Massage has been used for centers for relaxation and stress relief. Today massage has been shown to have many health benefits beyond relaxation and stress relief. As part of a complete health care plan massage can increase well-being, reduce pain, and help cancer patients fight depression, pain, and muscle pain. There are many type of massage and each one offers health benefits.
Treatment for Pain
Massage is an excellent treatment for pain. In 2003 a study showed massage worked better than acupuncture for relief of moderate chronic lower back pain. Patients saw a reduced need for pain relievers by 36 percent with massage. Another study showed people that suffer from migraines experienced fewer headaches and they had better quality of sleep when massage was used as a treatment. Patients with osteoarthritis knee pain saw an improvement in stiffness, knee function, and pain from Swedish massage once or twice a week.
Treatment for Anxiety and Depression
According to the Mayo Clinic, 12 studies were reviewed and these studies found that massage helped to reduce anxiety and depression. It was found massage lowers the hormone cortisol which can trigger depression and anxiety, while it increased the levels of neurotransmitters which help to reduce depression.
May Have Benefits for Other Conditions
Massage can also help cancer patients when combined with traditional Western medicine. Massage is thought to help reduce swelling, fatigue, pain, nausea, and depression. It may also help to boost the immune system. Some of the other conditions which massage may help include the following:
- Digestive disorders
- Insomnia related to stress
- Myofascial pain syndrome
- Sports injuries
- Temporomandibular joint pain
- Soft tissue strains or injuries
It is important for you to partner with your health care provider when considering massage. While it is usually safe for most people, certain people may be at risk for further injury if the proper form of massage is not administrated. For example if you are on blood thinners, have a bleeding disorder, open cuts or wounds, fracture, deep vein thrombosis, or sever osteoarthritis you may not be a good candidate for massage therapy.
Speak to your health care provider about the benefits of massage and see if they think it would be a good addition to your treatment. When shared with traditional medicine and chiropractic treatments massage can have a positive impact on your health. Reduction of pain, depression, anxiety, and a sense of wellbeing are all some of the many benefits of massage.