The Many Health Benefits of Massage Therapy
Where does one begin when describing the numerous health benefits of a massage? Today, its positive role is considered a beneficial tool in the medical field, often offered alongside standard treatment for a wide variety of medical conditions. Of course, there’s no denying the powerful impact it has for those seeking only a relaxing, restorative experience, but a massage offers so much more! It serves as a strong partner in most healthcare recovery.
The Mayo Clinic, one of the most important and respected medical facilities in the United States, recently listed the benefits of massage therapy on their website. They included the following health issues that respond to massage therapy treatment:
- Stress relief
- High blood pressure
- Infant growth
- Sports related injuries
- Cancer treatment
- Strengthens Immune System
And it doesn’t stop there! Other medical issues that can benefit from a massage regimen include arthritis, premenstrual syndrome and gastrointestinal problems. Massage plays a key role in treatment as it triggers physiological changes in the body. The therapy also assists with releasing endorphins — hormones which are extremely beneficial in relieving pain. Even Dr. Mehmet C. Oz, the popular talk show host as well as Director of the Cardiovascular Institute at New York Presbyterian Hospital, says all of his surgery patients are offered massage therapy and he makes sure he has a weekly treatment as well.
Physically, the rewards of a good massage are plentiful. But massage treatment brings along another much needed bonus as well. When a body is hurting, the mind is ‘on call’ and not at peace. Living in pain or with chronic illness can cause depression, stress and anxiety as well as long, sleepless nights. Brain research indicates that the right side of the frontal lobe in the brain is more active when a person is sad, while the left side is activated when happy. Studies indicate that massage decreases activity in the right lobe while increasing functioning in the left. For patients who are preparing for surgery or cancer patients going through chemotherapy for example, a massage is often suggested and this is why some hospitals offer this treatment option for their patients.
The key, of course, is to find a professional massage therapist who is in tune with your particular health needs. Start by doing a bit of research and seek recommendations from your health practitioner or friends and family. You will likely discover why massage therapy is becoming a standard therapy being used alongside traditional medicine practices.