The benefits of massage therapy are many.
The health benefits of massage therapy are being validated by a number of fascinating scientific research studies. In the past, massage has been associated largely with exclusive, exotic, luxury spas and upscale health clubs. With more affordable opportunities — along with increasing support from the medical community, massage therapy is gaining in popularity.
Studies demonstrating the success of massage therapy in treating stress number over one thousand. Currently there are a vast array of theories as to why massage therapy is so successful in managing stress. One can read through extensive scientific studies focusing on measuring neurochemicals and reactions in the SNS (sympathetic nervous system) and the PNS (peripheral nervous system) in order to solve the mystery as to why massage is so effective on various stress disorders. Yet, a simple explanation might be that stress increases muscle tension, massage decreases muscle tension. When a muscle is tensed, circulation is reduced, blocking the absorption of oxygen and nutrients. Massage, on the other hand, loosens up the muscles, increasing circulation, bringing oxygen and nutrients back to the area of tension. Massage may also release stored toxins, which might explain the sense of wellbeing after a massage.
In a recent study in New Zealand involving nurses working in emergency departments, aromatherapy massages with music dramatically reduced stress levels amongst the study participants.
The researchers of this study found that sixty percent of the nursing staff in their experiment reported that they suffer from moderate to extreme anxiety due to their work. The percentage of nurses reporting anxiety dropped to just eight percent after aromatherapy massage treatments. The massages were provided by a licensed massage therapist who sprayed an aromatherapy mist above the heads of the participants. The participants were able to choose the scent. The essential oils were rose, lavender, lime, ocean breeze, or a combination of lavender, ylang ylang, bergamot and patchouli.
A reduction of anxiety from sixty to eighty percent is statistically significant. This study demonstrates that massage therapy is a powerful tool with tremendous potential. Introducing such healing therapies in the workplace would be a valuable tool for employers for treating, managing and possibly preventing stress disorders.
Other recent studies have shown that massage therapy can help with pain management (including labor), aiding children with diabetes, sports-related soreness, alcohol withdrawal, immune function, and cancer treatment.
For more information check out this great article from one of my favorite Natural News writers:
Who knows? Maybe someday, a trip to the spa may be just what your doctor orders.