According to a study done at McMaster University, massage reduces inflammation in the body and can be used to treat chronic conditions like arthritis and muscle distrophy.
The conclusions of the study were based on a 10 minute massage done only to one leg of 11 young men after they exercised to exhaustion.
Biopsies were taken from both the massaged leg and the unmassaged leg to determine if there was any difference. Researchers at Buck Institute state, “Our research showed that massage dampened the expression of inflammatory cytokines in the muscle cells and promoted biogenesis of mitochondria, which are the energy-producing units in the cells. There’s general agreement that massage feels good, now we have a scientific basis for the experience.”
If a 10 minute massage can reduce inflammation, imagine what an hour can do.
Massage has been around for thousands of years. In 460 BC, Hippocrates wrote, “The physician must be experienced in many things, but assuredly in rubbing.”
In ancient Greece, massage was used on Olympic athletes to improve sports performance.
Even American doctors in the early 1900s were required to be trained in massage as a medical technique.
Massage is coming back around full circle. It’s nice to see modern science recognize the value of this traditional technique in healing the body.
The benefits of massage does not just stop at “reducing inflammation.” Science is just getting a small glimpse of the power of this hands-on bodywork. As studies continue to be done, I’m sure even more of the amazing benefits of massage will be revealed.
The Healing Benefits of Massage
Here are just a few more ways in which massage positively affects the body*:
- Increases circulation, allowing the body to pump more oxygen and nutrients into tissues and vital organs.
- Stimulates the flow of lymph, the body’s natural defense system, against toxic invaders. For example, in breast cancer patients, massage has been shown to increase the cells that fight cancer.
- Increased circulation of blood and lymph systems improves the condition of the body’s largest organ — the skin.
- Relaxes and softens injured and overused muscles
- Reduces spasms and cramping
- Increases joint flexibility.
- Reduces recovery time, helps prepare for strenuous workouts and eliminates subsequent pains of the athlete at any level.
- Releases endorphins – the body’s natural painkiller – and is being used in chronic illness, injury and recovery from surgery to control and relieve pain.
- Reduces post-surgery adhesions and edema and can be used to reduce and realign scar tissue after healing has occurred.
- Improves range-of-motion and decreases discomfort for patients with low back pain.
- Relieves pain for migraine sufferers and decreases the need for medication.
- Provides exercise and stretching for atrophied muscles and reduces shortening of the muscles for those with restricted range of motion.
Ready to experience all of this first hand?
To find a massage therapist in your area, visit amta.com
*excerpted from massagetherapy.com
Powered by Facebook Comments