In response to massage, specific physiological and chemical changes cascade through the body, with profound effects. Massage therapy has proven beneficial for many conditions, including low back pain, arthritis, bursitis, and fatigue.
Massage is one of the oldest healing arts. Chinese records dating back 3,000 years document its use; the ancient Hindus, Persians, and Egyptians applied forms of massage for many ailments, and Hippocrates even wrote essays recommending the use of running and friction for joint and circulatory problems.
Today, the benefits of massage are varied and far reaching as an accepted part of many well-rounded physical rehabilitation programs.
In addition to helping with musculoskeletal problems, massage can:
- Enhance immunity by stimulating lymph flow, the body's natural defense system
- Lessen depression and anxiety
- Release endorphins, amino acids that works as the body's natural painkiller
Research shows that with massage:
- Arthritis sufferers note fewer aches and less stiffness and pain
- Asthmatic children show better pulmonary function and increased peak air flow
- Premenstrual syndrome sufferers have decreased water retention and cramping
- Burn injury patients report reduced pain, itching, and anxiety
- High blood pressure patients demonstrate lower diastolic blood pressure, anxiety, and stress hormones