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The Less Visible Benefits of Massage

Benefits of a Full Body Massage

Even if you have experienced the benefits of a professionally administered therapeutic massage, this article is still for you. Many of us know first-hand or have at least read about the positive effects massage can bring to our tired, overworked bodies and overloaded minds, however we don’t often think about therapeutic touch as a non-invasive health care path for relief of symptoms caused by other real life situations and emergencies.

Massage is believed to go back in history as far as the existence of man. As one of the oldest forms of medical treatment, massage has been used throughout history by all cultures.

Ancient Chinese, Indian, and Egyptian manuscripts refer to the use of massage to prevent and cure diseases and to heal injuries. In today’s society, some consider massage therapy mere pampering for the rich and famous. A good word for this misconception is: debunked. Pampering is a good thing, for sure, but in the big picture
massage therapy remains a  professional healing modality replete with methods and applications designed specifically to benefit the body, mind, and spirit. It’s not just a cliché, folks.

From infancy to geriatric life, hands-on therapies are instrumental in providing not only an overall sense of well-being and relaxation, but can minimize or eliminate physical and emotional pain as well. Many conditions and ailments, such as heart disease, high blood pressure, fibromyalgia, arthritis, muscle strain, sports injuries, and post-surgical and terminal illnesses, are known to be helped by therapeutic massage and bodywork. Complementary modalities such as aromatherapy, cupping, reflexology, herbal treatments, and electro-therapy point stimulation (ETPS) can also assist in the healing process.

Although not well known by most prospective massage recipients, there are other symptoms and conditions that can be relieved or eliminated through the healing touch of
massage.

Body parts that get the benefits of a massage

Let’s look at migraine headaches, for example. It is believed that most headaches are caused by changes in blood pressure in the vessels leading to and from the brain. When a muscle is in spasm, it squeezes and constricts the blood vessels. By relaxing the appropriate muscles, blood is allowed to flow more freely (no stagnation), alleviating the pain. The methods applied vary depending on the type and severity of the headache.

How many of us suffer from occasional insomnia? One of the most satisfying dimensions of receiving a relaxation massage is its ability to send you to a state of blissful sleep.  Clients will sometimes try to stay awake so they don’t miss anything, or snore, which is understandable, however I recommend quiet solitude, an initiator of the “zone effect,” a trouble-free, hypnotic state of mind.

Hospice care is a time when we, as professional caregivers, can make a definitive difference in the end of life phase for your loved one, providing loving touch in a quiet, supportive and peaceful environment. And for the bereaved care-giving family members,   communication comes together through the magic of healing hands. Grieving people sometimes keep emotions bottled up and massage can function as a safety valve by releasing both physical and mental anguish and tension.

There are of course many conditions for which partial or full massage are not recommended and licensed massage practitioners can advise clients accordingly.

Nancy Shores, LMT

Life is like a book; we can either study it or let it gather dust on the shelves of the world.

~Rene Godefroy


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