
Recent studies have also associated massage therapy with substantive relief of symptoms in cancer patients, such as pain, fatigue, stress, anxiety, nausea, and depression.
- Massage really works to boost the immune system
Your bodyís immune system helps you fight off infections and illnesses, and it helps you recover from injuries. When you are under stress, the immune system may not always work the way it should. Research among different groups of people in very different situations has shown the massage can increase the immune systemís cytotoxic capacity (the activity level of the bodyís natural "killer cells") and decrease the number of T-cells. The result is an immune system that is working better. Massage does not cure ailments, but it has been shown to help the body function better in fighting ailments.
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