Read the Latest Research on Massage Therapy and Its Benefits

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Experts estimate that upwards of ninety percent of diseases are stress-related. And nothing ages us faster, internally, and externally, than high stress. A massage is an effective tool for managing this stress, which translates into:

  • Decreased anxiety

  • Enhanced sleep quality

  • Increased circulation

  • Reduced fatigue

Massage can also help specifically address several health issues. Bodywork can:

  • Alleviate low-back pain and improve range of motion

  • Assist with shorter, easier labor for expectant mothers and shorten maternity hospital stays

  • Ease medication dependence

  • Exercise and stretch weak, tight, or atrophied muscles

  • Help athletes of any level prepare for, and recover from, strenuous workouts

  • Improve the condition of the body’s largest organ—the skin

  • Increase joint flexibility

  • Lessen depression and anxiety

  • Promote tissue regeneration, reducing scar tissue and stretch marks

  • Pump oxygen and nutrients into tissues and vital organs, by improving circulation

  • Reduce post-surgery adhesions and swelling

  • Reduce spasms and cramping

  • Relax and soften injured, tired, and overused muscles

  • Release endorphins—amino acids that work as the body’s natural painkiller

  • Relieve migraine pain

Massage Therapy for Symptom Control of Cancer Patients:

Cancer is a common word in today’s society, unfortunately, with the outcomes being catastrophic for the individual. In this study, 1,290 patients were studied over a 3-year period who received a standard Swedish massage, ranging from 20-60 minutes showed a 50% reduction in pain, fatigue, anxiety, nausea, depression, and other symptoms with benefits lasting throughout 48 hours post-massage. The effects of massage therapy in this study have concluded that a, “…non-invasive and inexpensive means of symptom control for patients with serious chronic illness. It is…comforting, free of side effects, and appreciated by recipients.” (Cassileth, 2004)

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Massage Therapy and Frequency of Chronic Tension Headaches:

The individuals stuck at a computer all day know the aches and tension involved with sitting at a computer all day. The pain is usually located at the base of the neck right below the base of the skull and/or across the top of the shoulder going down along the shoulder blade. There is evidence that explains sustained static muscular contraction causes the muscle to deplete itself of local nutrients, “muscle food,” which create highly tender spots in the muscle tissue, trigger points.

Over a period, these contracted trigger points are thought to be an underlying cause of tension headaches. A study measuring massage therapy treatment of the neck and shoulder muscles to reduce chronic tension headaches, demonstrated, “…muscle-specific massage therapy technique…has the potential to be a functional, nonpharmacological intervention for reducing the incidence of chronic tension headache.” (Quinn, 2002)

Benefits of Massage-Myofascial Release Therapy on Pain, Anxiety, Quality of Sleep, Depression, and Quality of Life in Patients with Fibromyalgia

If you suffer from fibromyalgia you are aware of the intense overall pain, the always present fatigue, never feeling like you have enough sleep, chronic headaches, anxiety, and depression among the many other symptoms as well.

In this study, the massage technique of myofascial release (MFR) has been shown to significantly improve the symptoms associated with fibromyalgia. Myofascial release targets the softening of the fascia around the muscles. The fascia is like the “plastic wrap” around each muscle fiber, the “spaghetti noodles.” The fascia acts as a supportive framework around each muscle fiber to hold it all together. So, when you move, the fascia must move, so the muscle can move, and so on…this is how the mechanism works.

However, fascial entrapments, where the fascia is stuck and won’t move, occur for a multitude of reasons. These fascial entrapment patterns cause that area in the body to stop receiving appropriate stimuli and create a dysfunctional process called “densification,” (Moreno-Lorenzo, 2011). It has been shown in the tissue where densification occurs, causing limited movement, fat accumulation, and an altered chemical state of the tissue. However, with MFR, you can manage your symptoms with massage so that you can feel better and live a more pain-free life.