Massage therapy is a very useful modality and a service that we provide to our clients in Gainesville, FL. Over the last 20 years, a great deal of scientific research has been done on the benefits of massage therapy. We’ve collected some of these studies to help you understand your health condition and how massage might be able to help.
Since massage works directly on the muscles, it’s not surprising that it can be helpful for problems of the musculoskeletal system:
Tension headaches are the most common type of headache accounting for 90% of all headaches. The pain from a tension headache is constant and it can be diffusely spread throughout one or more areas in the head. You may have pain in your neck and upper back from sore muscles or even dizziness from a tension headache.
According to medical experts, low back pain is the second most common reason why people visit their physician, only after visits for cold and flu. If you’ve ever suffered a backache, you know how difficult life can be when simple things like chores, sitting at a desk or even finding a comfortable sleeping position seem impossible. Unfortunately, conventional treatments are not always helpful.
TMJ (temperomandibular joint) syndrome is a painful condition caused by a dysfunction of the joint that connects the temporal bones to the lower jawbone. Often, a misalignment combined with jaw clenching can wear out the cartilage causing the bone to rub together rather than smoothly gliding as intended. When this joint does not function properly, pain can radiate from the jaw to the face, neck and shoulder.
Massage therapy has been found to be effective for alleviating other types of pain, as well.
If you or a loved one are suffering from pain due to cancer, you should know that massage as a complementary therapy to conventional pain management is a highly effective way to offer comfort and relief. Cancer can be painful for a number of reasons, both psychologically and physically. The dual effect that massage has on both mind and body is precisely what makes it so effective in cancer pain management.
Reflex sympathetic dystrophy (RSD), also called complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS), is a chronic neurological syndrome in which an injury to nerve or soft tissue does not heal properly and the sympathetic nerve system functions abnormally. The condition results in “severe burning pain, pathological changes in bone and skin, excessive sweating, tissue swelling and extreme sensitivity to touch.”
More than 25 million people in the US suffer from migraines. Migraine headaches may occur as little as a few times a year to as many as a few times a week. During a migraine headache, the pain can be so severe and literally blinding that the person may be immobilized. Migraines are often brought on by stress, poor sleep, poor diet, food allergies, low blood sugar, lack of exercise, hormonal changes and other factors.
Alleviating Stress and Anxiety
One third of American adults are estimated to have high blood pressure (hypertension). High blood pressure can lead to a number of medical conditions including heart attack (myocardial infarction) and stroke. The causes of high blood pressure are not completely understood, but we know that a variety of factors not only increase the risk of developing high blood pressure but also continue to exacerbate the problem.
Are you stressed? Most of us are, but if you are not finding ways to manage stress, it can begin to affect your health. More and more credence is being given to the effects of stress on overall health. We’ve known for a long time that stress plays a role in cardiovascular diseases such as high blood pressure. What we’re starting to realize now is that stress has an effect on virtually every bodily function, and chronic stress has a direct effect on our overall health and well-being.
If you suffer from acute anxiety (panic attacks) or chronic anxiety (constant feelings of uneasiness and nervousness), you may not be living the life you deserve. Anxiety disorders can interfere with your life and cause other symptoms. You may avoid social events or traveling. It may become difficult to work and literally function in normal settings. Eventually, chronic anxiety may result in additional physical symptoms such as aches, pain, depression, insomnia, lowered libido and increased PMS.
General Benefits of Massage
Massage is often thought of as a luxurious spa treatment meant for sheer pleasure, but massage has actually been proven to be beneficial for a number of medical conditions as an alternative or complimentary therapy. The Touch Research Institute highlights the following conditions as being improved through massage in massage therapy studies.1
Premature birth is a stressful situation for parents and child. So many things about preemie care seem frightening: the tubes, the incubators, the constant poking and prodding with medical instruments. One treatment, however, that is proving to be extremely beneficial is the miraculous power of massage for preterm infants.
Pregnancy is a beautiful time in a woman’s life, yet it is also stressful — both physically and emotionally. The anticipation of bringing a child into the world is exciting, but with it comes many worries and anxiety.