Massage seems to be mostly seen in lovely commercials for cruise vacations and resort ads as a once in a life-time opportunity to spoil yourself, or of course, Mother's Day and Valentine's Day as a luxury gift.
But if we look at the real benefits of massage therapy, we would better understand that it should be incorporated into our daily lives, or performed as needed for your particular needs.
Here are just a few of the benefits of massage therapy:
Anxiety and Stress
Irritability or anger
Lack of motivation or focus
Sadness or depression
Muscle tension or pain
Stomach upset or IBS
Soft tissue strains
feeling of care, comfort and connection
Sports and chronic use injuries
Massage therapy, when combined with healthy eating habits, lifestyle habits and light exercise, can give aide to your overall wellness.
In my opinion, acute stress and especially chronic stress are some of the leading causes of dysfunction in the human body. It contributes to hypertension, increases risk of heart disease, and can cause oxidative damage to tissues in the body that leads to inflammation. These results are felt in our muscles, causing aches and pains, and our mental state is also negatively impacted.
I am not trying to scare you, but rather, I just want to share some of this research with you in hopes that you take control of your life so you can live pain-free and well. Long working hours, lack of play and freedom, poor sleep habits, high-stress occupations, lack of appreciation from bosses, coworkers, spouses, fear of losing health insurance and job insecurity all contribute to chronic body pains. Massage therapy can help to relieve some of these pains by relaxing the parasympathetic system to bring better function to your body's systems.
Here are just a few links to find out more about Stress-related research:
And these stats are pretty alarming...
" * One in three American employees is chronically overworked (Galinsky et. al., 2005).
* Stress-related illnesses cost American employers about $300 billion per year (American Institute of Stress, 2005).
* 20% of employees reporting high overwork levels say they make a lot of mistakes at work versus none (0%) of those who experience low overwork levels (Galinsky et al., 2005)."